Going to college in Williamsburg in the mid-80s meant the occasional treat at Marcel Desaulnier’s legendary restaurant The Trellis. Its fine dining was a little out of our league except occasionally, but they had a special service for dessert and drinks in the evening on the patio, which was an easier indulgence for a date night. Being the 80s, the White Chocolate-Raspberry Balloon (white chocolate ice cream with a delectable fruit sauce) was a hit, as was its most famous dessert, Death by Chocolate, and its more modest cousin, Chocolate Temptation.
Catherine Beddall’s words and photographs make The Magic of Gingerbread a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. While a classic house trimmed with favorite old-fashioned candies is a fine project, there are also designs for a birdhouse, an ice cream parlor, a toy chest, a robot, a garden cottage and more.
A soup cleanse is a modern alternative for expelling antioxidants from your body. In Nicole Centeno’s Soup Cleanse Cookbook: Embrace a Better Body and a Healthier You With the Weekly Soup Plan, you can establish a meal plan yourself with delicious and nutritious soup recipes that are all plant-based.
In Forgotten Ways for Modern Days, Rachelle Blondel (coauthor of Granny Chic) offers an array of natural household recipes to maintain a nontoxic household environment.
Blondel emphasizes that having a lifestyle that is free from harsh cleaning products improves your life as it flows day to day. When you use these recipes, there is no risk for anyone in your family (children and pets included) will inhale toxic chemicals.
"I certainly never imagined that when I opened Nourishing Traditions at our local library almost nine years ago that in less than a decade I would open the doors to a natural foods store, but I am certainly glad that I did." — Kathy Craddock, owner of Kickshaws Downtown and Kickshaws Kitchen
Kathy lives in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, with her husband, two kids, chickens and three dogs. She and her husband, Richard, own Kickshaws Downtown Market and Kickshaws Kitchen in downtown Fredericksburg, focusing on local, organic products and foods for special dietary needs. Here, she shares her thoughts on some of her favorite books:
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Follows the author's family's efforts to live on locally- and home-grown foods, an endeavor through which they learned lighthearted truths about food production and the connection between health and diet. (catalog summary)
Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor by Suzanne McMinn
Craving a life that would connect her to the earth and her family roots, McMinn packed up her three kids, left her husband and her sterile suburban existence behind, and moved to rural West Virginia. Amid the rough landscape and beauty of this rural mountain country, she pursues a natural lifestyle filled with chickens, goats, sheep--and no pizza delivery. (catalog summary)
Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on A Scrappy Six-acre Homestead by Jenna Woginrich
Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that accompany homesteading. In Cold Antler Farm, her fifth book, she draws our attention to the flow and cycle not of the calendar year, but of the ancient agricultural year: holidays, celebrations, seasonal touchstones, and astronomical events that mark sacred turning points in the seasons. (catalog summary)
What wine goes with your life? What beer should you choose to enjoy the Sunday game with? Or what will you drink when your beloved family invades your house for the holidays? What if you were on a blind date? What about an outdoor concert? Or binge-watching Netflix?
The farmer's market beckons us with spring's arugula, peas, and asparagus and continues its siren call until the fall's first frost. We return with bags overflowing with berries, new potatoes, sugar snap peas, and herbs to plant in the garden. Of course there are tried-and-true recipes that we fall back on each year to use up the produce, but new inspiration is always welcome. Southern Living's Farmer's Market Cookbook is a great resource for "celebrat[ing] the seasons with fresh-from-the-farm recipes."
The arts of food preservation go back to civilization's beginnings. In ancient Mesopotamia, families saved their produce for lean times. They dried dates, apples and figs. Their meat might be smoked, dried, or salted meat. Softer fruits could be preserved in honey. Now we have cane sugar, pressure cookers, refrigeration, packaged pectin, and so much more to make the process easier. Preserves and pickles have gone gourmet and exotic with exciting flavor combinations to enjoy and share with others.
“The sharper your knife, the less you cry.”
Chefs dominate the cooking industry; the big ones have TV shows, cookbooks, their own magazines. Because of them, there are cooking shows for every taste and better produce in your local market. Here is a selection of notable memoirs; two of the authors uplifted home cooking in America.