Thursday, January 17, 2013

Books with Recipes and Food

Sunrise is at 7:55, sunset will be at 4:42. Saturday, January 12, 2013.

Cold, mostly blue sky, low sunlight (both in brightness and height; slanted yellowish light).  Not very pretty out there, today.  Everything is dun and sage, covered in frost but the frost just makes things look dull.  Everything is crunchy but the leaves are all rubbery.  I had to cover the daphne but I despair over its being alive for much longer.  It lost about half of its leaves last year in all the frost and snow and I am hoping the branches that still have leaves will have blossoms.  February is the month in which the pink tips start to show.  I'll cross my fingers, keep the towel over it, and hope for the best!

Does anyone out there in Seattle know what  this is?  This photo was taken on the pedestrian bridge to (and from) the ferry dock.  They are all locks, some are painted, some have initials, hearts, all are  locked, with no attached keys, to the fencing.  It's like a secret language, a story only known to a very few select people.  It's kind of cool and weird.  I'd love to know more but I've never seen anyone put a lock up here, bikes aren't attached to them, and there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or a reason. I'll continue to monitor the situation; maybe they come and go with the seasons.

Teachers and librarians often look for books with recipes in them.  It's a good way to teach multiculturalism, science, chemistry.  It's a good way to share character with the reader without having to use narrative. You know, if someone is a little kooky or nutty, they may get a box of cookies laden with almonds or pecans.  There's really great picture book out that takes place in an apartment building and someone on one floor is ill.  Everyone in the building comes by with their own culture's version of chicken soup.  It's a really cool book (if I can remember the title, I'll fill you in) and shows how much more alike we are than different.

There are also some fun books out that feature real recipes and cooking that older readers can follow and share with their friends:  The Bliss Family Series (by Kathryn Littlewood, HarperCollins) features a family with a magical cookery book that brings people together.  The Bliss kids have a nasty aunt who steals the book and leaves the children in a real mess.  I'm sure the third one will be out soon and I can't WAIT!

I just finished reading A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff, a chapter book that features a twirl of relationships and cake recipes.  The story includes a lost suitcase and a slip of paper, a man who often seems like the white ball in a pool game, sending each character careening off into the next, and a little girl, an orphan who is able to match the perfect cake to the people she loves.  This is a book about loss and discovery, hope and desire, wishes and finding your heart's desire.  With cake.  It's a sweet thing, with lovely characters who are all looking for a home of one sort or another.  And did I say there's cake? Philomel.  $16.99.  Available in February.

More chapter books about cooking or with recipes:  Pie, by Sarah Weeks; Close to Home, by Joan BauerDumpling Days, by Grace Lin; It's Raining Cupcakes, by Lisa Schroeder.  This would be a fun list.  I'll keep adding to it as I come across more titles.  I'll do a picture book list, too- Thunder Cake, Everyone Eats Bread, Chicken Soup and Rice....


  1. Everything on a Waffle. Perhaps no recipes, I can't remember. But great ideas of what to eat on a waffle. Now I am hungry for waffles!

  2. Loved that book, Dorothy! There must be 20 new books about cupcakes out there, too. I wonder if I should include a sidebar for food places like diners (Three Times Lucky) - places where food and people meet. That might be a fun list, too.