Top Ten Tuesdays: Foodie Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  Each week a theme is presented and this week it is a freebie—we get to create our own lists.  

It was a no brainer for me.  It had to be foodie reads.  I decided to go through my Goodreads list and choose ten of the most interesting books in my Foodie Reads list.

  1.  something to food about: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs by Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Ben Greenman with photography by Kyoko Hamada.  I love the cover.  You can read my entire review here.
  2. Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders.  This is my go-to preserving book for interesting combinations.  I have a tendency not to follow a recipe as written but Saunders has inspired me greatly.  I’ve made the following  concoctions that were either from this book or creatively inspired from her recipes:  Spiked Cherry Conserve, Blackberry Port Jam, Balsamic-Cinnamon Blueberry Jam, Grape Jam with Orange Essence, Red Nectarine and Candied Ginger Jam, and Peach Marmalade.  For all my posts related to Blue Chair Jam, click here.
  3. The 3000-Mile Garden: An Exchange of Letters on Gardening, Food, and the Good Life by
    Leslie Land and Roger Phillips.  Two distinct voices emerge from this nonfiction work, the prim and proper Englishman who writes about his garden in sentimental terms and the brash New Englander who comments on leeks making her fart! What a pair.  (Land was a food writer as well as an accomplished gardener.  She actually worked at Chez Panisse as one of their very first chefs.  She passed away in 2013.)
    Apparently back in the day, this was a PBS series.   I found one episode on YouTube:

  4. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  I’ve been a Kingsolver fan from way back to The Bean Tree and Animal Dreams.  It was actually The Hubs who brought Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to my attention. Facing a long trip to visit relatives in Colorado, we needed something to keep us occupied across the barrenness of Kansas and I-70. I checked out the audio book from the library. We were hooked.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle actually became the catalyst behind this blog.
  5. Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund.  I’ve never seen this book on a foodie list but it should be.  This novel is expansive to say the least.  Not only does it follow a young woman from adolescence to adulthood, it also connects her life with the literary and intelligentsia of the first half of the 19th century.  The amount of food mentioned in the novel is expansive as well.
  6. SEAsoned—A Chef’s Journey with Her Captain:  Allman voice is funny and self-deprecating but her knowledge of food and her ability to deliver on last minute guest requests is miraculous.  The blurb on the back cover is a little misleading—there’s not that much drama. But, there are great tales of catering to the rich and famous in exotic locales. I would recommend this book to anyone fascinated by yachts or who just likes good recipes. (Each chapter ends with at least one of Allman’s recipes.)
  7. Biting through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland  by Nina Mukerjee Furstenau.  I had the pleasure of hearing Furstenau three years ago at a food writing symposium. She read the defining memory that is at the heart of this memoir and I was hooked. (She had a very soothing voice, too.)  I totally enjoyed reading about places I know. Furstenau grew up about an hour away from me. I remember some of the restaurants and places that she mentions as well as relating to growing up in the heartland of America. (I figure she is about five years older than me.)   Although this is not a comedic book, I did have to laugh out loud as they take a revered orange-robed Hindu teacher (visiting from India) to Grand Lake for a ski boat ride.
  8. Kitchen Chinese: A Novel About Food, Family, and Finding Yourself by Ann Mah.  This book is the current selection for June/July Cook the Books.    In my edition, Mah provides recipes, a few authentic ones and a just-plain-good-comfort food one.  I enjoyed this novel because it did not have the typical romance plot.  Typically if I’m reading a book with any romantic entanglements I tend to skip whole sections because of the formulaic approach to romance novels—the two meet, one (or both) of them does something stupid, the other one can’t forgive, they waste a lot of time being angry and stubborn and then they get together in the end.  Mah steers clear of this entanglement.  You can read my review and featured recipe here.  
  9. What We Eat When We Eat Alone by Deborah Madison.  I’ve read snippets out of this book and have found it very entertaining.  It’s in my “must complete” reading stack.
  10. Anything by Ruth Reichl.  🙂

In hindsight, I could have done a Top Ten Cookbook list.   Maybe for the next freebie.   If you want to participate in TTT, next Tuesday’s theme involves books with colors in the title.  For more information on participating, click here.

All my “foodie reads” books can be found here.

Besides TTT, I’m also linking up with July’s Foodies Read.

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