I have moved over 15 times in my adult life + each time that I do I always have a box of books that seems to weigh down my moving. This cherished box is filled with cookbooks that I've come to love and cannot part with. Some of my favorites include:
Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin, Gran Cocina Latina by Maricel Presilla, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, Plenty More by Ottolenghi, and others.
A well-made cookbook can transport you through photos, flavors, and stories. It has the power to stir nostalgia and create memories. It can teach you the basics of the kitchen and help you learn cuisine from the other side of the world. There is a power in cookbooks that many don't really realize that they can be passed down as heirlooms if done well.
As I've been researching and writing my cookbook I have been more intentional with where I buy my books for research. Unfortunately, Amazon has the market cornered. They have the ability to sell books cheaper than independent bookstores and can deliver them to your door the next day. That being said I've found that second-hand books are just as good as brand new. You can get them for cheaper and it's an earth-friendly option! The best places for second-hand books are eBay and Thriftbooks.
I've been thinking about this more often. So many of the books on my shelf and also in bookstores are written by White authors. Even books whose food subjects are considered foreign are written by White authors. I am trying to be mindful of what I'm adding to my ever-growing collection. I want to support BIPOC authors because there are really so few that get published and recognized. It doesn't mean that I will only look for those books but it does mean that I want to see a representation of folks that look like me on my shelf.
In the last few months, I have bought so many books that many are sitting in a sky high stack that is dominating my living room. I barely am just reading one book at a time. I don’t know why I do this…I just do! Here are my current reads:
Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher - The Godmother of food memoir and storytelling. Very great read and was originally published back in 1946!
If I Can Cook/You Know God Can by Ntozake Shange - Another food memoir filled with recipes, stories, and poetic language that captures the African American experience through food.
15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver - I’ve watched the show and want to put these recipes to the test. Let’s see if I can really make some of these dishes in 15 minutes!
The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis - If you want a book that has gorgeous, luscious food photography then look no further. Beautifully plated dishes from Palestinian cuisine with historical context and stories are really what I need right now.
If there any great cookbooks/food related readings you think I should read let me know!
Cook. Eat. Repeat.
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