Monday, December 12, 2011

Literary Gifts for Food Lovers

The countdown is on. Just thirteen days until Christmas.

Since I don't mean to send you into a state of panic, but to ease your last-minute, holiday frenzy, I will be sharing some favorite gift ideas, most -- if not all -- you can order online and have shipped directly to your door. All food related, but appealing to all, from the gadget-loving foodie to the fine-dining wine connoisseur to the simple housewife.

Because, c'mon, who doesn't love to eat.

The Food Lover's Literary Gift Guide

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
I recently happened across this memoir of culinary domesticity. It is engagingly written and easily relatable, as the author chronicles her experiences cooking for vegetarian friends, feeding a multitude, and the best way to fry chicken -- all vital to a home cooks repertoire.

The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
This book teaches you literally all you need to know about baking. With easy-to-follow recipes and fantastic tips in the margins, this is perfect for any aspiring baker who wants to learn more techniques and perfect those already acquired. (Bonus: Chock full of photos that make your mouth drool and want to eat the pages right out of the book.)

Food: A Taste of the Road by Travellers' Tales Guides
A friend of mine who knows my love for food and travel, lent this to me. A melange of styles and places, you are transported to a picnic held in a tent in Tibet as the wind roars outside, introduced to Chinese soup etiquette, and regaled with a tale of monkey stew in Africa -- just to name a few. A culinary adventure without leaving the comfort of your home.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
In customary Hemingway form, he tells his tale of encounters with food in France. His dry wit and descriptions quickly transport you to the Roaring Twenties in Paris. A literary version of 'Midnight in Paris.'

Celtic Teas with Friends by Elizabeth Knight
This delightful read brings together two of my favorite pasttimes: Celtic culture and tea parties. In addition to yummy recipes, it gives seasonal party ideas themes which include music, party favor, decoration, and entertainment ideas. Perfect for those who like a well-planned tea party.

Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This is sweet for the youngin' in your life. It gives a beautiful lesson on love and provides a recipe for sugar cookies in the back to make with your son, daughter, niece or nephew. A great, simple act of love.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg
I discovered this author from her blog Orangette. (A great inspiration for my own blog.) I love her 'homemade' stories accompanied by familial recipes. She brings to life the fact that all dishes have a story to tell.

The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
This is an absolute must on any creative cook's bookshelf. Alphabetically organized by ingredient, one is able to flip to, say, 'pears,' and discover that they go especially well with almonds, cinnamon, honey, mascarpone and oranges, to name a few. It helps you to mix and match when you're out of an ingredient called for in a recipe or when you're feeling adventurous in creating your own. (Also, don't miss What to Drink with What You Eat by the same authors if you are fond of preparing appropriate food and drink pairings.)

Bubby's Homemade Pies by Ronald M. Silver
I've made at least half a dozen of the pies in this book and I'm aiming to re-create them all. Sweet and savory alike, there is a pie in here for every occasion.

Laurel's Kitchen by Laurel Robertson 
When I'm looking to cook vegetarian (and even when I'm not), this is an oldie-but-a-goodie for delicious dishes from breakfast to lunch to dinner and every snack in between.

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