- Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces by Gayla Trail, aka You Grow Girl. We’re planning on using our deck to eek out some food this year and this book will help immensely. The photography is overwhelmingly beautiful. (Fun fact: You can find it at Anthropologie, it’s that good. Also, that is Gayla herself on the cover.)
- Muji Life, ok, not a book, but it’s thick enough to be one. Thanks again to Laura for grabbing this for me in Nottingham.
- The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis by Tara Austen Weaver, aka Tea and Cookies. This was a very funny read and I learned a whole lot from it. She tells the story of how someone raised a vegetarian first beings to learn about the world of meat and how she tackles ethics and food. I was raised an omnivore and this was both eye opening and balanced.
- The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line by Kari Chapin. This book is full of great advice by people who have the experience. And the illustrations were done by Emily Martin, aka The Black Apple, a Seattle local. (Full disclosure: I have a few small quotes in here about my experience running a very niche business.)
- The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner by Jaden Hair, aka Steamy Kitchen. Full of recipes I wouldn’t have the first idea how to go about making, I think I’m going to learn a lot. The book has amazing photographs, and stays open on a table (small detail, but so nice in a cookbook).
- Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics by Francesca Denhartog & Carole Ann Camp. This one is a few years old but is fantastic at talking you through the basics of making yourself simple skirts. It’s perfect for somebody who is ready to being making their own patterns.
- Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson, aka 101 Cookbooks. This was our first focus of Cookbook Club and ever dish was amazingly tasty. The food is all so good that many of us didn’t notice it’s a vegetarian cookbook, for serious.
Looking at this reminds me that I seem to never have received my copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman) that came as part of last year’s BlogHer Food conference, bummer. I spent some summers in Oklahoma on my uncle’s farm, nothing as large as the ranch Ree and her family live on but there were fields, cattle, chickens, a barn with a loft (and soft hay below to land in when you jumped off), a swimming hole, very hungry greyhound dogs to feed dinner scraps to each night and a huge, endless sky. The farm was just outside a small town and checking Google maps now I can tell you the town has all of six streets. I’ve been joking with Scott that our next house needs to have neighbors that are further away, as in blocked from our view by the curvature of the earth. Bet those summers in Oklahoma influence my desire for a bit more breathing room.
Wish I had a photograph of endless sky for you to put right here but instead this bean will have to do. For Easter weekend I made the Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans recipe from Super Natural Cooking that I first made for cookbook club. This time I managed to track down some corona beans at ChefShop. Holy rhinoceroses people, these beans are huge and only get huger when you soak them, then they puff up quite a bit more when cooking. It was like eating magic beans. They are delicious, I highly recommend you track some down sometime. And taste one half way through boiling, they taste like chestnuts.