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15 Books for Food Fans on Your Gift List

December 3, 2014

800px-Fruit,_Vegetables_and_Grain_NCI_Visuals_OnlineI love a good book, don’t you? I don’t do many romance novels, or ‘mindless reading’ but to learn, and this year have read many good books about food. If you, or someone you know, shares this interest, check out these books for a gift or for yourself. (A convenient link to Amazon is included…easy enough right?! Some we might get a few pennies for referring, for full disclosure.)

1. In Meat We Trust – Maureen Ogle. I loved this book. I will warn you, it’s detailed, and there’s a lot of information with thorough sources noted. Everyone who eats should read this book. I’m serious. Those who want to know how agriculture got where it is, and why the food system is what it is or who think the last 20-25 years have been the ills of mankind never present before – read this book. I promise you, if you have those questions this book will open your eyes wide. I thought I was pretty aware but putting things together as the author did…wow. History, in detail. Did you know that the food battle 100 years ago was food prices and shipping to those in the cities? Food safety? Read this book! Give this book. It’s not a hard read – my teenager read it for a class.

2. Duck, Duck, Goose – Hank Shaw. If you have on your gift list a hunter, if you have a new foodie looking to explore or if you are just looking for something beyond the beef/pork/chicken this is a good pick for looking at waterfowl. Love the ‘use everything’ view, the dealing with ‘greasy’ complaints and more to not only make the most of the bird, but enjoy it. Isn’t that what food is all about?

3. The Essential Good Food Guide: The Complete Resource for Buying and Using Whole Grains and Specialty Flours, Heirloom Fruit and Vegetables, Meat and Poultry, Seafood, and More – Margaret M Wittenburg. This is another that falls into if you eat, get this book. Seriously. Lifestyle changes, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian…whatever. Learn about food! This book…is…awesome. Those buying our upper level purchases get this book free…because it will help you make better use of the food you get, it helps you understand the processing and food descriptions and it is a book that needs to be dog eared and well used by this time next year. I know not everyone who eats will get the book – but they should!

4. The Amish Baking Book – Whether your friend or family member is just learning or re-learning, this is a good tool to have on the shelf. Variety of recipes, many using fresh food.

5. My Irish Table – Cathal Armstrong. This had a post earlier in the year – and as I think over the books read this year it still stands out. Love the recipes (even for picky eaters), love the stories. If there’s an Irish recipient who loves food, this could be a winning idea! If you have someone looking to advance their cooking skills, this could be a good gift.

6. 250 Best Meals in a Mug – Camilla V Saulsbury – A busy executive, a teenager, college student – the recipients for this can vary. For those who “don’t have time” to eat healthy – here’s your book. Psst…it’s pretty awesome for those starting a business and working at home too! Eat better in 2015 and skip the drive through!

7. Nutritionism – the Science & Politics of Dietary Advice – Gyorgy Scrinis. This falls into another if you eat you should read this book, but most probably won’t. I read it before the butter/margarine “hidden facts” stormed the media. Again – how the food system got to where it is, read this for answers. Hint – some of the things within are found as sources for “food gurus” like Michael Pollan – but they don’t tell the whole truth. Does the whole truth matter? I think it does.

8. Fine Cooking Cakes & Cupcakes – 100 Best Ever Recipes – Staff of Fine Cooking. Baking is bad…but we love it! Cakes, cupcakes, cookies…oh yes please! Ah but look again dear reader. This is more than the sinful treats like German Chocolate cake – there’s also many desserts using berries, fruits and healthy options. Great idea for someone starting a new life venture or wanting to explore baking more at home and eating fewer preservatives.

9. Home Smoking Basics for Meat, Fish and Poultry – For the homesteader, do it yourselfer or want-to-avoid-preservatives, here’s a book with good info, beautiful photos and tempting things that you read about and want to do.

10. Is That a Fact? Frauds, Quacks and Real Science of Everyday Life – Joe Schwartz. Are you sick of fear factor? Are you tired of every week the endless media headlines of some other thing is going to kill us? Certainly there are many things that will, but there are many who market on fear. If you’re tired of being scared, here’s a read that helps quell the fire.

11. The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes for Delicious Steaks, Chicken, Ribs, Chops, Vegetables, Shrimp, and Fish – Love to grill? Looking for something different from the same ol’ same ol’ thing? Come explore this book! It’s also got great information for someone just learning to grill…fire that thing up and eat like royalty.

12. Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering – Adam Danforth. If you’ve browsed our website, you know that we do small livestock. This book is an awesome thing for those wanting to grow their own meats, but going beyond that it’s a way to learn how the meat gets to your freezer, even if someone else does it. Have an appreciation for the butcher and pay him or her well!

13.Herbs for Long-Lasting Health: How to Make and Use Herbal Remedies for Lifelong Vitality. Rosemary Gladstar. This is a small book – under $10 – but packed with information. This is one of a collection of excellent basic handbooks from Storey – all are concise but have a good bit of information for the size. (Pssst for beginners or new cooks, check out the Knife Skills book!)

14. The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Home Dried Foods – We all started somewhere, and this is a good basic guide to helping people learn to dry foods at home.

15. Food, Genes and Culture – Eating Right for Your Origins. It seems the time of year for the “last diet you’ll ever need” headlines. Of course if that worked, there wouldn’t be headlines. We’re all different, and this is a cool book that looks at personal history and background and how it fits what is healthy for us.

OK so with this list there is a range of interests. How about a guilty pleasure? Check out 300 Best Homemade Candy Recipes – you know you want to! Get it for yourself…give the candies to those on your list. Is that a win-win? It’s candy heaven all from your own kitchen.

Love eating and love books? These are some good ones to combine the love.

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