Good Books + Good Food

It’s no secret that I love books, or that I love food. So, when the  two come together in a book about food … {big sigh of contentment}.

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Recently, I read a book that was quite delicious, and I haven’t even tried any of the recipes yet!

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table is a dream of a book about food. Its prose sings of good meals and good memories. It tugs at your heartstrings. It celebrates the joys of chocolate and friends and family. It’s good. Very good. The book, written by Molly Wizenberg (creator of the blog Orangette), is a lovely collection of short stories and recipes that illustrate the beautiful, soulful way food and life intersect.

I also adore the illustrations in Molly’s book, created by the talented Camilla Engman.

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The book has had me dreaming of baking and cooking for days. I can’t wait to bake the banana bread with chocolate and crystallized ginger, for example, which Molly describes as “homey but a little sophisticated” and “almost impossible to stop eating.” She continues: “The flavors of banana and chocolate get along so well, and ginger makes them even better, cutting through their richness with spicy heat. It’s the kind of thing that begs to be cut into big, melty slices while the loaf is still hot.”

Is your stomach growling yet?

Also on my must-try recipe list: the chocolate cupcakes with bittersweet glaze; fresh ginger cake with caramelized pears; bread salad with cherries, arugala and goat cheese; slow-roasted tomato pesto; french-style yogurt cake with lemon; red cabbage salad with lemon and black pepper; sliced spring salad with avocado and feta … I could go on …

And the goodness doesn’t stop there. Molly also writes beautifully about the perfect pairing of chocolate and bread (and her introduction to a pain au chocolat in Paris as a child). That short story had me craving the chocolate croissants from a favorite local bakery. Perhaps I’ll have to make a stop there tomorrow morning. Because Molly is right about how good chocolate and bread go together: “There’s something surprisingly right about chocolate and bread together, all that dark, rich sweetness against the chewy, salty crumb,” she writes.

Yum. :)

Happy weekend. Hope it’s filled with good food, good books and good memories made with family and friends.

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