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New Food Books

Posted at Foodie Friday

I hesitate to call it a cookbook, because although it does happen to contain recipes, that's not necessarily what the focus is.

I'm a bad girl, I have cooked some lovely new things this week but have not had the time nor patience to photograph and write out recipes. Our visitors have left now so we're slowly getting back into the swing of things with an empty house. There will be more actual food in the near future, especially as my darling husband just ordered The Flavor Bible for me! I'm really excited!

The book I've been reading is called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. I've been reading it on and off since it arrived a couple of weeks ago. I've talked about various chapters of the book to anyone around me who will listen. Whenever I open my mouth my husband announces that he doesn't want to hear another word about the book and would read it himself if he were that interested. Hurrumph.

I've always wanted my own vegetable garden, but now I'm more determined than ever. I just need to wait to get out of the apartment and back to somewhere with a backyard. I want to learn to make cheese, Kingsolver makes it sound so, well, awesome.

More importantly she stresses the importance of locally grown food. Not just in flavour or vitamin content, but also as being important to the economy and environment. Living in Germany has its challenges on this front. The food in the commissary is mostly imported from the US, I've always had a hard time with that. I shop on the economy quite a lot, but there are some American things that my poor darling husband cannot live without. Similarly there are a number of things from the UK that I miss, but they're less readily available so I am generally forced to do without (until I get visitors bearing gifts of course!) however it's been nearly 3 years (2 in the US and 1 in Germany) so I'm pretty used to it by now, my poor husband has only been away from the US for a year. But because of the exchange rate I simply cannot afford to do all of our grocery shopping on the Germany economy.

There is a market in the center of Heidelberg, but their prices are quite expensive. There is however a small roadside stall near to where I live that has locally grown fruit and veg. As a bonus they're very cheap too.

When we return to the states I'm going to be paying more attention to the locations of farmers markets and things like that. I'd also like to join a farm co-op if there is one nearby!

Anyway, back to the book! I found it to be completely inspiring. It kinda makes me want to go and buy a farm, it has reinforced my recent obsession with squashes! It makes me miss fresh eggs. There's one part where Kingsolver talks about her daughter watching a chickens egg exit from you-know-where, it make me laugh so hard because I remember watching our hens lay their eggs when I lived with my parents. They'd run around squawking for a few minutes and making a fuss before going inside their house and pushing out an egg.

I can't really talk about it much more without re-writing the whole book. I recommend it for anyone who is remotely interested in food, where their food comes from and the state of America's farming industry. Also if you're into gardening, raising livestock or just want a good laugh.

I also received a copy of Jamie's America from my parents for my birthday.

This one is of particular interest to me because I'm not American but I'm surrounded by them all day, every day (le sigh). I have a fascination with regional foods in the US, because quite frankly I know very little about what you guys eat. I'm in love with Louisiana (although I have never been there) and there is a whole chapter devoted to their food customs as well as many others.

I haven't yet had a chance yet to read through the entire thing, but my husband was very excited at the presence of Jumbalaya so it looks like it's going to be a hit.

I've set up a tumblog to link to interesting things I find or want to keep, mostly recipes, sewing patterns and quotes at the moment. Sort of like online bookmarks. It's here if you're interested.

Random funny of the day, slightly food related - When I breastfeed Mikey before his nap or before bedtime (yes I still nurse my 2 year old, I never expected to be doing that) he's decided now over the past few days that teddy needs to nurse before he does. So he presses teddy's nose on (in absence of an easily visible mouth) to nurse for like a minute, Mikey says "Yum" (presumably because teddy does not have the gift of language, probably due to the aforementioned mouth, or lack thereof) and then has his own turn. It is too cute.

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I am a 24 year old British stay at home mother to a two year old boy. Married to a U.S. soldier and currently living in Germany.

I have seen the Vatican from the very top of St Peter's Basilica, the mud in the World War I trenches outside Ypres. I have walked through Montmartre side streets bustling with people in the evening, gotten lost in the streets of Greenwich Village NYC, run through cornfields on the Welsh border and sat outside with a cup of tea watching fireflies in the fields of the outer Chicago suburbs.

I have held the hands of others through addiction, fear, suicide, despair and come out the other side. I have left everything behind to begin anew.
I have fought mental illness and walked through snow in the mountains of the lake district, England. I have explored the morgue in the bowels of an abandoned hospital on a summer evening, climbed to the top of scaffolding on the outside of a five floor warehouse to look at the city lights of Nottingham at night and I have watched the sun setting on the Texas horizon.

I have held my son's tiny hand through the plastic window on an isolette in the NICU ward. Walked, speaking only in whispers, through the catacombs beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome and seen the fireworks over Heidelberg castle.