Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley is a wonderful graphic novel about her lifelong relationship with cooking. Lucy grew up in a household where food was always central. Her mother ran a catering business, grew her own food, and operated a farmer’s market stall. Due to this constant exposure, Lucy based many of her memories on food. Huevos rancheros reminds her of her adventures in Mexico with her best friend. Croissants remind her of the time she backpacked through Europe with a close college friend. Sushi takes her back to her travels in Japan. Hot chocolate, burgers, and fries remind her of traveling Italy with her father. Baking sweets became her way of working through stressful times in her life. Accompanied by these recorded memories are delicious recipes that are fun to make. After reading this graphic novel, you will gain a new appreciation for the importance different types of food can have on impacting people’s lives.

Genre: Non-fiction graphic novel

Setting: Modern-day Mexico, Italy, Japan, New York, and Chicago.

Number of pages: 173

Themes: Family, friendship, travel, growing up, and cooking.

Is this good for a book club? This would be good for book clubs that enjoy books about food.

Objectionable content? There are discussions of alcohol, periods, and pornographic magazines.

Can children read this? Teenagers would enjoy the stories.

Who would like this? Anyone who loves food.

Rating: Five stars

Make Your Party a Success with Help from the Library

worldpartyRecently, a friend of mine threw her annual summer party. Every year it’s something different and this year’s theme was Around the World.

No, she didn’t mean Around the World in 80 Days, the famous story of Phileas Fogg the most punctual man in the world. She provided a culinary and artistic world tour for her lucky guests. And she told me she could not have done it without the library.

There was tea and sushi in a Japanese garden. A German Biergarten. Shrimp on the barbie ala our mates in Australia. Indian cuisine. Asian. Every continent was represented. She even had a table of cookies with a red and white striped pole nearby labeled North Pole.

And the music! Depending on where you wandered in her house and yard, you could hear everything from Celtic harp to Caribbean steel drums.thai

How was the library involved? All of the recipes she used came from cookbooks she borrowed from the library. Wonderful titles such as My Paris Kitchen, It’s All Greek to Me, and Simple Thai Food stood proudly on each table. Guests could thumb through the books for interesting international recipes.

The music was all from Putumayo, a company devoted to world music. The background music consisted of World Party, Vintage France, Italian Café, Celtic Tides and many, many others.

My friend told me she got the idea for the party from the wide range of international cookbooks she saw on display at the library. When she confided her project to me, I had mentioned that she could also get a variety of world music at the library, too.

It was a memorable, multicultural evening. a world tour that never left town. I can hardly wait to see what next year’s party brings.

And, in case you were wondering, on the table that held the cookies from the North Pole, all the recipes cards simply said Mrs. Claus.

Check out our Putumayo collection and our cookbook collection:

worldgroove                kitchen


Food for Thought: For Book Clubs

foodIs your book club looking for a new theme to read?  Everyone loves food!  Below is a list of titles that will stimulate your brain and your appetite!

1.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

2.  My Life in France  by Julia Child

3.  Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford

4.  The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace

5.  I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris

6.  Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck

7.  The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones

8.  The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking Schoolby Kathleen Flinn

9 New Cozy Mysteries for August

lady detective

New titles available at Cheshire Library for your reading pleasure!

New for August:

1.  Cross-Stitch Before Dying by Amanda Lee (An Embroidery Mystery)

2.  Do or Diner by Christine Wenger (A Comfort Food Mystery)

3.  Remnants of Murder by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Southern Sewing Circle Mystery)

4.  Seed No Evil by Kate Collins (A Flower Shop Mystery)

5.  Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay (Hat Shop Mysteries)

6.  Pall in the Family by Dawn Eastman (A Family Fortune Mystery)

7.  Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)

8.  Cover Story by Erika Chase (An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery)

9.  If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion by Paige Shelton (A Country Cooking School Mystery)

BOOK REVIEW: Currant Creek Valley by RaeAnne Thayne

raeanne thayneRaeAnne Thayne is a relative newcomer to the small-town romance genre, but she certainly has a winner with her series Hope Crossings.  Currant Creek Valley is the fourth book in the series.  The first three books of the series center around the town uniting to boost each other up after a terrible tragedy.  The titles in order are:

  1.  Sweet Laurel Falls
  2. Woodrose Mountain
  3. Blackberry Summer

Currant Creek Valley, and the next two books, center around how the town comes together to help those outside their community.

Alex McKnight is a chef in the process of opening her very own restaurant.  She has a quick wit and casual approach to life that masks a terrible secret from her past.

Contractor Sam Delgado is looking to start over in a new town with his 6 year old son after the death of his wife.  Alex hires him to put the finishing touches on her restaurant’s kitchen.

They are instantly attracted to each other – much to their dismay!  Neither one is interested in any kind of relationship because they have so much to deal with from their pasts.  The author tells their story with gritty emotion and humor.  There are wonderful descriptions of this picturesque town and the wonderful food Alex creates.

You don’t have to read the original three books first, but it might help you understand the enchanting secondary characters and their backgrounds.  You’ll have time to read them before book five – Willowleaf Lane (July) and book six – Snowflake Canyon (October) are published.