Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Nov. 30, 2021

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Check It Out: Whet your appetite with books bout food


Two eternal questions of the ages: “Are we there yet?” and “What’s for dinner?” I can’t answer the first one because I have no idea where you’re going, but I might be able to help with dinner plans.

There is something about the change in seasons that makes me want to eat more. Maybe it’s a DNA leftover from prehistoric times when survival of the fittest meant fattening up during the cold months to avoid freezing to death on a cold cave floor. This survival instinct is so strong and primal that even though my 21st century life no longer requires cave-dwelling (or storing fat, for that matter, so why does my body betray me?) as soon as the temperature drops my brain says, “Eat more food.” Thus, I do. Dagnabbit.

This predictable quest for “more food” often leads me to recipe-hunting, and that is why I tend to read more cookbooks when days are short and nights are frosty. To be clear, cookbook-reading has no seasonal boundaries for me, but when the weather calls for sweaters and flannel, well, my nightstand reading pile turns into a pantry, bibliographically speaking.

As it so happens, the publishing industry has keyed into the fact that humans love to read about food, so every year there are plenty of new cookbooks and other food-related titles to entice readers into the kitchen. Therefore, if you find yourself suffering from the same prehistoric urge to eat more food during the autumn and winter seasons, take my advice. Go to the library and check out books about food.

Even if you’re not the cooking type, reading about edibles can fill the soul — if not the stomach.

  • “Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick & Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight’s Dinner into Tomorrow’s Feast” by Cassy Joy Garcia.
  • “In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain” by Tom Vitale.
  • “Once Upon a Chef: Weeknight/Weekend: 70 Quick-Fix Weeknight Dinners + 30 Luscious Weekend Recipes” by Jennifer Segal.
  • “Peace, Love, and Pasta: Simple and Elegant Recipes from a Chef’s Home Kitchen” by Scott Conant.
  • “Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family” by Trisha Yearwood.
  • “Truffle Hound: On the Trail of the World’s Most Seductive Scent, with Dreamers, Schemers, and Some Extraordinary Dogs” by Rowan Jacobsen.
  • “The Unofficial Simpsons Cookbook: From Krusty Burgers to Marge’s Pretzels, Famous Recipes from Your Favorite Cartoon Family” by Laurel Randolph.