First We Read and Then We Feast

“People who love to eat are always the best people,” said Julia Child. I believe people who read and eat are the best people.

I have a soulful connection with both food and reading.

Cooking wholesome, delicious food calms my soul and connects me to my spiritual self. Food is not just a biological or physiological need but also provides social and spiritual nourishment. Even a simple home-cooked meal enjoyed with friends and family together makes a happy picture and includes plenty of joyful and everlasting memories.

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I feel immense gratitude towards plants, water and land and the supreme life force which provides nourishment to us in a multi-dimensional way. Food is one of them!

Reading is like meditation to me. Holding a book is like holding serenity and relaxation in my hands. I disengage myself with the outer world and also my inner conflicts and get ferried to a land of writers’ imagination.

Lately, there has been a surge in the world of fiction novels that revolve around characters that like to cook mouthwatering meals and use a kitchen or their culinary creations as the first step towards their journey towards healing and self-discovery and renewed relationships.

So let’s combine these two loves and treat ourselves to gourmet reads.

How to Cook a Tart by Nina Killham is about the life of a cookbook author Jasmine March who drinks, sleeps and breathes food. She believed that discovery of a new dish did more happiness to humanity than the discovery of a new star and a bad stew was a culinary crime against humanity. She enjoyed her domestic bliss with her husband, daughter, and basil until pots and pans began tumbling in her kitchen. Enjoy this minty, crispy and soupy family tale sprinkled with unexpected murder.

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry is a mysteriously magical story of Ginny Selvaggio who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. She has a fantastic talent for cooking, but soon she realizes she can invoke ghosts of the people whose recipes she tries. With the death of her parents and continuous presence of her dominating sister, she finds solace in her kitchen recreating delicious recipes. Relish some chicken soup along with biscuits, gravy and mulled cider and dig out some family history with this scrumptious read.

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Francesca’s Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli takes us into the life and kitchen of a lonely widow, Francesca who is a kitchen queen and can dish out gratifying home cooked meal in minutes. She finds a part-time job as a nanny to a young working single mother of two who is working hard to meet needs of the family. Due to her busy schedule, the young woman rarely cooked and depended on take away food.   This melts the heart of Francesca, who takes upon herself to prepare soul-satisfying food for kids. Read this warm story about love, family, and food.

The Recipe Box by Sandra Lee is about Grace Holm –D Angelo a newly divorced single mother. After the sudden death of her best friend, she relooks and rediscovers her own life by indulging in cooking. The delectable recipes of Korvlada, Nut Case Cupcakes, and Grandma M’ mushrooms fill the pages of this quick read. Do try Door County Cherry German Chocolate after reading the book.

In Friendship Bread by Darien Gee, Julia Evarts and her five-year-daughter form a transformative bond in a small town by baking bread. It’s a tragic and heart-warming tale of how a simple act of sharing a sourdough bread starter can forge long-lasting friendships and helps in confronting painful past. So which bread loaf would you bake- pumpkin cranberry or lemon poppy seed? And don’t forget to share the starter with your friends, colleagues, neighbors, and relatives.

So grab a book and leave a cup of milk and hot chocolate simmering on the stove!

Bon Appetit!

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