Archive for December 16, 2011

Nancie’s Holiday Gift List: Cookbooks from the 2011 Bumper Crop

Here is my list of wonderful, marvelous, varied, worthy, fascinating, beautiful, interesting, practical, fanciful, thoughtful, moving, funny, poignant, truthful, inspiring, delicious, fine, and worthy cookbooks and food-centric books that are on my list for 2011. It’s a long, no, make that generous and thorough list.  There is no short list. It is completely subjective and very personal, and if you know me well, you will know that many of these authors are my friends. Not all of them, but many of them. I love my work, which brings me into friendships with people who share my fascination and love of food, cooking, history, stories, and such. This is not a list of the Very Best — it’s a list of my favorites, and I know I left something out. I was going to comment on each one, but that would have made this the 90,000 word post (verbosity is my blessing and flaw), so I leave you to figure out why I like each one (different reasons), or more importantly, whether you might want to buy a given book for your own kitchen or as a gift for someone who would enjoy it and appreciate you. Please go to or order from an independent bookseller. They are angels straight from God, and it’s not easy in 2011 to make a living, even a Bob Cratchit-level living, from being a merchant of words, stories, pictures and ideas. I want them to prosper and stay open. If you need to find the lowest price, no harm done. But if you, like me, are lucky enough to have discretion in what you spend and where, consider being a patron of booksellers and authors (Full disclosure: I am one and surely my opinion is colored by that fact.) But here we are. You can find a bookstore near (-ish) to you, or find ways to order these books, by going to  .  Holiday greetings and happy winter wishes to you. And if I missed your favorite food-centric book this year, tell me all about it in commentland!

All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art

Molly Stevens

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes

for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries, and More

Maria Speck

Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company

Virginia Willis

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

by Gabrielle Hamilton

Big Vegan:  More than 350 Recipes, No Meat, No Dairy, All Delicious

Robin Asbell

Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition

Jodi Rhoden

Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading

Janice Cole

Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes

Andrea Reusing

Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1865 – 1960

Rebecca Sharpless

The Feast Nearby: How I Lost My Job, Buried a Marriage, and Found My Way by Keeping Chickens, Foraging,

Preserving, Bartering, and Eating Locally (All on Forty Dollars a Week)

Robin Mather

The Food of Morocco

Paula Wolfert

French Classics: A 10-Minute Souffle, a Contemporary Bouillabaisse, a Lighter, Quicker Cassoulet —

250 Great Recipes Simplified for the Modern kitchen

Richard Grausman

The Glorious Pasta of Italy

Domenica Marchetti

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America

Jessica B. Harris

Julia M. Usher’s Ultimate Cookies

Julia M. Usher

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook From Scratch

Jennifer Reese

Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country

Suvir Saran

A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food

Elizabeth S.D. Englehardt

The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best

from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes

Sheri Castle

The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together

the Boldand Beloved Flavorsof Latin America and the American South

Sandra Gutierrez

Quick-Fix Southern: Homemade Hospitality in 30 Minutes or Less

Rebecca Lang

Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen: Soulful, Traditional, Seasonal

Sara Foster

A Southerly Course: Recipes and Tales from Close to Home

Martha Hall Foose

Southern Biscuits

Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

Edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge

A Spoonful of Promises: Stories and Recipes from a Well-Tempered Table

T. Susan Chang

Stir It Up! 

Ramin Ganeshram

Sunday Roasts: A Year’s Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts,

from Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys, and Legs of Lamb

Betty Rosbottom

Supernatural Everyday: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen

Heidi Swanson

Sweet Auburn Desserts: Recipes from Atlanta’s Little Bakery That Could

Sonya Jones

Tart Love: Sassy, Savory, and Sweet

Holly Herrick

A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker

Jess Thompson

Well, Shut My Mouth! The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook

Stephanie L Tyson

You made it all the way to the end! How wonderful. May I wish you the very best as this year of 2011 winds down and the New Year of 2012 blooms open like a winter sunrise, slowly and filled with promise, hope, and if we are lucky, friendship and love. “God bless us every one!” as Tiny Tim hollered in his outside voice.

December 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm 18 comments

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