Tag Archives: cookbooks

Delicious Digital Memoirs for you to Download

16 Mar

Hoboken Library Patrons have a banquet of eBook choices to sample thanks to eLibraryNJ, Cloud Library, and Hoopla. Here are three foodie memoirs with recipes I devoured recently. Let us know in the comments what some of your favorite books from the eBook services are.

Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

Voracious is based on Cara Nicoletti’s popular blog Yummy Books. Both feature recipes that corresponded with a variety of books that she loved (or occasionally hated). The memoir is broken into three sections: Childhood, Adolescent and College Years, and Adulthood.  Some entries focus more on her connection to the food and others to the books. She goes from breakfast sausage and Little House in the Big Woods to Wine-Braised Leg of Lamb with Wild Mushrooms in honor of The Secret History. She even has a fava bean dish for Silence of the Lambs. I think it would be interesting to see someday if she were to write a follow up about what her books/recipes would be for the period of Middle Age and Senior Years. Nicoletti currently works as a butcher, following in the footsteps of her grandfather who owned a butcher shop. This informs her picks for dishes which often have a head-to-tail sensibility that embraces the use of lard and other bits we often shy away from today. Her background as a former pastry chef is also seen in scrumptious sounding desserts. Two dishes I’d be most interested in baking myself are her Goat Cheese Pumpkin Pie and Blackberry Hazelnut Coffee Cake. Hoboken and other BCCLS patrons can borrow this book from Cloud Library! BCCLS will be incorporating their eBCCLS service into Cloud Library in upcoming months so now is the ideal time to check it out, if you haven’t before.

Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm by Molly Yeh

Molly on the Range’s title is slightly misleading in that it does not just cover Yeh’s life on sugar beet farm on the North Dakota/Minnesota border, but also her time studying classical music at Julliard and her childhood in a Chicago suburb. This, however, added rather than subtracted from my enjoyment of the book since it was interesting to see her maturing and the contrast of her rural versus city life. Many of the recipes reflect Molly’s Jewish and Chinese heritage as well as including vegan and gluten free recipes reflecting the dietary preferences of her husband and in-laws. Molly on the Range is available to Hoboken and other BCCLS patrons from Hoopla. Although Hoopla does not have as large a selection of bestsellers as the other two services, it has the great feature of never having to wait for holds and it has a substantial selection of digital audiobooks. I recommend reading it on a device with a larger screen if possible since you will want to enjoy the lovely photographs and fun drawings accompanying the recipes. Yeh also authors the award-winning blog My Name is Yeh.

Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee

Since I practically have an addiction to kimchi and am also a fan of southern cuisine I was excited to check out Edward Lee’s memoir/cookbook. Edward was raised by Korean immigrants in Brooklyn, but found a home in Louisville, Kentucky, where he took over the culinary destination 610 Magnolia. Edward’s a multiple James Beard Award nominee so as you might imagine his recipes are culinary masterpieces. Though one suggestion he has for aging meat in a second fridge may seem daunting to many home chefs, he frequently gives alternatives to some of the trickier techniques. His multicultural dishes include things like Chicken-Fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust, Collards and Kimchi, Braised Beef Kalbi with Grits, and Miso-Smothered Chicken. Besides the fascinating dishes, I found his keen wit and insight about his life’s journey highly enjoyable. Smoke and Pickles is available on Hoopla and eLibraryNJ. eLibraryNJ is a great choice for Kindle users since unlike the other two services, users can check out books in Kindle format, as well EPUB which is compatible with most tablets.

Need help with checking out these eBooks? Stop by the Reference Desk, or come to our OpenTech Times on Mondays from 1 PM to 3 PM!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Nourishing the Body and Mind with an Examination of African American Chefs and Cuisine!

3 Feb

For this year’s Black History Month, I wanted to serve up some not only tasty but also enlightening reads that explore and celebrate African American Cooks and Cuisine.

The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin


Although African Americans have added many great dishes, techniques, and ingredients to the food culture of America, often their contributions have not been fully recognized and appreciated.  Tipton-Martin moves beyond soul food staples and looks back at a variety of cookbooks by African American starting in the time of slavery and moving into the 21st century including examples of illustrations from the books themselves.  This shows a fascinating progression of not only food, but the changing ethos of this country.  The book won a James Beard Foundation Book Award, 2016; Art of Eating Prize, 2015; and a BCALA Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation, 2016.  If you find this book fascinating you might also want to check out Psyche A. Williams-Forson’s scholarly Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power, which explores and goes beyond the stereotypical association of chicken with African Americans to look at issues of race, gender, and class and examines the way African American and also women’s cooking has often been marginalized by the larger American Culture.

Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story about Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley


Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie is Robbin Gourley’s, author of the cookbook Cakewalk, first picture book.  Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie tells the fictionalized story of Edna Lewis during her childhood as she helps to garden, pick, and prepare fresh produce with her family.  Lewis was the granddaughter of emancipated slaves and her focus on fresh simple ingredients was a forerunner to the current local fresh food movement today.  I’m planning to check this one out to read with my son who should enjoy the bright vibrant watercolor illustrations, and being a budding chef I’m sure will want to pick out one of the five kid friendly recipes included to help make.  For adults wanting to recreate some of Lewis’s delicious recipes you can check out The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great Southern Cooks by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, In Pursuit of Flavor by Edna Lewis with Mary Goodbody, and The Taste of Country Cooking available from BCCLS libraries.  In 2014, Lewis was one of five chefs to be honored on United States Forever Stamps; “forever” to me is the perfect way to describe her lasting legacy.

Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem by Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson is a James Beard Award Winning chef and author of several autobiographies and cookbooks.  In 2009, Samuelsson had the honor of being invited to be the guest chef for the first state dinner of Barack Obama’s presidency (and Obama and his guests had the honor of eating Samuelsson’s delicious food).  Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia and was adopted along with his sister by a Swedish family.  He spent time cooking in France before coming to America.  This diverse history informs his life and food.  At Red Rooster he sought to synthesize the many stories of Harlem, where his restaurant is based, including those of the many generations of African Americans who have lived there along with other immigrant communities, which creates a compelling fusion cuisine.  If you are curious to learn more about Samuelsson check out from HPL his biography Yes, Chef, which was also adapted for teens into Make it Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life.  Or for Samuelsson’s recipes borrow his cookbooks Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home, The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa, The New American Table, and Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine.

BCCLS libraries have a variety of modern African-American cookbooks to borrow including Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry, The New African-American Kitchen by Angela Shelf Medearis, and Low-Fat Soul by Jonell Nash.  Your little chef and budding historian can enjoy Addy’s Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You can Cook Today written by Rebecca Sample Bernstein, which features authentic recipes inspired by the popular fictional American Girl character Addy, who in the book series escaped slavery along with her mother.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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