Friday, September 05, 2014

Food and Drink Reads: Hibernation Instinct Edition

I know it is still hot as blazes but leaves are falling all over town and you know Fall is in the air when the pumpkin ales start taking over local taps.
Speaking of taps, and ales, and fall produce...

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks

This book was sitting on my desk the other day and I can't tell you how stoked I was to see that the book fairy knows what I like. If you have been meaning to develop your palate to keep up with Richmond's habit of opening a new brewery every 10 days or so and be able to hobnob with the hopsnobs you'll want to crack open this text book and get to studying, er, tasting. The book is broken into 12 "classes" in which you will learn to appreciate all varieties of beer, from ales to pils to sours. This is a crash course in knowing what you are drinking and why. Bonus points for coverage, depth, and readability, but I have to take away points for repeated use of the word "mouthfeel". That is a gross word, food nerds.

Apples of Uncommon Character:123 heirlooms, modern classics & little-known wonders
Behold, the humble apple, red or green, oft-forgotten and unwanted brown bag lunch staple. But oh my there is so much more to know and love about this curious experiment in fruit, far beyond Johnny Appleseed, more than cider even! Have you ever been to an apple tasting? Me either, but I desperately want to now. I am a long time apple devotee but I had no idea there were so many varieties. Expect lively apple history, appetizing photographs with details about individual varieties, and even pairing and cooking tips in this book.
Pro-tip from this apple fan: Try making a grilled cheese sandwich with plenty of Gouda, caramelized onions, and slices of Honeycrisp apple on Billy Bread sometime. Add a little bacon if you need it. Then read this book while eating that sandwich. You'll thank me.

The B.T.C: Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival

Truthfully, I like reading about Southern cooking and the idea of Southern food more than I actually enjoy cooking or eating it. If you feel the same way, or if you really like making biscuits and gravy and need a new recipe, then this is for us! The writing and the pictures are great and the recipes are actually interesting; some are twists on traditional Southern dishes and others less traditional. I'm totally sold on the curried cauliflower soup, southern yellow squash casserole, and tomato caper cream cheese!

I also might have hunker down with a series this fall. I tend to avoid books in a series because I hate waiting (flash back to the AGONIZING wait for the final book in the Maddaddam trilogy and the way I totally lost interest in the Strain trilogy by the time the second book came out) but the Southern Reach trilogy is about all published now so I can safely go ahead. My favorite quote from the mostly super positive reviews so far: "If the guys who wrote 'Lost' had brought H.P. Lovecraft into the room as a script doctor in the first season, the Southern Reach trilogy is what they would've come up with." Totally perfect because I also waited until Lost was over and done with before watching the whole series.  And how better to spend a blustery fall weekend than huddled under a blanket with a savory snack and an unsavory trilogy, and some apples? Lots and lots of apples. Or should I finally read Lev Grossman's Magician trilogy? If you've read either or both trilogies, what would you recommend? What series have let you down, left you hanging, or made you beg for a prequel?

Gotta love Fall!


Anonymous said...

Natalie, couldn't you guess who the book fairy was???


Natalie D Librarian said...

I wouldn't want to spoil the magic, Ellen!

Ellen@Main said...

I am reading the third Magicians, and have been swept away even more than I was by the first two, which is saying something. I am not a fantasy reader - this is an exception along the lines of Suzannah Clark's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell.