Mrs. Sharp's Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
You need a good cookbook around this time of year. This is my all-purpose go-to volume (at least this year!) It contains the recipes tested and formulated by Christopher Kimball and his America’s Test Kitchen crew, but adapted for ease and family use. I still like to read from “The New Best Recipe” because it gives more background about how the recipes were tested, but for practical use and quick reference, this one is the best.
The Material World by Peter Menzel
My son’s class room is studying “wants” and “needs” right now, so our copy of this book is in the care of his teacher at the moment. It features families around the world photographed in front of their homes with the contents of their home laid out for all to see. This edition was done in the early 90’s and it would be interesting to see it updated. A great book to help kids put things in perspective and raise their awareness of what they have and how others live.
I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Alison Jackson and Judith Byron Schachner
Instead of swallowing a fly and other barnyard animals, this old lady gorges on traditional Thanksgiving courses.
The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher
Why not curl up in front of the fire with this? Fisher is one of the best writers ever, and how lucky are we that she liked to write about food?! For those who haven’t read her work, this is a nice introduction. In it, she talks about some of her earliest and most memorable experiences with food and how she developed her palatte at home and abroad.
A Grateful Heart - Edited by MJ Ryan.
We keep this book by the dining room table for when we are compelled to say grace. It contains prayers and blessings from many different cultures and faiths. We like to just open it and read from it at random – you never know what you might find. Here’s today’s entry.
“A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances.
A complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise.”
Listening Is An Act of Love by David Isay and the Storycorps Project
I’ve blogged about this book before – Probably my favorite book that I read this year and one that I’ll be wrapping up and giving as a gift to many of my own family members this Christmas. It’s a collection of interviews put together for The Storycorps Project. They tape people interviewing someone significant in their lives about their dreams, failures, challenges, life’s work, and defining moments. Often the tapes are archived at the Library of Congress. There are so many crucial lessons in this book, but the most important one is to treasure those around you, listen to them, let them know you love them and be grateful that they’re with you.