Books no cook

Ok, that title is not completely true. I HAVE been cooking, but it has mostly been in the harried manner of someone who lives in cave and scurries out to gather food, but the sun burns their eyes and skin because they’ve been in the cave so long, so they quickly scurry back in.

That might be a little dramatic… But I have been in the throes of the end of my first quarter of grad school and finals, or as close to we get to them in library school. I feel a little bit like I’ve been in a tunnel or a black hole, just trying to make my way out.

frosted leaves

I have had precious little time away from my computer screen and the documenting of my culinary escapades has been one of the casualties.

That all changes tomorrow though. Tomorrow! Tomorrow I turn in my last paper and have 2 1/2 blissful weeks before the next quarter begins. I completely forgot how awesome winter break is, but man, it is awesome.


Right now, as I procrastinate finishing the draft of that final paper, I am thinking about what I’m going to use that precious time to do and I wanted to share those thoughts with you.

I am definitely going to get back in the kitchen and spend some quality time there. I made a delectable Roasted Red Pepper Soup last week that I am planning to recreate and share here.  I am also going to eek out some last-minute Christmas baking to take with us when we go to visit my boyfriend’s family in California.

dinner table

I have been thinking a lot (almost obsessively) about this Pine Nut Rosemary Brittle from Food52 while I’ve been chained to my desk.

These Buckwheat Cocoa Nib Cookies from Orangette have also been making their way into my dreams ever since we bought a canister of Cocoa Nibs when we toured the Theo Chocolate Factory here in Seattle just after Thanksgiving. (Live in Seattle and have family in town over the holidays? I recommend this tour, it was fun and informative!) So, those two recipes will likely make an appearance.

While we’re on the topic of fun things to do with family in Seattle: I did allow myself one night off in the past two weeks and I used it to take a holiday baking class at The Pantry at Delancey. It was such a good time! And, I came out of it with lots of lovely homemade Christmas gifts that I never would have had time to make at home. You don’t need to posses any special cooking skills to take one of their classes, and it would be a super fun activity for anyone you have in town who likes to cook or EAT (which is everyone, right?)

The Pantry at Delancey

Annnnyways, more to the point, I got some great holiday recipes from that class too, so I have a lot of yumminess to choose from now that I have the time to go with it. Expect good things soon.

The Pantry at Delancey

In the meantime, can you help me with something else? I also want to read a book during my break. Between moving across the country and starting grad school, I have done very little reading for pleasure this year, which is unlike me and really pretty sad.

Here is a partial list of the books that have been on my list to read this year (they’re not all from this year, but they came to my attention this year). Have any of you read any of them? Can you recommend any? How about a book that is not on this list? I am all ears! And if you too need a book to read over the holidays, I hope this list gives you some inspiration:

  • Stuffed: Adventures Of A Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk
  • The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
  • Use Me by Elissa Schappell
  • Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
  • When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
  • A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
  • We Had It So Good by Linda Grant
  • Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses
  • Fannie’s Last Supper: Re-creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 Cookbook by Christopher Kimball
  • Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

I hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday season! I’ll be back soon with a recipe for you to enjoy.



Filed under Books

6 responses to “Books no cook

  1. Caroline

    When god was a rabbit really surprised me by how much I liked it (but I went in with low expectations based on the UK cover!) and never let me go was pretty good…happy reading and baking and not-schoolworking!

  2. Pam

    I’m glad to see you, Elizabeth. I’ve missed you! Thank you for your reading list. My bookclub, which is a group of foodies, just read THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR. Not a huge “food story,” but an interesting one. It would make for a good vacation read. Also, THE WHISTLING SEASON, by Ivan Doig–loved it, as did everyone in my group! Happy Holidays!!

    • Aw, thanks Pam 🙂 I actually read The Cookbook Collector last year, and liked it. I will check out The Whistling Season for sure, thank you for the recommendation. Happy Holidays to you too!

  3. I was going to say COOKBOOK COLLECTOR also – have a copy and will bring to the desert. Also have MAINE, which I’ll bring. I’m curious about FANNIE’S LAST SUPPER, having seen Chris Kimball talk about it last year.
    I just order SWAMPLANDIA – not willing to wait in the hold line at the library. My “to read” pile is empty – that’s a crisis! Thanks for your list and Pam for WHISTLING SEASON.

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