I’m still feeling the drag of the Daylight Savings time jump, but less so as the real spring weather seems more and more possible. Linda Clukay, our dulcet-voiced receptionist and den mother here at Yankee, swears that she sees signs of daffodils and tulips in her south-facing garden. So apparently there’s hope indeed.
I’ve mentioned that good reading has kept me distracted from Mother Nature’s fickle tricks, and a great slew of books has crossed my desk, including some advance copies of books that will make their way to bookstores soon. And do please visit bookstores, real bookstores that are owned by real people who care about bound pages.
Up here, we have a terrific bookstore in Peterborough, New Hampshire, called the Toadstool Bookshop, and there’s also one in Keene and Milford, NH. In Boston (actually Newton Highlands), I love the New England Mobile Book Fair/Jessica’s Biscuit and their online cookbook store, ecookbooks.com. If you love to pick up cookbooks and flip through them to get a feel for them, seek out a bookshop in your neighborhood — you’ll make some nice connections.
Back to the books…
If you’re digging the current infatuation people seem to be having with cupcakes, then Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson (Houghton Mifflin) will float your sweet tooth’s boat. There are gobs of designs, ranging from beginner (as in … you could make them for your kid’s birthday party) to advanced (as in … you could make them for your kid’s birthday party if you don’t mind staying up the night before placing individual chocolate Cheerios into frosting). It’s a fun and truly inspired book.
Tracey Medeiros puts the spotlight on Vermont-made and -grown foods and the people who produce and raise them in Dishing Up Vermont (Storey Publishing). Sure there’s cheddar cheese and maple syrup in this celebration of the Green Mountain State, but Tracey digs a little deeper, connecting with the Vermont Fresh Network, for recipes for honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries, quail from Cavendish Farms prepared at the Inn at Weathersfield, and local ale-braised beef short ribs from the Cliff House.
Wine guy Josh Wesson’s suggestions for Big Macs and Twinkies, the best basil for pesto, and Queen Anne’s pocket melons are all topics that Lynne Rossetto Kasper has tackled in her weekly PBS radio broadcast The Splendid Table. Like the foods she talks about and the people she talks to about food, Lynn’s show is addictive. She has a gorgeous, rich voice, and she really knows how to tell a story or draw a story out of someone else. Delicious stuff. She recently collaborated with her longtime producer and pal Sally Swift for my favorite new book: How to Eat Supper (Clarkson Potter). This is a book full of great recipes, strong opinions, and fascinating stories.