Friday, April 30, 2010

Some new books to ponder

The Town the Saved Food by Ben Hewitt.
Over the past 3 years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of 3,000 residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region—Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete's Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Apple Cheek Farm, Claire's Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. The mostly young entrepreneurs have created a network of community support; they meet regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans, and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities to replicate its success. The captivating story of a small town coming back to life, The Town That Food Saved is narrative nonfiction at its best: full of colorful characters and grounded in an idea that will revolutionize the way we eat.

I can't wait to read it... I'm on hold for this title with my library.

Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra.
Containing a mix of familiar family favorites and unusual, exotic delicacies, this comprehensive collection of recipes for breads, cakes, biscuits and pastries is also a well-researched exploration of home-baking techniques and global ethnic history. Inspired by her multicultural background the author has drawn inspiration from all over the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Nice book. I've had a chance to peruse her recipes. Yum, Yum. I am concerned however, that if I have difficulties with the Pioneer Woman's cookbook, that this book is a bit out of my league.

And for the children and children at heart. Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert. Narrated in a chatty, question-and-answer rhyming text, this warm story describes work throughout the seasons on a farm. A little girl repeatedly asks her mother, “What are you doing?” and Mom’s step-by-step answers describe how she feeds the sheep; shears, washes, dries, and cards the wool; spins and dyes the yarn; and, finally, knits a sweater (“Knit and purl, needles whirl”). A closing scene, “Sweater hug, woolly hug,” shows perfect bliss between mother and daughter, and in a final reversal, the mother asks the questions, while the little girl dives into work. The physicality of the words (“Soft and deep, sheepy heap”), the fascinating facts, and the action-filled, brightly colored illustrations will capture kids’ attention, as will the cozy family bond between parent and child, working together and caring for their free-range animals. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Hazel Rochman .

I think all my fiber friends need this book. You can read it when you display your spinning/weaving/knitting etc. at shows or simply to any child in your life. This is one of the best books out there to describe how fiber is processed from critter to sweater. LOVE IT!

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