Thursday, November 27, 2014

Savoring the Holidays

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrating family and thankfulness—but let's be real, it's also a holiday celebrating food.

In the United States, holiday feasts are often followed by guilt and dieting, but it's not clear that this attitude is warrented. Feasts reunite us with family and friends. We share favorite recipes and, in the case of Thanksgiving, enjoy a last cheerful hurrah before winter's arrival. Plus, food is delicious!

So as you polish off your Thanksgiving dinner and fondly consider dessert, here are some cookbooks to prepare you for the next holiday get-together. Starting in December, we'll have holiday cookbooks on display here in Warrenton, as well as books about crafting handmade gifts.

The holidays are a great opportunity to indulge in some food nostalgia. This collection of 20th-century American recipes gives all the pleasure of flipping through a vintage cookbook (without the loose pages and dubious food stains).

Inside, you'll find everything from tamale pie to pineapple upside-down cake. Additional entertainment value comes from snippets of American food history and retro advertisements.

This beautifully illustrated book collects Native American recipes from across North America. American foods define our holiday meals—staples like turkey, cornmeal, cranberries, potatoes, and winter squash. Here native foods are showcased in traditional and contemporary Native American recipes.

Recipes range from contemporary dishes like huckleberry-honey cake and pumpkin soup to forgotten staples such as acorn flour and wild greens. This book will particularly appeal to gardeners, foragers, and farmers' market aficionados, who can cook many of these recipes out of local ingredients.

The library has several pie cookbooks, but I believe this book is the only one penned by a "pie-baking champion." Michele Stuart has won National Pie Championships, and her pies do look awfully tempting, from apple pie (country-style or sugar free) to savory dishes such as Lobster Pot Pie.

If your holiday crowd is a bit competitive about desserts, this book will arm you to wow your adversaries.

Dietary restrictions can make the holidays daunting, but the library has some great cookbooks for special diets.

In the Diabetes Friendly Kitchen, chefs at the Culinary Institute of America have formulated 125 recipes that are genuinely delicious as well as healthy. For creative cooks who want to adapt their own recipes, the book offers guidance in choosing ingredients and cooking techniques that are flavorful but meet dietary needs.

Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes from the library!

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

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