I love books. Most of the time, I borrow what I read from the library. This year, I borrowed a few titles that I loved so much that I was tempted to "lose" them and pay the fines just to keep them. Luckily for me, my dear family came through for me,preventing me from entering a life of crime.
Susan G. Purdy's Pie in the Sky: Successful Baking at High Altitudes is an absolute must for those of us who live up where the air is thin, but it is good for you flat-landers as well. Each of Purdy's recipes features adaptations for altitudes between sea level and 10,000 feet, plus an analysis of why she changes what she changes. I tend to be one of those cooks who uses a teaspoon to measure anything between 1/4 and 1 tsp and found her meticulousness daunting, but so far I've used three recipes and all have turned out quite well.
Combat-Ready Kitchen is a fascinating look at how the U.S. military's quest for nutritious, shelf-stable, readily portable food has driven the eating habits of normal Americans. I never knew before reading this that the rise of aluminum foil in America's kitchens is a bi product of the enormous metal surplus after America stopped producing bombers, or that macaroni and cheese and Cheetos were both created to use up surplus cheese powder. There's a lot of food for thought in this book,
particularly when Saucedo discusses the quest for bread that stayed fresh, and how that might have affected our nutrition and digestion.
A Thousand Years over a Hot Stove is another book so filled with interesting tidbits that I checked it out of the library numerous times before putting it on my wish list. Laura Schenone provides a history of American women that also provides a pithy look into the commercialization of food in Amer-
ica. It's interesting to read how, for the sake of convenience, women gave up more and more of their kitchen work to big companies, then took it back when natural became fashionable again.
But the book that really made my heart leap for for wasn't on my wish list. One of my sons (or his wife) found this 1889 edition of a biography of Kit Carson and gave it to me. It is not one of those dime-store Westerns that seeks to make him into an American icon, but an
This has been a very good month for me, as far as books go. How about you? Did you get any treasures over the holidays? I'd love to hear what new tomes are gracing your shelves.