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Chapter 47 - Thought for Food

As I write this it is a very chilly (45 degree F) day here at the beach. I came home from my walk, made oatmeal, and started thinking about cold weather meals and baking. There is just something about this time of year that brings forth my nesting and cozy gene. Of course, part of that is Thanksgiving and December holiday thoughts as well. Nothing says family and friends like turkey, roasts, Coq au Vin, big pots of soup or stews, and holiday cookies.

I have found that I like to read books where food or cooking almost become characters in the book. I also have a tendency to want to cook or bake after reading these books. This is great for the family but not necessarily for the waistline! Anyway, here are some terrific books which feature cooking whether you need motivation or not.

Miss Cecily's Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman - This book was recommended to the Bookends Book Club by my sister. The story is about Kate whose world has fallen apart and decides to start visiting a local retirement community get out of her own head. There she meets Miss Cecily, a rather caustic senior, who wrote a cookbook with recipes like "Dinner for a Charming Stranger". As Cecily's backstory unfolds, there are lessons for Kate in the telling.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister - A story about 8 people who decide to take a cooking class every Monday night. As they sip and sample their way through food and wine, secrets are revealed, loves are won and lost, and each person seems to get out of the food and class what they need.

The Red Sparrow Trilogy by Jason Matthews - The crux of these books is the story of Domenika Egorova and her job as a "sparrow" for Russian intelligence as well as her relationship with Nathaniel Nash, an American CIA agent. The beauty of the books is that in every chapter some character has a meal and the recipe is included at the end of the chapter. Believe me, you will be hungry all through the books.

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell - Stuck in a soul sucking job and living in a small apartment in Queens, Julie Powell decided to bring some interest to her life. She takes her mother's well loved copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and is determined to make all 534 recipes from it in a single year. She brings perseverance and humor to this gargantuan task and you'll savor every bite.

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman - Christmas cookies (well any cookie really) are my favorite dessert, so I was intrigued by the title of this book. Each year Marnie and her 12 closest friends get together and exchange batches of Christmas cookies. With each cookie comes a story as the friends talk about and work through challenges they have faced during the year. This is a story of friendship, forgiveness, acceptance, and, of course, cookies!

Do you have any favorite novels where food plays a starring role? If so, please share!


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