Sterling Publishing is known, quite naturally, for high quality books. This Mother’s Day, there are four new offerings to make any mom feel special.
Do you and your mother wish the family could get together on a more regular basis? Lisa Caponigri asks WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SUNDAY DINNER? With this wonderful cookbook inspired by the author’s childhood in Italy, there’s no excuse to miss eating supper together once a week. Included are fifty-two menus of complete four course meals, including: antipasto (often crostini to be shared); primo (first course, soup, risotto, pasta, or polenta); secondo (main course) and contorno (side dish); and of course, dessert. Keep in mind that no recipe is repeated, and you have an amazing array of delicious food for the whole year. Caponigri credits her Nana with being her inspiration, and considers the recipes she’s passing on to us to be heirlooms. In addition, the book is sprinkled with pithy sayings, such as “Clear agreements, long friendships,” “Friends and wine are better old,” and my favorite, “An Italian mother is a gift from heaven.” The instructions are clear and precise, and the pictures are mouth- watering. The only thing better than good Italian food is the ability to make it at home.
Another sure to be appreciated cookbook is Jill Lightner’s EDIBLE SEATTLE. Reading it is like taking a refreshing tour of The Emerald City. The farm to table movement was popular here before it spread to the rest of the country; in addition to listing irresistible recipes, the author and other writers also strive to encourage us to become interested in where our food comes from, and to identify the individuals and the effort it takes to make healthy, affordable nutrition possible. Lightner calls Seattle “The biggest small town in the country,” and this is reflected in the sense of community, and the fact that residents feel free to chat up their favorite chefs at the markets where they shop. Seattle has also been touted as “The smartest U.S. city;” it’s not unusual to find that growers and purveyors of artisanal foods are retired engineers, doctors, and software designers. A lot of thought goes into creating the food for recipes like “Chestnut, Apple, and Celeriac Soup,” “Spring Shellfish Stew With Kale and Pancetta,” and “Holmquist Hazelnut-Apricot Cookies.” With this lovely book, we can learn to cook delectable Northwestern recipes, learn about the culture of food, and become more involved in what we eat and what we buy. A very good gift, indeed.
Is there a superfood that contains Omega 3, protein, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium? Why yes, says Wayne Coates, Ph.D. It’s called CHIA, and there’s a pretty good chance we should all be eating it every day. A plant from the mint family, Chia is touted as helping us to lose weight, prevent heart disease, and ward off Diabetes. Who knew this when we all grew our own little Chia Pets as kids? Coates, a marathoner, credits Chia with not only providing him energy on his runs, but also controlling mood swings. Chia seems to have originated in Mexico, and claims are made that it’s healthier and more palatable than flax, which has become very popular in the wellness quest of so many. There are some appetizing looking recipes included in the book, and a lot of info about getting and staying healthy. Give this to mom with a note that says “We want you happy, healthy, and full of energy, because we love you.”
Just for fun, throw into mom’s gift basket SPRINKLEBAKES, by Heather Baird. Since so many of us have had to cut back on sweets, why not make every tasty morsel a work of art? Gathered from food artists of many cultures, the recipes include “Mehndi Hand Cookies,” “Strawberry Mousse With Joconde Cake,” and “Swiss Buttercream.” I especially recommend this for the more advanced baker in your family, someone who will appreciate the skill and dedication involved in creating pastry that looks almost too good to eat.
Give one, or better yet all, of these books to your mother for a knock-out present. And make sure that whatever you give, you remember to tell mom how much she means to you every day of the year.
Michall Jeffers is an accomplished Cultural Journalist, a dedicated Foodie, and an avowed bibliophile. She writes extensively, both in print and online. Her eponymous cable TV show is syndicated throughout the tri-state area, and features celebrity interviews, reviews, and commentary. Michall is a voting member of National Book Critics Circle. www.michalljeffers.com