With all the food and drink books already stretching around the world’s waistline, do we really need more of them?
Of course we do. And each year, fall heralds the release of a brand new crop. Here’s a handful of the books worth digging into.
Blend two beloved cooking styles, Southern and “instant,” and you get Instantly Southern: 85 Southern Favorites for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker and Instant Pot. North Carolinian Sheri Castle ingeniously adapts main dishes, sides, and desserts into versions that save time, keep all of their original appeal, and then she enhances the recipes inventively. Cool weather will be the perfect time to try Bourbon and Cola Beef Short Ribs and Salted Caramel Banana Pudding.
Forget those dry packets of noodles and learn about the real deal in Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home, which will be released Nov. 13. Sarah Gavigan and Ann Volkwein demystify the art of creating the complex flavors that comprise this traditional dish from Japan. Following these recipes, home cooks can say goodbye forever to those awful imitations by learning to make and customize their own signature versions of rich, satisfying ramen.
Don’t throw away that Parmesan rind! Scraps, Peels and Stems: Recipes and Tips for Rethinking Food Waste at Home tackles a difficult topic in a positive, accessible way. Author Jill Lightner combines her culinary writing expertise with her understanding of economics to produce a thoughtful and useful book. It takes into account the challenges of daily life that can complicate our best efforts to recycle and reduce waste.
Love pie but hate to fuss with crimping that circular crust? You need Pie Squared: Irresistibly Sweet and Savory Slab Pies by Cathy Barrow, which comes out Oct. 23. Get out the rectangular cookie sheets and change up your crusts with cornbread or cheese. Fill with fruits, vegetables, meats, or sweets. With instructions and inspirations from this slab-pie guru, anyone can bake a perfectly pleasing pie for most occasions.
From her kitchen in the Blue Ridge Mountains, recipe developer and health coach Stepfanie Romine shares her wisdom. Cooking with Healing Mushrooms: 150 Delicious Adaptogen-Rich Recipes that Boost Immunity, Reduce Inflammation and Promote Whole Body Health, which came out in July, explains the medicinal properties of these adaptogens, which are plants containing substances that have medicinal properties. But it’s perfectly fine to prepare these recipes just for their tastiness.
The New Rules of Coffee: A Modern Guide for Everyone is a delightful compendium of facts, fun and illustrations for people who start their day with coffee and especially those caffeinated souls who end with it, too. Authors Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlson are the founders of Sprudge, a website and podcast devoted to the bean. Rule 11 alone is life-changing: “You don’t need fancy gear to brew great coffee at home.”
There’s a lot to love about opening and inhaling the scent of a new book, and more when it tempts you to try something different in the kitchen. After all, a new book stays fresh longer than a bushel of fruit. It will fill you up but never make you bloated. And it can amazingly satisfy your appetite without dirtying a single dish.
The Charlotte Museum of History will host “WFAEats: A Food Tasting Event” on Thursday, October 11 from 6 to 8 pm. Restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors will serve samples of their best food and drink. Attendees will vote for their favorites. Proceeds will benefit WFAE’s award-winning local news and Charlotte Talks. For tickets, visit this link at eventbrite.com.