Explore a Variety of Food and Drink Recipe Books
by Amber Hoskins, Adult Services Librarian
Anyone who has been tasked with writing a paper or an article knows that the hardest part can be coming up with a topic. Luckily, the month of July left me plenty to choose from. It is National Grilling Month, National Ice Cream Month, and the day calendar is full of celebrations dedicated to food and drink as well: Macaroni day, Hot Dog Day, Daquiri Day, and Mojito Day, only name a few. In honor of this month, dedicated to food and drink, I have gone through our catalog and found some books that are great for celebrating all of the days of July.
Being a fan of true crime and puns, the first book that caught my eye was “Serial Griller” by Matt Moore. This book is focused on making all things by way of the outdoor grill from meat, to side dishes, to veggies. However, you do not necessarily need to have a grill to make all of the recipes featured. From this book, I made the ‘redneck potatoes’ recipe. It is easy to put together and was finished in less than 40 minutes. It instructs you to put your cast iron on coals, but since I do not have a grill, I put it in the oven at 400 degrees instead. Turns out, this worked just as well and this side dish was excellent. I would definitely make this again and found many other recipes that I would like to try in the future.
With the knowledge that many people do not eat meat, I wanted to include a book that focused solely on vegan and vegetarian barbeque. I found this in Nadine Horn’s “VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbeque Cookbook.” This compendium has everything one would could imagine to host a vegan meal and it details all of the equipment you might need as well. I made the grilled corn on the cob with lime and cilantro butter. Getting this recipe accomplished required me to visit a friend who had a grill, which is always a great excuse to have a get together. Luckily it was a hit and nobody was disappointed, or had to wait too long, as the corn was done in 15 minutes.
For the dessert portion, I checked out the “Salt and Straw Ice Cream Cookbook” by Tyler Malek. This Portland-based ice cream shop has some of the world’s most innovative flavors. Their main idea for making ice cream was to create a base recipe that can be used to make a substantial number of different flavors. Think of it like stock and how it is used to flavor different soups. Depending on how adventurous you are feeling, you can create almost any flavor you want, from strawberry to mashed potatoes and gravy. Malek even consulted with brewers if you are interested in beer ice cream. With the help of my sister, we made the snickerdoodle flavor. The base was very easy to create and the ice cream was amazing. If you have an ice cream maker, I would highly recommend this book as a good way to be creative on days that may be too hot to run around outdoors.
Finally, I wanted to highlight “The World’s Best Drinks: Where to Find Them and How to Make Them” by Victoria Moore. This Lonely Planet publication has drink recipes from all around the world and is a good fit for anyone looking to try a new beverage, or an old favorite. It includes cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), as well as coffees, teas, floats and other signature drinks from various countries. I like that this book gives a history of where many drinks originated from, and also includes what kinds of foods go well with them. I wanted to try a drink I had never had before, so I made the Singapore Sling. There are quite a few ingredients involved, but it was a refreshing beverage to sit down to after being out on a hot day.
These are just a sample of what you can find in the food and drink section of the library. Choosing the books I wanted to use most was a tough decision, as there are so many good ones. If you are looking to experience something different this summer when it comes to meals and beverages, feel free to stop by and check out some cookbooks from your local library!