Monday, May 26, 2008

All is right...

What a relaxing weekend! These three days off for Memorial Day were just what the doctor ordered. I read, we cooked, watched some TV, played with Daisy, and generally had a good time.
The most refreshing part of my break was the reading!

Daisy is still teething (lost two molars today), so she spent quite a bit of time feeling icky and napping. That meant uninterrupted reading time for me. Just enough time to polish off Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.

You can read a review-in-progress (that I wrote last week) in this week's Finicky Reader installment at Bibliobuffet. Now that I'm finished I can give you a better idea of what I loved about this book. And LOOOOVED it I did (four O's worth!).

First, I have to say, this is probably my very favorite book of the year so far. That's pretty impressive given the fact that I've read or listened to some stellar books Now that I'm done, Kingsolver's masterful book will go straight to my "keep forever" shelves, and I'll use it as a reference book, recipe book, and I'll certainly re-read it when I need some inspiration.

The Kingsolver-Hopp family's year as locavores (eating as locally and organically as possible) is nothing short of inspirational. It's so much better for the environment and personal health to cut out preservatives and all the gas guzzling that goes on to transport foods across the country. Why not at least try to seek out local foods? I'm lucky to have a good piece of land at my disposal...our garden takes up a good half-acre...and live in a rural area with tons of farms. I'm growing my own herbs, attempting to cook more, preserve more food, and thanks to Kingsolver I have some great new recipes and techniques to try. Did you know you can make homemade mozzarella cheese in about 30 minutes?! Holy crap! I'm a cheese FREAK, so it's wonderful to know that some of those out-of-reach products can actually come to fruition over my home stove.

It's hard to put into words what's so damn great about this book, but it is so SO great. It's equal parts education and inspiration, and I can't wait to try even more new changes in my kitchen. I'll keep you posted here, and certainly at Unlikely Activist.

I hope the Americans in the bunch had a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day holiday! As for the rest of you, happy Monday!

14 comments:

  1. So glad you Looooved the booook! I thought you might. Good for you for a relaxing and fun weekend.

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  2. i'm reading that book too and also loving it! i wish the whole world would read it and then gang up on the evil seed/pesticide giant companies. it's the kind of book that can change lives! very nice to read another's account of it.

    :-)
    /julie

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  3. I want everyone I know to read that book. It completely changed my life, too, Andi. I'm much more conscious of where my food comes from, and I want to move toward growing most (if not all) of my own food.

    I'm surprise at how difficult it's been for me, though, to find locally grown produce around here, let alone ORGANIC local produce. Incredibly frustrating, especially because I live in THE GARDEN STATE!

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  4. I've been meaning to read this book forever. I'm so excited now that I get to live in Austin and where there seems to be more of a focus on being green! Anyway, glad to hear the book was wonderful.

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  5. I'm up to the tomato chapter and I just keep falling more and more in love with this book! Wouldn't it be wonderful if the everyone would read, and put it to use! I am SO tempted to try that mozzarella recipe! If you do, I want pictures! And Iamthisclose to buying a canner. My aunt and I want to start canning stuff again, like my grandma used to do.

    So glad you had a nice, relaxing, weekend. You were due. Hope everything is looking as good as your reading!

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  6. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me! Glad you got some time off and were able to get in some quality time with your little cutie!

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  7. Thanks, Terri! It was even better than I expected. :)

    Julie, I'm glad you're enjoying it! Locavores unite!

    PS, it's really tough to find organics around here. There's lots of local produce if you sniff out the good produce stands, but organic is a foreign concept out here. Shame!

    You'll have a great time, Iliana. It makes it so much easier when an area embraces the green movement. The mountain towns we visited on vacation seemed much more green. I miss it!

    Heather, I will definitely send you pics if I tackle the mozzarella! I can't remember, did the "Molly Mooching" chapter come before tomoatoes? I'm pretty sure it did. Anyway, I made her asparagus and morrel (sp?) bread pudding tonight. I used baby bellas instead, but it was SO GOOD. Yummy!

    Thanks, Cold! She's gotta stop spitting teeth out at me, though. Freaks me out!

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  8. Glad you had a nice weekend. I have actually never even considered picking up Kingsolver's book. Mostly because I've really hated the fiction books of hers that I read.

    But such a glowing recommendation....I may have to pick it up.

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  9. Stephanie, I hate to admit it, but I haven't even thought of picking up her fiction before! LOL I hope I don't hate it, but I might. I'm definitely interested in reading more of her non-fic.

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  10. I am certainly impressed with people who can and do eat organically and make these kinds of choices. It seems to take a lot of effort. One of the things I admire about the family on Jon and Kate plus Eight (yes, I watch that show!!!) is that they eat organically and that they have always taught their children to do that as well. It is nice to see a show where kids eat veggies!!!

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  11. I took a copious amount of notes when I read this book back in March. I didn't want to return it to the library, but I then discovered the book's website has all the recipes online. Yay! I've made a few and they have all been great! I even convinced my hubby to try the swiss chard/egg 'eggs in a nest' recipe, and he liked it! I was amazed.

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  12. I haven't read this book, but I have been hearing lots of good things about it. I like to utilize our local farmer's market whenever we can. We actually just bought a bunch of heirloom tomato plants there a few weeks ago. My husband is very excited to grow them. Loved your review (in progress)!

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  13. Ok, I know I'm behind in blog reading thanks to moving but this is the third review of this I've come across today. The book has been sitting on my shelf for a year. Do you think the universe is trying to send me a message to get off my tush and read it already? SHEESH! lol
    I think your review just officially pushed it to the top of my reading pile...well, when I finish the Heyer I'm reading that is.

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  14. You know, I've had this since the day it came out and have still yet to read it! Shame on me! I'm glad to hear you loved it so.

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