I fully acknowledge that our free time is limited since the release of Beyoncé's Lemonade, but I think it's important (though sometimes impossible) to wrench yourself away from those 12 perfect tracks every once and awhile and take some time to read.
Sunshine is slowly taking up space in the Loir-et-Cher and each apparition propels me outside to enjoy soaking up springtime sun while listening to the birds chirp and reading a good book, (maybe with a little lemonade).
I've been catching up on a ton of classics that I hadn't gotten to before- Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones, and Butter to name a few- but I've also been excited to see a number of recently released books that seem to be destined for my enjoyment. It's a great time to be a literary Francophile food geek, and here's why:
Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, & Recipes, Kristen Beddard
Kristen Beddard, founder of The Kale Project, takes readers on her quest to reintroduce kale to France. Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, & Recipes has everything I love in a coming of age in Paris story; the challenges, small victories, and I'll-be-able-to-laugh-about-this-later stories which are inherent in the experience of living abroad. The quest to find, and eventually introduce, Kale in the markets of Paris is the framework for the story of a woman who is trying to find home and a sense of place in a city that is as beautiful as it is frustrating and as full in potential for joie de vivre as in its capacity to deflate one's spirit. Luckily, our heroine is not easily discouraged, remaining as hardy as her favorite leafy green.
Markets of Provence: Food, Antiques, Crafts, and More, Marjorie R. Williams
After covering the Markets of Paris in two volumes and, most recently an updated 2nd edition author Marjorie R. Williams takes on Provence with her latest book Markets of Provence: Food, Antiques, Crafts, and More. Similar to her Paris books, this handy guidebook takes you on a tour of various typical French markets featuring producers, artisans, and local specialties. With profiles of the people responsible for bringing olive oil, vegetables, goat cheese, and fresh herbs to the market this book gives a behind the scenes look at what makes the markets of Provence so special. I particularly love that it is organized by days of the week, which makes the book super practical for travelers to plan their schedule around the best markets in the region.
Edible Paradise: An Adult Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Inspired by the bursting colors that come with the arrival of spring? Stuck inside on a rainy day? Looking to get lost in the meditative act of coloring after a long day? All of these are great reasons to get a copy of Edible Paradise: An Adult Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables. Jessie Kanelos Weiner a Paris based illustrator, food stylist, and founder of the site thefrancofly.com, delights with her engaging drawings of flora and fauna throughout the year. I love that this book is organized seasonally and gives each fruit and vegetable their time to shine. With adorable touches such as insects and bumble bees dotting the pages, Jessie has created a fun coloring book for adults which also underlines the beauty of the simple things we may take for granted. Her fresh, seasonal, and bright fruits and veggies turn out to be as fun to color as they are to cook!
Comestible, Anna Brones (editor)
Comestible is a quarterly print journal launched this spring by Anna Brones, author and founder of the blog Foodie Underground. Like me, Anna recently left Paris for a life in the countryside, although she went a little farther West than me- the Pacific Northwest to be exact. However, she remains as interested as ever in real food and our relationship to it around the world. I was honored to be asked to contribute to the first issue with a piece I wrote about foraging in the French countryside. If you didn't secure your copy by donating to the kickstarter campaign you can still order your copy here. The first issue is a promise of great things to come, with a guide to composting, travel tales, and plenty of seasonal recipes.