This monthly new books tradition is one of the best ideas I have had in a long time. I’m an obsessive researcher, and although I also have this magical thing called the internet, I still love being able to sit down with a great book, fiction or non, and read and reference for real.
March’s selections got quite mystical. Maybe it was the rain that day, maybe it was the fact that spring is right around the corner, I don’t know. But vegetables, ancient magical symbolism and faeries seem just right for this time of year.
My March Pick: Vegetable Literacy
Even during our first month of our new books tradition, I knew what my March pick was going to be.
Vegetable Literacy has been making the rounds on food blogs all over the interwebs, everyone is gushing over it, and now I know why. For we who like to sort, categorize, and make sense out of this crazy world, and also love food, there could not be a more awe-inspiring book.
This is a cookbook, of course, and it contains over 300 gorgeous recipes, like these Chard, Ricotta & Saffron Cakes. Oh, these look heavenly.
The real draw here aren’t actually the recipes though. It’s the vegetable knowledge. Vegetable Literacy is split into 12 chapters, for 12 different categories of edible flowering plants. Each of those plant families have common characteristics that make them particularly well-suited to each other in culinary preparations.
While this seems common knowledge, seeing these chapters unfold was a revelation, and my cooking will be forever improved by it.
And some of the recipe names are fantastic: Damaged Goods Gratin of Tomatoes, Eggplant & Chard. Ha.
I cannot wait to read this entire book cover to cover.
Papa Bear’s March Pick: The Illustrated Signs & Symbols Sourcebook
Did you know that Papa Bear is a licensed wedding officiant? Yep, he totally is. He does all kinds of nontraditional weddings, but his favorite are ones that incorporate tons of little personal details. Of course that could be a couple’s love of mustaches or Scrabble or the like, but those deeper bits of that represent their personal beliefs, heritage, and how they see their world are what he really loves to bring to life.
Human beings have equated just about every object in history with symbolism as a way to relate to the world around them. Plants, animals, stones, symbols, dates, time and space – they all have their meanings.
For our wedding, everything from the moon stage to the ingredients to the colors and of course the Pagan ceremony were all picked for what their lore brought to our celebration of love. And now, 6 months later, I am even more thankful we put all of those details into the day we made it official.
This book may become Papa Bear’s new favorite Tome O’ Lore & Research for his business. Or life, whatever.
Baby Bear’s March Pick: How to See Faeries
Baby Bear is on quite a fairy kick lately. You know, zombies too, but she is really keen to find a field manual into which she can record her research into fairies. That one is thanks to those Tinkerbell videos she is obsessed with lately. As difficult as this is to admit, though…I totally love them too. Like, beyond all reason. Shut up, don’t judge me.
So this trippy little book is filled with little doors and slidey things and and reflective surfaces that are just cool as hell. I had a lot of fun reading it with her.
And POP UPS! WHAT?!? Baby Bear has gotten quite obsessed with popup books over at my grandma’s house (the lady has a crazy collection that my sister has always…totally still does…love). Smoochy and Shucks are helping keep the pages open.
And giant pop up rainbows. I think this book might get to be a favorite really quick. It also has some randomly advanced vocabulary in it, which is fun, because we have a 4-year-old who can say vocabulary. I love watching her little brain grow.