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Washington Reads Spring 2010 - The Tastes of Washington, Part II

In the Summer 2006 Tastes of Washington list, I promised that I would develop a sequel, as there were far too many appealing culinary books for just one list. These books are more than just cookbooks, including one novel and others that incorporate essential background and fascinating stories around the food. In Washington, the bounty of both our sea and our land provides diverse, fresh, seasonal ingredients that define the cuisine unique to our region.  The recipes will whet your appetite for our fabulous regional food. Enjoy!

Bauermeister, Erica. The School of Essential Ingredients

In her debut novel, Bauermeister weaves together the lives of the Lillian’s Restaurant cooking school students through the simple textures and flavors of her food. In a series of rich character stories brought together by their culinary connection, the novel is ultimately a tale of food and hope.

Cook, Langdon. Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager

Cook is a born storyteller who celebrates the food of the land and sea with poetic prose tinged with humor. This book is not only a field guide that depicts the pleasures of foraging, but one that shares the hunt, the recipes, and the colorful stories behind the author’s foraging. 

Davis, Piper and Ellen Jackson. The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest’s Celebrated Bakery

This attractive book is packed with recipes from the renowned Seattle bakery, scaled to home baking.  It includes beautiful photos and valuable tips and techniques. This practical but beautiful book is bound to be one of the best used cookbooks in any kitchen. 


Nims, Cynthia, Lori McKean and Lara Ferroni. Best Places Northwest Cookbook: Recipes from the Outstanding Restaurants and Inns of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia

The second edition has color photos and over a dozen new recipes, adding to the appeal of a treasured northwest cookbook.  Top chefs from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia share the recipes of their favorite dishes, with sidebars highlighting regional ingredients.


Parr, Tami. Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest

This in-depth guide to the region’s artisan cheeses explores cheese makers in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia who are breaking ground and winning awards with their handcrafted cheeses. Profiles of individual cheese makers, the basics of cheese making, including a glossary, and selected recipes are included. 

Reinhardt, Julie. She-Smoke: A Backyard Barbeque Book

With a goal of getting women back to their place at the barbeque, Reinhardt gives step-by-step instructions on a variety of barbeque topics and includes numerous delectable recipes.  The book is filled with humorous anecdotes, culinary and cultural history, tested recipes, theme menus, consumer information and more, and will appeal to both men and women.


Thorness, Bill. Edible Heirlooms: Heritage Vegetables for the Maritime Garden

Thorness explores the need for heirloom plants in this century, including the history and vigor of heirloom plants, the local food movement and the importance of seed-saving and sharing. His concentration is on twenty-six edible heirlooms, including description, cultivation, harvest and storage.