Cookbooks & food

1525 A seafood lover’s pantry

Off the Hook: The Essential West Coast Seafood Recipes by D.L. Acken and Aurelia Louvet Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2018 $22.00 / 9781771512763 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * Off The Hook: The Essential West Coast Seafood Recipes is the perfect description of this little gem of a book. It does, however, put you on the hook…
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1490 Robertson’s global cuisine

Gather: A Dirty Apron Cookbook by David Robertson Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $38.99 / 9781773270678 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * As the Covid-19 pandemic anxiety recedes we can now look forward to friends and family coming together to cook, eat and renew our bonds with one another. Food is the stuff of our sociability,…
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1430 A mushroom forager’s bible

Mushrooms of British Columbia: Royal BC Museum Handbook by Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $34.95 / 9780772679550 Reviewed by Jocie Brooks * With over ten mushroom books already on my shelf, I hesitated as to whether I needed yet another guide book for fungi, but as soon as…
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1414 A seed saver’s companion

Saving Seeds: A Home Gardener’s Guide to Preserving Plant Biodiversity by Dan Jason Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 $14.95 /  9781550179002 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * This small book packs a lot of punch, much like a seed itself. I am a life long gardener, but, for various reasons, I have never been a seed…
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1399 Cake with a farmer’s daughter

The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes: cakes, pies, crisps, and more for every fruit on the farm by Kelsey Siemens Salem, MA: Page Street Publishing, 2020. See here to purchase $34.50 / 9781645671046 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * I have always been a farmer and a farmer’s daughter so this is the perfect cookbook for me. Already…
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1313 Island spirits and cocktails

Distilleries of Vancouver Island: A Guided Tour of West Coast Craft and Artisan Spirits by Marianne Scott Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $25.00 / 9781771513326 Reviewed by Joe Wiebe * Published earlier this year, Marianne Scott’s Distilleries of Vancouver Island is essential reading for anyone who might enjoy a wee dram of Island whiskey, a sip…
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1286 They had me at gnocchi

Island Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2021 $38.99  /  9781773271675 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * For those of you who share Federico Fellini’s sentiment that “life is a combination of magic and pasta” then this may be the book…
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1219 Burgundy to British Columbia

Bisous & Brioche: classic French recipes and family favorites from a life in France by Laura Bradbury and Rebecca Wellman Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $45.00 / 9781771513166 Reviewed by Peter Clarke and Maria Tippett * Here is a book that looks good, feels good and delivers the goods. It represents a fruitful collaboration between the…
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1127 The Farrant-Chesnut exchange

One Good Thing: A Living Memoir by M.A.C. Farrant Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2021 $19.95 / 9781772012842 Reviewed by Mary Leah de Zwart * M.A.C. [Marion Alice Coburn] Farrant is an accomplished author, playwright, and humourist, living on the Saanich Peninsula near Sidney, BC. She has seventeen publications to her name, ranging from a novel and short…
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1085 A balanced cultural herstory

Hearing More Voices: English-Canadian Women in Print and on the Air, 1914-1960 by Peggy Lynn Kelly and Carole Gerson Ottawa: Borealis Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781896133713 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * As a library school student in the mid 1970s I was told that Anne of Green Gables could not be considered a Canadian classic;…
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1043 In the mood for purple

The Plant-based Foodie Vancouver by Brad Hill and Chris Dagenais; foreword by Erin Ireland and Anna Pippus Vancouver: Brad Hill Imaging Ltd., 2018. Available here, here, and here $28.95  /  9780994919540 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * There are two kinds of recipes: aspirational and accessible; they are not mutually exclusive, although they can be. The…
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1005 Ready, steady, halibut

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2017 $29.99 / 9781773270876 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * What is the bait for cooks? Ingredients? Recipes? What makes us cast our eyes over a cookbook? The cover? The title? The author? The search for inspiration? The…
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#971 Aphorisms from an apiarist

Show Me the Honey: Adventures of an Accidental Apiarist by Dave Doroghy, foreword by Rick Hansen Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771513227 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * Bees. Those black and yellow winged creatures buzzing about and smelling the roses; perhaps there is more to them than meets the eye. Do they hold the…
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#951 New wine in new bottles

Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History by Luke Whittall Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2019 $29.95 / 9781770503168 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food. — W.C Fields What wine goes with Captain Crunch? — George Carlin I like the wine and not…
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