Salt Fat Acid Heat
Author: Samin Nosrat
Illustrator: Wendy MacNaughton
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Published: April 25, 2017
Number of Pages: 480
This is a step-by-step guide to the fundamentals of how to cook food that tastes good.
I’m not exactly afraid of the kitchen, but I have to admit a lot of the stuff in here blew my mind a little bit. The author doesn’t just tell you what to do–she also explains the reasoning behind her advice. Like why you should wait for butter to get to room-temperature before making cookies rather than just melting it in the microwave to save time. I also love the little tips, tricks, variations, and reassurances that she has sprinkled into the actual recipes. My personal favorite is the chocolate cake.
And in case you were wondering: Yes! This book was adapted into a Netflix documentary series by the same name.
Brownies and Broomsticks (Magical Bakery Mystery #1)
Author: Bailey Cates
Genre: Cozy Mystery; Fantasy
Published: May 1, 2012
Number of Pages: 323
Katie Lightfoot is ready for a fresh start. She’s decided to move from Ohio to Savannah, Georgia to open a bakery with her aunt and uncle. Naturally, a dead body shows up right in front of the Honeybee Bakery less than a week before opening day. Supernaturally, things might not always be what they seem. When her Uncle Ben falls under suspicion for the murder, Katie is determined to find the real killer and the quirky ladies of Aunt Lucy’s book club are eager to assist.
The Ties That Bind
Although one is nonfiction and the other is a magical cozy mystery, both books emphasize the importance of cooking with intention.
In Salt Fat Acid Heat, Samin Nosrat gives the reader a solid foundation of how to cook delicious food by focusing on four major components. By manipulating the amount of salt, fat, acid, and/or heat used, a cook can drastically change the way an eater experiences a dish. She also delves deeper and describes different types and methods for each. For example, comparing various types of salt or describing the differences between cooking with butter or olive oil.
In Brownies and Broomsticks, Katie Lightfoot learns that she is descended from a long line of hedgewitches. The practice of hedgewitchery, according to her Aunt Lucy, focuses on harnessing the natural properties of herbs and spices. For example, adding caraway and rosemary to a batch of savory parmesan muffins to promote fildelity or adding agrimony to seven-layer bars to encourage sleep and restfulness. This is typically very subtle magic, but it all depends on the intention of the witch preparing the dish.
Whether in a Michelin Star restaurant, a magical bakery, or your own kitchen, both books encourage cooks to slow down and create amazing dishes with intention.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden