Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nourishing Traditions: Book Review and Giveaway

This is the fourth book in a series of giveaways - click here to see what is next in the lineup!  
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I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  They did not pay me for my review.  As some of you know far too well, the opinions expressed herein most definitely are and perhaps unfortunately always will be my own! 

Dear hearth keepers,

I just love holding giveaways!  I was happy to have so many unique entries for the last giveaway, although due to a freakish code glitch most do not appear on the blog.  Rest assured, all entries were received and counted via my inbox!  The error has since been fixed (although the entries still do not appear), and there is no reason we should have any problems with this one ... so I look forward to seeing many of my cooking friends here today!

Our last giveaway was for Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Moskowitz and Romero.  Congratulations to our winner, Becca M, who will soon be reaping the rewards of her entry with a package in the mail!  I will email her for her mailing address, and then forward this address to the publicist at Da Capo Press, the source of many of my happiest reads.  They will speedily send her book off!

Now, on to our next review, and a new giveaway with a chance for you to win!  

This is one of those books that changes lives.  It changes food paradigms, ways of thinking, preconceived concepts and assumptions, and challenges everything you were ever told about Food.

And if you are thinking to yourself, "But I don't have any assumptions about food," then maybe you will enjoy this book all the more - I know I did.  It blew my mind.

Many of you already know the book of which I speak, and knew you were going to enter the giveaway before you read a single word!  I love that.  This book deserves to be well-read, well-known, and well-broadcasted.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is an almost-700 page tome that will be your guide when navigating the new and sometimes intimidating world of whole, healthful, nutritional, and downright nourishing food.  Confused over all this blabber about fermented foods, raw milk, cultures and probiotics and bone-stocks and seasonal produce?  Trust this book to have everything you need, in one place.  You can branch out from there if you wish - but this book will set you on the straight and narrow as far as food is concerned.

Maybe you're a pro - you slaughter your own hogs, grow your own kale, and make your own dish soap.  This book belongs to you, then.  It is written by your people!

Or are you just a kitchen hound on the hunt for an all-purpose cookbook with everything from mayonnaise to cheese to roasted chicken to pudding?  Seek ye no further - we have that all, and more.

The book is divided into twelve primary chapters, and I will list them here.  Let me know if this sets you a-drooling, you homesteading maniacs and urban gardeners!

An Introduction heralds us in to scientific world of food.  Ideally, instead of robotically following any diet or fad, you understand the basic rudiments of food for yourself and make your own informed decision - and this book will give you a great start there.  Understand fats, carbohydrates, proteins, enzymes, salt, discussions on food allergies, and even a fat chunk on kitchen equipment (what's a jet stream oven?) and tips (how do I remove insects from Brussels sprouts?).

Move on to Mastering the Basics and get a firm grasp on cultured dairy products like whole-milk buttermilk and your own kefir or yogurt.  What is whey?  How can I make cream cheese?  This chapter includes a section on Fermented Vegetables and Fruits, a concept that is startlingly ancient in practice and shamefully rare in our modern society.  If you're asking yourself, "Why would I want to ferment vegetables and fruits, for pete's sake?  I'm not running a still out here!" then consider yourself a perfect candidate for entry.  Or maybe you're one of those wild women who already ferments her sloppy joes ... join in for a few more recipes and great ideas!  Sauerkraut and Korean Sauerkraut (more commonly known to us as kimchi) top the list of popular fermented vegetables, but the recipes and reasons go on - ginger carrots, pickled cucumbers, turnips, beets, and more.  Ketchup, chutneys and spreads join the list of nutritious, enriching fermented fruits and vegetables!  Also covering Sprouted Grains, Nuts and Seeds, Stocks, Salad Dressings, and Sauces, Marinades and Condiments, this chapter contains all you need to bulk up your pantry and set a fine table with homemade everything.

Great Beginnings, a very great chapter, brings to us Hors d'Oeuvres and Dips, Vegetable Salads, Soups, Raw Meat Appetizers, and Gourmet Appetizers.  Once again, you will not only please your family's palate with Summer Salad, Garlic Soup, or Duck Terrine, but you will know with each and every recipe specifically why you are choosing these ingredients - not only to satisfy our hunger, but to satisfy a nutritional need and to enrich and strengthen our bodies.  No ingredient is chosen lightly here, and you will be thoroughly educated in every section as to the whys and wherefores of each concept.

The Main Course covers all the meats: Fish, Poultry, Organ Meats, Game, Beef and Lamb, and Ground Meat.  Simple recipes like Chicken Stew sit alongside more elegant meals like Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing.  Quail Masala and Korean Beef join the list of recipes you may not have tried before, and sausages, patties, and various stuffed vegetables introduce us to ground meats.

A Catalog of Vegetables guides us through 36 popularly used vegetables, including kale, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.  Organized in alphabetical order, each vegetable receives a short description, along with basic preparation directions and a recipe or two for each one.

Now we arrive at Luncheon and Supper Foods, which covers Meat Salads, South of the Border, Eggs, and Sandwich Suggestions.  Chicken Enchiladas, Vegetable Chile, and Mexican Eggs introduce us to the flaming cuisine of our South neighbors.  Mix up fritatas, omelets, tarts, and quiche with the Egg section, and use up those random things in your fridge with the collection of Sandwich Suggestions.

Grains and Legumes introduces us to Whole Grains, Breads and Flour Products, Baking with Alternative Grains, and Legumes.  The Whole Grains section includes instructions for Breakfast Porridge, Muesli, Algerian Wedding Rice, Ecuadorian Quinoa Casserole, and more hearty, filling dishes.  Find nourishing recipes for pancakes, Yorkshire pudding, and other familiar basics in the Breads section, as well as instructions for your own Sourdough Starter or Zarathustra Bread.

Winding down to the end of our chapters, we find Snacks and Finger Foods, which will supply you with enough snacks to merit tossing out anything that came in a plastic package an a nutrition facts label.

Desserts include a Guide to Natural Sweeteners, Sweets for Kids of All Ages, Pies and Cakes, and Gourmet Desserts.   Your family may suspect you've strayed from the healthy when you serve them Gingerbread, Coconut Bars, Lemon Sherbet or Lemon Meringue Pie, but you can just smile and tell them to eat up!

Beverages include such favorites as Ginger Beer, newbies like Sweet Potato Soda, and instructions for kombucha.  Feeding Babies (with Tips for Successful Breastfeeding)and Tonics and Superfoods conclude our collection of chapters, including in them instructions for the lauded Rejuvelac, Morning Tonic, and such satisfyingly ghastly-named remedies as Iodine Gargle and Swamp Juice.

All in all, a thorough treatment of the subject of food, with everything you need to know to begin a diet of living, sacred foods.

If you are still curious, read another book review on Pantry Paratus, or listen to an interview with author Sally Fallon Morell.

There is hardly time or space here to give this book the treatment it deserves, but suffice it to say it has risen to one of the most popular books in the traditional foods-world, and will continue to grow in popularity as word spreads.  This new way of eating - leaving packaged, processed, modern food behind and returning to the local, rich, filling, nourishing traditions of our forefathers - is gaining momentum and speed.  Be on the forefront of the movement, and enjoy a free book to help get you there!

Enter the giveaway!  

1. Leave a comment below.  Have you heard of this book?  Are you a nourishing-foods pro adding to your collection of guides, or seeking to win this for a Christmas gift?  What intrigues you about this way of eating?  Use a current e-mail address or Facebook page when you leave your comment, and I will contact you via that route when you win - so be sure it's one you check!  Winner will be chosen Wednesday, December 12.

2. Share this giveaway with a friend!  I'd like to get the word on this book out!  Use Pinterest, Twitter, e-mail, Facebook or any other medium to share this review with somebody, and feel free to add a bonus comment for yourself letting us know you did so.  This isn't required but I would be so honored if you would!

We're still giving away more books!  Terry Hope Romero's Vegan Eats World, Chef AJ's Unprocessed, Ron Schmidt's Untold Story of Milk, and a bonus, edible round from Tropical Traditions - so follow us on Facebook to be alerted to all our giveaways!!! 

Yours in nourishment,

Mrs H

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