Monday, November 24, 2014

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing

I love food! I think about food constantly. I find myself thinking about what I will eat for breakfast at lunch time and planning by Sabbath Menu as soon as I am done eating this week's meal. This obsession with food takes time and energy, but it doesn't bother me because like I said.... I Love Food!

I am realizing the power of food, as I spend time reading about all the views on food. We have whole food plant based, plant based, vegan, paleo, and everything in between. What you eat pretty much defines you. I am a vegan! That is a part of who I am and shapes so much of my life and the decisions I make.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking reminded me of how powerful food is, or perhaps the lack of food. This book is definitely not vegan, but I was reminded of truths about food and life.

Anya Von Bremzen a food writer, talks about growing up in the Soviet Union. I had heard about the Soviet Union, but never like this. The things Anya and her family endured are heartbreaking. What struck me the most was the longing part of the story. They truly longed for food; while reading books, while standing on ration lines and bartering for food to save their lives. Even after leaving the Soviet Union, they longed for the food of the past.

It made me so grateful to look in my fridge and see FOOD, in my cupboards and see FOOD; enough to feed myself and my family. I pray that I never take this blessing for granted again.

While reading this book I jotted down these notes:

Food =Religion
Food = Politics
Food = Feminism
Food = Freedom
Food = Bondage

When you look at your plate what do you see? What does your food say to you or about you? Who are you?

Much thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a free copy of this book for review.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Asian Pickles- Karen Solomon

I do not know what possessed me to try a book called Asian Pickles. Ah, I remember, my love affair with mason jars. Somehow I convinced myself that I would love to try pickling because I love Mason Jars. I know, Crazy right!

Very Crazy, because I have been staring at this beautiful book for many weeks and have not tried anything yet. Most of the recipes are vegan, so theoretically a vegan could enjoy the processes described in great detail in this book.

I have chosen a recipe that I will try- Red Pepper Murabba. I have seen this featured in cookbooks and have wanted to try it. The recipes in this book are simple and do not require fancy equipment, so I look forward to having my very own Murabba...... eventually.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Vegan Cuts- October

As you may now know I bestowed a three month subscription to Vegan Cuts Snack Box upon myself. October was the second month of my subscription and I wasn't blown away by this box. It had items that just didn't blow me away. But nevertheless, here they are:

I have heard about Zatar and was curious to taste the spice. It was interesting , but I am not a fan of chips that are a blend of stuff. This chip has black beans as one of the many ingredients. I left half the bag for my hubby, that says it all!

I love chocolate, and Vegan Chocolate is not always available. This dark chocolate was blended with berry and cherry flavors. Good!

I had totally intended to save this for my son, but somehow ended up polishing off the entire pack. It is a good alternative to the "fruit" snacks found in lunch bags.

Honestly, I have not tried this veggie protein powder as yet. I will let you know if it has the chalky taste of other powders.

I love popcorn, but hated this. I have never tasted anything flavored with truffles and never will again. I would like to try other flavors by POP ART.

I love chocolate and like coconut so this was something I thought I would love. Unfortunately, I did not. My husband though, liked it so much that I am checking local stores for it and may order a batch.

I love tea! Nothing brightens my day like sitting and sipping a hot cup of tea. I have seen this product in my local Fresh Market but never gave it a second glance. WOW! The flavors I got were...... CHOCOLATE! Yes, chocolate tea. Genius! This was so good. I plan to seek and find, then enjoy every single day.

I am not much of a soda fan, but someone who wants to drink soda without worrying about calories, sugar or artificial sweeteners might like this. My local Fresh Market carries this, so I have recommended this to my dieting friends who need soda like I need tea.

This box didn't blow my mind, but I definitely enjoy receiving it each month. I may decide to give myself another subscription, just to celebrate my awesomeness.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christian Book Review: The Restoration Chronicles Keeper of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

After reading the first book in this series- Return to Me, I was on pins and needles waiting to find out what would happen to the exiles living in Jerusalem. Keeper of the Covenant did not pick up where the first book left off, but tells the story of the exiles living in Babylon. The book mentions the story of Esther as the Jews prepare to defend themselves from those who want to kill them and seize their property. I loved this portion of the book. I have read the story of Esther many times, but never thought of what the Jews experienced. First they waited for their death, then sought to protect themselves and their families.

The story centers around Ezra, who is a scholar and is has to determine how to lead his people while learning how to truly serve God. Reuben is another character who has his life changed in so many ways. Lynn Austin is a master at biblical fiction! I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Please read the first book and all of Lynn Austin's books. You will not be disappointed.

A free copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers.