Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen

There’s that old patriarchal saying that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” but in an industry dominated by men, it’s actually a lot harder to “get in the kitchen.” Just last year the Department for Labor Statistics showed that only 19.7 percent of restaurant kitchens are run by women. Things are changing, but it’s a cultural shift – kitchens have been notoriously unfriendly places for women between sexual harassment, long work hours, and lack of parental leave.

Here are two memoirs of women who have pushed against the norm and are changing the way we think about food.

Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen

I’ve been finding myself craving the places my mom and I occupied – that female energy. The house I was raised in with that tiny kitchen where she taught me how to cook and bake. The kitchen at my aunt’s house, where all the holidays take place, filling up with all the women in my family and all the food. This book just felt like home to me, but also parts of my dreams too. Amy Thielen takes that leap to learn more about what she loves by attending cooking school in New York City then falls back into a familiar escape, her home in rural Minnesota, to make those meals for the people she creates her home with. Too often we put women in a box – if they want it all we shame them or if they want a simpler life we shame them, too. I feel like Amy really turns that on its head with a little bit of both. We can have roots and wings – Amy’s memoir is just that.

Want more Amy? Check out her cookbook The New Midwestern Table:200 Heartland Recipes and her show on food network Heartland Table!

Killing It: An Education by Camas Davis

After being laid off and ending a 10 year relationship, Camas maxes out her credit card to learn butchery in France. Camas is honest about who she is even while still trying to figure herself out, which was refreshing. She challenges not only herself, but us as readers to create a healthy relationship with our food and understand where it comes from and the sacrifice the animal is making. We also get to learn about the people she meets along the way who are breaking against the norm. She is very respectful and present, and asks that of others as well. Truly an education on ethical eating, this book confronts Americans’ preconceived notions and unhealthy relationships with food.

Want more Camas? You can find her teaching at the Portland Meat Collective and working with her non-profit the Good Meat Project!

~posted by Kara P.

Wild Sourdough

Meet my starter: Neko!

I love bread, but more and more it just tastes like filler. My husband and I started going to a neighborhood Farmer’s Market open year-round to incorporate more whole foods and seasonal finds into our meals at home. One of our favorite vendors is a sourdough bread baker. I started doing a bit of research into wild yeast and thought this is bread I would be more than happy to eat! After trying a few loaves, I started to wonder how I can do this myself Continue reading “Wild Sourdough”

New Nonfiction Roundup – March 2019

March is abundant with essays from remarkable women, memoirs from queer celebrities,  true crime tales, and trenchant observations on the black experience.

26 MarathonsFour time Olympian Meb Keflezighi offers wisdom on life, faith, family and running. Continue reading “New Nonfiction Roundup – March 2019”

Read along: Iditarod 2019

This Saturday, March 2 the 47th Iditarod will begin. 52 mushers and their sled dog teams will run 1000 miles of rough terrain from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, contending with mountains, frozen rivers, sub-zero temperatures, and sleep deprivation. The route roughly follows historic mail routes from the early 20th century, when gold came out and mail and supplies went in via dog sled, and which in 1925 was crucial to supplying diphtheria antitoxin to Nome. If you enjoy following extreme or endurance sports, love working dogs, or just want to know more about the event history and types of people who run this race, check out these items.

Book cover image for The Cruelest MilesThe Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury
This is the full story of the serum run that gives the Iditarod its legendary route. In the winter of 1925, Nome was isolated and on the cusp of a deadly diphtheria outbreak, with a desperate need for antitoxin. Airplanes still couldn’t consistently handle cold temperatures, and nothing else could make it through. So the serum was taken by rail from Seattle as far as it could go, and then dog mushers transported it the final 650 miles over 5 days. If you’ve only ever heard of one sled dog, it’s likely Balto, the lead dog of the last team. Continue reading “Read along: Iditarod 2019”

Library Reads for March 2019

Here’s a list of 12 novels releasing in March that librarians across the United States are recommending. And because librarians made this list, you’ll also find a “read-alike” entry at the end of each description. Why a read-alike? They work two ways: If you recognize the suggested read-alike title as one you enjoyed before, it lets you know that this new title is one you might like, too. The other way read-alikes are helpful is that they tend to be older and more widely available titles. If there’s a long wait list for the featured title, and it sounds like the perfect book for you, the suggested read-alike may be something you’d also like — and can get quickly. You’ll notice that in the descriptions for the new 2019 books that librarians often add a line along the same lines, such as “if you liked Gillian Flynn, try this one.” In a nutshell, this monthly list has solid recommendations, with insightful guidance for a variety of reading tastes.

Continue reading “Library Reads for March 2019”