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franklin county times

Tempt your tastebuds with tantalizing titles

With summer gardens producing a bounty of crisp vegetables and juicy fruit ripening in the sun, I always pull out my favorite cookbooks to look for new ways to use a fresh harvest of zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers and more. After looking at the gorgeous photos, I usually wind up reaching for a memoir by a foodie or chef that celebrates food and the important role it can play in memory and our lives.

Our younger readers can be introduced to the idea of food playing a central role in storytelling with the classic tale of “Walter the Baker” by Eric Carle. Walter has a twist of a problem when he is instructed to make a roll that the sun can shine through three times.

“Pancakes, Pancakes!” is another beloved tale by Carle. It charmingly shows all the steps needed to get a hungry boy the pancakes he is desperately craving.

If you are trying to get your picky eater interested in trying something green, check out “The Mighty Asparagus” by Vladimir Radunsky. A mighty asparagus grew right in front of the king’s castle and hilariously refuses to be moved by the grumpy king. The illustrations evoke Italian Renaissance art, and this was awarded the New York Times’ Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.

Another really fun read full of humor and veggies is “Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!” by Jorge Lacera and Megan Lacera. Mo, a veggie-loving zombie boy, has to deal with irate parents who are determined to make him love zombie cuisine. Will Mo and his parents find a way to compromise and stay true to themselves?

Young adult and adult readers will enjoy examining this collection of essays describing personal encounters with iconic southern chef Edna Lewis. “Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original,” edited by Sara B. Franklin, looks at the legacy of this culinary trailblazer.

A New York Times bestseller, and personal favorite of mine, “The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Southern Table” is Pulitzer Prize winner. It is Alabama author Rick Bragg’s beautiful ode to his mother and prior generations.

“The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart” is written by Emily Nunn, a professional food writer and avid cook. She travels the country cooking and spending time with family and friends as she struggles to overcome grief, addiction and loss.

Another memoir that celebrates how food can connect is “Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home.” This is the story of how cooking and baking helped author Jessica Fechtor recover from a brain aneurysm at the age of 28.

Contributor Lori Skinner is the head librarian for Northwest-Shoals Community College. For more information, she can be contacted at 256-331-6288 or lori.skinner@nwscc.edu. NW-SCC Libraries are open to the public and look forward to serving your library needs.