A few years ago, I found myself not reading as much as I wanted to. I think this had much to do with moving into our new home and all the time, energy and drywall dust that created, but still I wasn't too happy about it. Then a dear friend started up a bookclub, which I gleefully joined and that got things rolling again as far as reading was concerned. Now, if I don't have a book on my bedside table that I'm engrossed in, I feel at a loss.
While I was in Victoria recently I had a chance to visit my absolute favourite bookstore Munro's. If you've never been and you're ever in Victoria you must go. The end. It is, to me anyway, what a bookstore should be. That is: filled with books. No tchotchkes, no cds, no in store Starbucks, just mainly books on dark wooden bookshelves with gorgeous high ceilings. If I ever have the time, I'll spend a few hours with a stack of books in a chair in Munro's weighing my options. And, sadly, I always need to put some back. Last time I was there, I reluctantly put back Peter Reinhart's new Whole Grain Breads cookbook, mostly because it was too heavy to bring home in my one small suitcase on the ferry, but I've kind of regretted it ever since.
As I mentioned a while back now, I've been experimenting with making bread, and I'm happy to report I'm getting somewhere. Still, bread is a bit of a mystery to me. I'm not sure where I can play with recipes and where I can improvise, and frankly it kinda scares me to contemplate. Reinhart's book however, provides all kinds of theory, history and technique to each recipe. And photos! Photos of what it should look like, photos of what you don't want and really photo, after glorious photo, which for the newbie bread maker like me seems like a brilliant idea. That, and as the name implies, it's all about whole grains. I first heard about the Whole Grains Bread cookbook over at Heidi's site, so I wasn't surprised it was such a great resource.
Speaking of 101Cookbooks and recipes, she's got a recipe up from the new How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, Mark Bittman book. I'm pretty curious about this cookbook too, as I've always felt pretty left out of the How to Cook Everything love.