I have liked to read (and be read to) since early on. We’re talking All. The. Time. Just ask my mother. She was so sick of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss that by the time my sister was born, my mother didn’t read quite as much to Noel because I wore out her vocal chords. And yes, my sister Noel was born around Christmas — she was my gift at age 2…under the tree in a Santa suit and everything…you can feel free to say “awwww…”. But I digress — My mom came to loathe and despise that particular book. I mean I can not stress enough how much she hated it. When my youngest son would ask her to read it (because of course he had his own copy!), she would first clench her jaws — but sweetly try to get through it for his sake — which makes her a wonderful Nana, knowing how she hated it!

At any rate, I was already reading foodie books (note the eggs and ham!) at a tender age, so it’s not really surprising that when I do fit reading into my hectic schedule I am usually reading cookbooks, cooking magazines, food blogs, foodie books or culinary mysteries. Since I am feeling really under the weather — and had to miss my middle daughter’s cheer competition today — these books were my first choice. The house is quiet with everyone gone for a while and I can take my time and savour the words and the pictures. Even though I borrowed them from the library, as soon as the budget allows I am definitely purchasing both! One can, after all, never own too many cookbooks (though my family might argue otherwise…)

Why these particular books? Well — I had stumbled upon a cookbook challenge earlier in this month, which you can find here: http://growandresist.com/2012/12/21/cook-the-books-a-cookbook-challenge/. These were the featured books for January and February 2013. I love the inclusion of narratives in both Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table (January challenge) and Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings (February challenge). The stories behind a recipe or technique always seem to draw me in, and these two books have so far provided many anecdotes, stories and explanations that are keeping me plenty intrigued. Of course that is in addition to the amazing, mouth-watering recipes I am seeing! I hope you’ll take a look and get into your kitchen — I know I can’t wait til I’m feeling better to play around a bit with some of these recipes! For now I’ll just have to remain in bed and read…