Call me crazy: But I’ve decided as a way to give thanks and express gratitude to you, my readers, I’m doing a blowout book giveaway — the last for 2010 — this month.
Yep, I’m willing to cart a dozen cookbooks to the post office and stand in line for who knows how long so I can ship these tomes in time for the holidays, all at my own expense.
Also: I live in a teeny, tiny house (recently painted, new native garden installed out front, no complaints here). This fall a slew of cookbook publishers sent me a steady stream of glossy cookbooks for my reading and reviewing pleasure. Let’s just say they’re starting to stack up. Along with the guilt. I’m running out of places to put them and time to review them.
So what could be better than sharing the wealth and spreading the word on the best of the bunch? As you scroll through the list you’ll see it’s an eclectic selection, including well-known writers published by big houses, as well as self-published works by first-time authors.
And this: It was brought to my attention over Thanksgiving dinner (thanks Katherine) that some of my regular readers may have noticed a slight dip in, um, content on this site of late.
During my health meltdown earlier this year you might have thought my productivity would have dropped off. Somehow I managed to keep posting, two or even three times a week.
These days, I’m thankful for good health and the fact that I’ve been commissioned to write print magazine food stories, many of which started as posts here. I’ve written for Eating Well, Kiwi, and San Francisco, and have stories coming soon in Afar, California, and San Francisco. I’ll share the details of those with you when they hit the newsstands.
(A couple of new regular outlets coming online for me soon. Stay tuned.)
So, there it is: An explanation for readers who may have wondered what I’ve been doing and a thank you to all for helping make 2010 a fulfilling, engaging, and fun year at LEK central.
Enough about me. Let’s get to the business at hand, shall we?
But first this:
Choose ONE of the cookbooks from the 12 listed below and tell me why you’d like that particular book in your collection. (If you plan on regifting, let me know why you think the person you have in mind would like the book.)
Entries must be received by Friday, December 3, by 10 pm PT.
Winner chosen at random.
My job: I’ll announce the winners on Saturday, December 4 and contact the lucky contestants via email. Will mail out shortly thereafter.
Your job: You’ll have exactly one week to claim your prize. After that, I’ll find an alternate home (also at random) for the book.
Unplanned Update: You really must choose just ONE for your comment to count.
Planned Update: Winners announced here. Thanks to one and all for making this my biggest giveaway of 2010. More book giveaways coming next year.
The 2010 Lettuce Eat Kale End-of-Year (Mostly) Cookbook Giveaway
Books are listed in alphabetical order by author.
1. Breaking Bread by Lynne Christy Anderson (University of California Press, $24.95, hardcover) Beyond apple pie: This book shares food stories and recipes from immigrant kitchens across America. Meet Dakpa Zady from Ivory Coast, Xius Fen Xiang from China, and Yulia Govorushko from Latvia, and find out what they’ve got cooking. Read an excerpt on Culinate.
2. Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh (Ten Speed Press, $35, hardcover) Japanese vegan and vegetarian dishes from an award-winning American cookbook author who served as Gourmet‘s correspondent in Japan for more than 30 years. Read a Q&A with Andoh at Serge the Concierge.
3. New Vegetarian by Robin Asbell (Chronicle Books, $19.95, paperback) Fellow IACP buddy gathers recipes from around the globe for pasta, tagines, curries, soups, stews, and desserts for all you meatless (or wannabe) meatless eaters. Read more about this book from Dana Treat at Treat Yourself.
4. How to Grow a School Garden by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle (Timber Press, $24.95, paperback): A D.I.Y. guide for edible schoolyard enthusiasts. Read a Q&A with the authors by Twilight Greenaway.
5. Seasons in the Wine Country by Cate Conniff (Chronicle Books, $27.50, paperback) Recipes from a member of the crew who helped launch The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 15 years ago. Read a review here. It’s California cuisine featuring local bounty paired with a local drop. What’s not to like?
6. The Wine Trials 2011 edited by Robin Goldstein, Alexis Herschkowitsch, and Tyce Walters (Fearless Critic Media, $14.95, paperback) A reference guide for wine lovers who don’t want to spend a fortune on a bottle of plonk. Features the results of blind tastings for 175 wines under $15. Says Newsweek: “Might rattle a few wine snobs, but the average oenophile can rejoice.”
7. At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey (Knopf, $35, hardcover) The legendary chef, prolific cookbook author, and notable actress who introduced Indian cooking to an American audience, Jaffrey shares simple versions of popular South-East Asian classics. Recipes on the New York Times blog Well and catch her on screen in Today’s Special, currently in cinemas.
8. Poor Girl Gourmet by Amy McCoy (Andrews McMeel, $16.99, paperback) Television producer makes lemonade from lemons: Downturn in economy leads to blog Poor Girl Gourmet, which lands McCoy a book deal. A cooking companion for cost-conscious times. Review with recipes here.
9. Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan (Knopf, $39.95, hardcover) Acclaimed author Joan Nathan goes in search of her Jewish food roots in France. Bon Appetit named this one of the top cookbooks of the year, as did NPR. Read a review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
10. Easy Meals to Cook with Kids by Julie Negrin (AuthorHouse, $28, paperback) My pal from the Community Food Security Conference offers simple, healthy, family-friendly dishes for adults to make with kids from toddlers on up. A certified nutritionist and cooking instructor, Negrin is the voice behind the blog My Kitchen Nutrition.
11. From Orchards, Fields, and Gardens edited by Kerstin Svendsen (Self-published, $25, paperback) Not a cookbook but rather an artsy single edition featuring poetry, pictures, and prose celebrating sustainable agriculture and good food. Eleven authors, including Shakirah Simley, and 21 artists, in this whimsical work.
12. Mystery book by unnamed author: Do you like surprises? How adventurous are you when it comes to cooking and eating? Willing to take a risk? Imagine what this cookbook might be in the comments below or tell me why you’re willing to try your luck with this secret selection.