Culinary Memoirs That Make Perfect Beach Reads

Why not while away your time at the beach immersing yourself in a culinary memoir? These books are a delicious, low calorie blend of narrative and instruction, at times hilarious and inspiring. Toss a couple of the following titles in your suitcase and enjoy!


The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove

by Cathy Erway

I loved the whole premise of this book. Who hasn't hit hard economic times at some point in their life when they had to alter our lifestyles a bit to save money? What better way to do that than to cook your own meals and eat at home? This book is a chronicle of this New York author's year of not eating out. This book tells of her culinary adventures: visiting urban farms, dumpster diving, foraging and supper club dinners. Recipes are also included.


The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir

by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

This very witty memoir tells the story of how the author, an advertising man and author, and his partner, Dr. Brent Ridge, who was the Vice President for Healthy Living at Martha Stewart Living, saved the dormant Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, New York. They have a herd of goats from whose milk they produce the wonderful Beekman 1802 soap, and now BLAAK cheese. Read this wonderful book and meet Farmer John who takes care of all the animals on the farm including a very cool llama called Polka Spot. This book chronicles their adapting to small town living, how they got their herd of goats and some of the hilarious ups and downs in their quest to be organic farmers. The couple also has a reality show on Planet Green.


Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

by Novella Carpenter

The author lives in the city, but misses the country lifestyle of her youth. So what does she do? She turns a vacant lot in a not so desirable part of Oakland, California into a gardening oasis. She also lives in an apartment, but manages to keep bees, chicken and oh yes, pigs. Novella Carpenter writes in a refreshing, informative manner. And oh yes, she's funny. One of my favorite parts in the book is when the author purchases bees from a mail order company and when they arrive at the post office a postal employee calls her and begs her to come and pick them up because they are attracting other bees. You'll laugh, you'll gasp and you'll also gain some knowledge about sustainable living in this interesting memoir.


The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family

by Laura Schenone

The author goes on a global adventure attempting to locate her family's authentic recipe for ravioli. She heard the story of her great-grandmother's immigration from Genoa to America at the turn of the twentieth century. Her great-grandmother brought the recipe for these plump, pillows of dough with her, but through time the recipe has been altered and Laura Schenone wants to seek out the authentic recipe. This engaging book is part mystery and part travelogue and a totally enjoyable read.


My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur

by Romney Steele

This book tells the story of the famous California restaurant, Nepenthe, which is located on the cliffs of Big Sur (808 feet about the Pacific Ocean.) The author Romney Steele is the granddaughter of Bill and Lolly Fassett creators of Nepenthe Restaurant. Ms. Steele tells a magical story through food about the history of her family's restaurant. She celebrates her family's sixty-year history in Big Sur. Nepenthe was a gathering place and noted bohemian haunt, and had a foray into the film industry with the filming of the movie The Sandpipers with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. This is a lovely book with a gentle history lesson that will have you packing your bags to visit this treasure.