If there is one thing, a single language, that unites all of us, from every corner of the world, in huts and houses, shanty towns and skyscrapers, it's food. Food is often synonymous with emotion- love, grief, joy, fear- but perhaps most of all, comfort. Food, or more specifically, preparing it, is truly a feast for all of our senses- smell, taste, sound, sight, and feel. It is also closely linked to our memory and can instantly transport us back in time, whether to our grandmother's kitchen or a tiny cafe around the world.
These days, with so many options at our fingertips, we may spend more time scanning restaurant reviews than recipes, and we rarely put much forethought into what goes on the dinner table. This is why cookbooks are such a great opportunity to not only learn something new, but create new memories with and for our loved ones. But without context, a cookbook can feel stagnant or overwhelming, which is why we love cookbooks that tell a deeper, personal story- of the recipes they share and the people who have passed them along to us.
In Her Kitchen is a wonderful collection of stories and portraits of grandmothers around the world, a glimpse inside their kitchen, and the secrets behind their signature recipes. There is something so raw and pure about the women in this book, it is savory from cover to cover. While many of the recipes are from places most of us may not be able to find on a map, with a few surprising ingredients (um, caterpillars?), each of these grandmothers welcomes readers into her kitchen, tells you to pull up a chair, and without bothering to ask if you're hungry, serves you up seconds and thirds of her special dish.
The Plantiful Table is a colorful, globally-inspired treat that focuses on sustainably sourced and local plant-based ingredients. The author, Andrea Duclos, is a lifestyle blogger based in West Palm Beach Florida where avocados and jackfruit grow bigger than our heads. She writes about simple living, sustainability, travel, family, and of course- food! Drea has been vegan for several years, and when she had her daughter, Marlowe, it was only natural for her to raise her on a vegan diet at well. "What Marlowe Eats" is a super-popular segment on her blog and the inspiration behind this family-friendly cookbook. Her husband, Alex, is a chef as well, and they share a passion for food from all around the world so expect some super colorful, plant-based dishes like pad thai, tamales, and even paella!
** Since we love both of these books so much, and since Drea happens to be our friend, so we decided to host a fun cookbook giveaway over on Instagram! We are giving away a copy of In Her Kitchen AND The Plantiful Table to ONE lucky winner! Just follow Habitation Co. on Instagram, and leave a comment on the giveaway post with your favorite meal that reminds you most of home! **
Visit Habitation Co. on Instagram! Winner will be selected Thursday, May 26th!