Cookbooks & food

1313 Island spirits and cocktails

Distilleries of Vancouver Island: A Guided Tour of West Coast Craft and Artisan Spirits by Marianne Scott Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $25.00 / 9781771513326 Reviewed by Joe Wiebe * Published earlier this year, Marianne Scott’s Distilleries of Vancouver Island is essential reading for anyone who might enjoy a wee dram of Island whiskey, a sip…
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1286 They had me at gnocchi

Island Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2021 $38.99  /  9781773271675 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * For those of you who share Federico Fellini’s sentiment that “life is a combination of magic and pasta” then this may be the book…
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1219 Burgundy to British Columbia

Bisous & Brioche: classic French recipes and family favorites from a life in France by Laura Bradbury and Rebecca Wellman Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $45.00 / 9781771513166 Reviewed by Peter Clarke and Maria Tippett * Here is a book that looks good, feels good and delivers the goods. It represents a fruitful collaboration between the…
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1127 The Farrant-Chesnut exchange

One Good Thing: A Living Memoir by M.A.C. Farrant Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2021 $19.95 / 9781772012842 Reviewed by Mary Leah de Zwart * M.A.C. [Marion Alice Coburn] Farrant is an accomplished author, playwright, and humourist, living on the Saanich Peninsula near Sidney, BC. She has seventeen publications to her name, ranging from a novel and short…
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1085 A balanced cultural herstory

Hearing More Voices: English-Canadian Women in Print and on the Air, 1914-1960 by Peggy Lynn Kelly and Carole Gerson Ottawa: Borealis Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781896133713 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * As a library school student in the mid 1970s I was told that Anne of Green Gables could not be considered a Canadian classic;…
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1043 In the mood for purple

The Plant-based Foodie Vancouver by Brad Hill and Chris Dagenais; foreword by Erin Ireland and Anna Pippus Vancouver: Brad Hill Imaging Ltd., 2018. Available here, here, and here $28.95  /  9780994919540 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * There are two kinds of recipes: aspirational and accessible; they are not mutually exclusive, although they can be. The…
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1005 Ready, steady, halibut

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes Vancouver: Figure 1, 2017 $29.99 / 9781773270876 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * What is the bait for cooks? Ingredients? Recipes? What makes us cast our eyes over a cookbook? The cover? The title? The author? The search for inspiration? The desire…
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#971 Aphorisms from an apiarist

Show Me the Honey: Adventures of an Accidental Apiarist by Dave Doroghy, foreword by Rick Hansen Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771513227 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * Bees. Those black and yellow winged creatures buzzing about and smelling the roses; perhaps there is more to them than meets the eye. Do they hold the…
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#951 New wine in new bottles

Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History by Luke Whittall Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2019 $29.95 / 9781770503168 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food. — W.C Fields What wine goes with Captain Crunch? — George Carlin I like the wine and not…
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#949 Haggis and Scotch pies

The Larder of the Wise: The Story of Vancouver’s James Inglis Reid Limited by M. Anne Wyness, with a foreword by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $32.99 / 9781773271187 Reviewed by Mary Leah de Zwart * In The Larder of the Wise: The Story of James Inglis Reid Limited, M. Anne Wyness promises…
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#944 Food, flowers, and aspiration

Gather at Home: Over 100 Simple Recipes, DIYs, and Inspiration for a Year of Occasions by Monika Hibbs Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $35.00 / 9780735236288 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * Gather at Home by Monika Hibbs is undeniably picturesque in the most conventional way possible. Hibbs is a lifestyle influencer, a daring career choice…
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#932 Ableman’s urban agriculture

Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting up a Successful Urban Farm by Michael Ableman Gabriola: New Society, 2020 $19.95 / 9780865719392 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * While Michael Ableman’s Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting up a Successful Urban Farm is written as a primer for those wishing to start an in-town farm,…
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#894 Varner’s wild foods & cures

Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest by Collin Varner Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $22.95 / 9781772033236 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * A book authored by British Columbia horticulturist Collin Varner is always worthwhile. Varner’s latest publication, Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and…
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#893 Schell’s wine and food tour

The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from Wineries Across British Columbia by Jennifer Schell, foreword by John Schreiner Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $35.00 / 9780525610366 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo * There’s something special about wine country and its people, and what better guide than Jennifer Schell, former editor of Food and…
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