Book Review of A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove

 A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove is a history of American women told through food, recipes and remembrances. I had actually never flipped through the book to see the layout and writing style before bringing it home to read.  That is the only gamble when ordering with Amazon, really- sometimes there is the Click to See Inside feature which thrills me.  But, I did not do that with this title and I wish I had.

In my mind I had built up a book that read as a diary.  In which women left behind recipes and snippets of stories of how they endured the Civil War or the Great Depression with ration cards. I imagined "grocery lists" from different times. Lists of what the women going west would have considered essential to have to cook for their hungry men and children.
I wanted an easy read in a conversational tone that made history come alive.

Booktitle

There is a smattering of these things in this book. There are numerous photographs and historical prints. There are recipes and well researched facts.
However, I never found myself drawn into the world of these women whose stories are chronicled here. I wanted to, very much. I found myself skimming the book looking for snip-its that drew me in.

I did enjoy sections about the pioneer women and their long and difficult day on the journey westward. I wish there had been real diary entries here. I enjoyed portions about women during WWII and the Great Depression and how they helped turn the tide. There is a long quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that I loved. 
Here is the last line of it: "And I hold it equally true that in this present crisis it is going to be the women who will tip the scales and bring us safely out of it."

 A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove is a well written book. I neither loved it nor disliked it. The book was not what I had in mind when I saw the title and added it to my annual book list.  But I would recommend it to someone doing a report on the kitchen and its role in history.

Book Review of Real Food What to Eat and Why

Real Food What to Eat and Why, kicked off my nonfiction reading for 2016. 
This title is from my annual reading list and was chosen because we are what we eat….or so they say.

Funny
I generally eat pretty healthy. But after indulging during the holidays I needed a little inspiration to get back on track. 
This book dives into the science and reasoning of why eating real food is so important.  For those who are not familiar with the thoughts of Weston Price, Joel Salatin and the teachings of Nourishing Traditions, this book may seem a tad "out there" and against the norm.

The author shares her story in the first chapter, of growing up on real food and how she deviated from this and into "health crazes" and then journeyed back to real food again.

The other chapters are broken into food categories- dairy, produce, meat, etc. Each chapter delves into how our food used to be grown or raised and how the more modern methods of production are lowering the nutritional benefits of our food.
There is a lot of information on these pages, so this title is not a binge read in one setting, more of a let it sit and digest, kind of thing. 

Realfoodbook

I particularly liked the tips in the Real Fruit and Vegetables chapter on how to get more vegetables into your body. One tip was to have a salad at every meal, (while I could not handle this at breakfast), this would help me get that vege count up throughout the day.  The other tip I thought feasible was to eat the salad at the start of the meal, before filling up on the carbs.

The only negative I had with the book is the constant reference to the earth and our species being millions of years old. I am from the thought that it is more in the thousands of years, but this difference in opinion did not change my thoughts on the healthy eating information.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why is a wonderful book for those looking to find a way back to eating real food or those in need of helpful reminders.