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Library News

By: Elizabeth Cate
For: Red Rock News
Date: April 28, 2011

Spruce Up Your Home, Garden, and Table with Ideas from New Books

If you are looking for inspiration this spring as you work in your garden, plan home renovation projects, or organize a dinner party, you are in luck. At Sedona Public Library, we have many recent arrivals in the gardening, home improvement, and cooking sections of our collection.

Healthy eaters will find no shortage of cookbooks and other resources at the library suitable for their lifestyle. Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, by former pastry chef Kim Boyce, features recipes incorporating 12 types of whole-grain flours. Stunning photography illustrates whole-grain baking techniques and recipes such as chocolate and persimmon buckwheat muffins and rye-flour maple Danish. Using seasonal, organic ingredients is the philosophy of Andrew Swallow, chef at trendy Mixt Greens restaurants in San Francisco and author of the book Mixt Salads. Examples of Swallow’s spring salads include lamb with grilled baby artichokes and haricot verts with sweetbread croutons. Two new Ayurvedic cookbooks—Eat, Taste, Heal and The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook—explore the principles of Ayurveda and contain recipes based on healing traditions.

Sedona chefs are busy writing as well as cooking. In The Elixir of Life: Finding Love and Joy in the Passionate Art of Food, Lisa Dahl presents favorite Mediterranean-influenced dishes she prepares at local restaurant Dahl and Di Luca. The Elote Café Cookbook, by Jeff Smedstad,and The Sedona Table: Recipes from the Top Restaurants in Red Rock Country, by Erika Ayn Finch, also showcase the culinary specialties of notable Sedona eateries. 

Fascinated by food but not wild about cooking? Check out What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. This collection of photoessays profiles diverse people from 30 countries around the world, displaying a day’s worth of food for each individual. The book is organized by increasing daily calorie intake, from the 1,000 calories consumed by an ascetic Hindu priest to the 6,500 calories taken in by an Arctic hunter. Additionally, the bestselling Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, by Gabrielle Hamilton, will appeal to readers of chef memoirs such as Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. In fact, Bourdain has praised Hamilton’s work as the “best food-genre memoir ever.”  

Sedona Public Library offers useful materials for both professional and recreational gardeners. Pay Dirt: How to Make $10,000 a Year from Your Backyard Garden, by John Tullock, provides gardening, marketing, and selling tips for backyard gardeners taking advantage of the local-food movement. Solutions to commonly encountered problems in organic gardening are addressed in Rodale’s The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control and in What’s Wrong with My Plant? And How Do I Fix It?, by David Deardorff. For a comprehensive reference book about vegetable gardening, try The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, by Edward C. Smith, which features a descriptive plant and herb index and strategies for high-yield growing.

The library’s newest home improvement guides can help you with a wide range of projects. Sunset Publishing’s You Can Build Masonry covers masonry projects from garden paths to outdoor kitchens. Master craftsman Charles Peterson’s Wood Flooring: A Complete Guide to Layout, Installation, and Finishing not only describes basic techniques for choosing and installing wood flooring but also demonstrates how to create ornate inlayed designs. Titles from the Black and Decker do-it-yourself series the library has recently acquired include The Complete Guide to Garages and Working with Drywall: Hanging and Finishing Drywall the Professional Way. Another resource for home improvement information is the online Home Improvement Reference Center, available through the library’s website—

At the library or on our website, you can easily submit suggestions for additional materials on home improvement, gardening, cooking, or any other topic that interests you. Your feedback is appreciated and valued. 

Elizabeth Cate
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Elizabeth Cate is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sedona Public Library.