Tagged Reading Recommendations

Let’s Get Sour: 5 Books on How to Ferment Your Foods

We’ve all been there – you left something in the back of the fridge too long and it went sour. Maybe your favorite bottle of wine became vinegar when you weren’t looking, or maybe you left the vegetables in your crisper for too long. Oof.

But fermentation, when done intentionally, is both tasty and a great way to preserve your garden bumper crop. Rather than leaving pounds of zucchini in your neighbor’s mailbox when you have too many, why not leave a jar of zucchini pickles? Why celebrate with overpriced sweet wine when you can make fresh honey wine with only a few items? Or, save money on yogurt by making big batches of your own.

Don’t know how? Here are our recommendations for books to get you started….

 

Basic Fermentation: A Do-it-yourself Guide to Cultural Manipulation

by Sandor Ellix Katz

If you’re a visual learner, Basic Fermentation: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Cultural Manipulation is packed with full-color photos that will walk you step-by-step through the art of fermentation.

 

This book is where Sandor Ellix Katz got his start as a fermentation super-star, so it’s a perfect starting point for you, too. It will help you learn techniques and teach you tasty recipes for all your fermentation needs. Even if you’ve tried your hand at fermentation before, it’s a great addition to your shelf for the recipes. This version is even updated with full step by step photos to get you going.

 

Everyday Fermentation Handbook

by Brandon Byers

When you think of fermentation, chances are your mind goes to staples like sauerkraut, kimchi, and even pickles. But there’s a whole world of fermentation out there beyond vegetables.

Everyday Fermentation Handbook is a primer on fermenting just about everything. Ever wanted to start making your own cheese and sourdough? What about brewing your own kombucha? This book takes you to vegetables and beyond, letting you add fermented foods to every meal. (Fermented waffles are amazing, FYI.)

Even better, this book includes ideas of how to use your tasty treats – taking them from just a side dish to a whole meal.

Fermented Vegetables

by Christopher Shockey and Kirsten K. Shockey

So you’ve got a green thumb for more than just zucchini, which is great. But it also means that you don’t have six million pounds of zucchini to use – you have six million pounds of everything to use.

Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes (a mouthful, I know) is a fantastic reference for when you’re drowning in vegetables. This book helps you preserve a lot of different types of vegetables – not just cabbage and pickles – in creative and tasty ways.

Like it spicy? The same authors also wrote Firey Fermentation, which provides a spicy twist on fermentation.

Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World

by Sandor Ellix Katz

No list on fermentation is complete without the Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World. If there was a religion based on fermentation, this would be its bible.

If you’re acquainted with fermenting already and looking for a comprehensive book on the subject, this is the one for you. With over 500 pages, it covers the history and cultural nuances of many different types of fermentation, as well as providing illustrations and recipes. It’s great for the experienced fermenter who wants to know more, or for the newbie who wants to jump right in.

Fermenting is a great way to preserve fresh foods without losing their nutritional power. With just a little bit of effort, you too can be fermenting in no time!

 

Brew It Yourself: Professional Craft Blueprints for Home Brewing

by Erik Spellmeyer

Kombucha and kimchi not what you’re looking to whip up? Brew It Yourself outlines the key methodologies of the two most common home beer-brewing techniques: extract and all-grain brewing. It provides professional advice on how to get started from square one at home, introducing the reader to the industry jargon and terminology, while providing clear instruction on the formalities of home brewing.

Equipped with illustrations, images, glossary, photography, and step-by-step assembly instructions for building your own equipment, Brew It Yourself is your craft brewing bible.

 

 


 

This book list (with the exception of #5) was written by past intern and occasional contributor/editor, Lydia Rogue. Follow them on twitter and patreon.

Do you have a favorite fermentation book we missed? Let us know!

A woman browses full bookshelves

Witchcraft 101

Reading Recs :: 5 Books to Introduce You to Witchcraft

There are so many titles on witchcraft out there – it can be hard to know where to get started. When you walk in and are faced with what seems like an entire bookstore of potential titles, where does one even begin – especially when you don’t know a Wiccan from a Druid, and you’re not sure what a Tarot deck is other than you probably shouldn’t play poker with one.

Instead of staring blankly at the shelf, try these books on for size…

 

Dark purple and black book cover "A Little Bit of Wicca"

A Little Bit of Wicca: An Introduction to Witchcraft

By  Cassandra Eason

The “A Little Bit” series has quite a few titles in it, each tackling a different topic. A Little Bit of Wicca: An Introduction to Witchcraft is a prime example of this.

The slim hardback is the perfect size to take with you on the go – and its bite-sized nature means it’s not a huge time commitment for curiosity seekers. It’s a great title to get started with because it’s so basic.

 

 

 

Book cover with pagan and occult symbolsThe Wicca Bible: The Definitive Guide to Magic and the Craft 

by Ann-Marie Gallagher

While there isn’t a Bible for Wicca and paganism the way there is for Christianity, the book The Wicca Bible: The Definitive Guide to Magic and the Craft provides an overview of Wicca – detailing the history of the craft and modern practices, giving newcomers information on how to start their own worship.

This book is great if you know you want to delve a little deeper from the start – with 400 pages, it covers plenty of ground, while still maintaining a compact size for easy transport.

 

Hardcover book with intricate designs

The Modern Witchcraft Guide to the Wheel of the Year

by Judy Ann Nock

Christmas isn’t just a repackaged Yule, no matter how much we like to joke about it, and Samhain isn’t just another word for Halloween. Once you start delving into the craft, it’s easy to find references to the wheel of the year and the holidays, but many books only provide a basic overview of them.

For a new practitioner, it can be confusing when there’s not more information on what the holidays mean and only a basic look at how to celebrate them. The Modern Witchcraft Guide to the Wheel of the Year: From Samhain to Yule, Your Guide to the Wiccan Holidays is great for new practitioners who want to learn more about the core holidays.

The book also includes easy to follow rituals and a bit about the history of each. Anyone interested in the craft can pick it up and have their holiday plans prepped and ready to go.

 

White cover with pagan designs and a pentagramThe Little Book of Witchcraft

by Andrew McMeel Publishing

When you think of paganism, most often you think of Wicca. It’s one of the fastest-growing religions in the US and is probably the largest single pagan religion. However, that’s not all there is to witchcraft.

The Little Book of Witchcraft is a compact, non-denominational guide to the basics of witchcraft. This book is a fantastic choice for new practitioners who don’t want to be tied down to a specific pagan group or for curiosity seekers who want to learn a little more about what falls into the big category of “witchcraft”.

 

Wiccapedia: A Modern-Day White Witch’s Guide

Black hardcover book with green occult designs and symbols

by Leanna Greenaway and Shawn Robbins

Bad puns aside, Wikipedia has become a backbone of encyclopedic knowledge, providing an overview of a variety of subjects in an easy to access format.

Wiccapedia: A Modern-Day White Witch’s Guide does the exact same thing for Wicca. Good for beginners and experienced practitioners alike, this little guide provides a surprisingly comprehensive overview of Wiccan practices and spirituality – with some how-to advice for people just getting started.

Whether you’re interested in practicing, or if you’re just trying to broaden your horizons, these books are a great choice for anyone interested in learning more about witchcraft and the spirituality surrounding magic.

 

 

 

 

What do you think? Are you ready to get mystical? Have a better suggestion? Share your favorite wicca/witchy/occult titles with us on twitter or instagram.

 

This post was written by past intern and contributor, Lydia Rogue. Follow Lydia and all their awesome work on Twitter and Patreon.

Five Vegan Cookbooks You Need to Own

Here’s a little secret no one wants to admit: Vegan cooking is hard.

It’s difficult to create miraculously delicious meals day after day when you’ve lost two major food groups. Plus, it’s made worse when everyone assumes that since you’re vegan you’re some sort of holier-than-thou guru, eating like three cashew nuts a day.

But fuck that.

Making fulfilling, sustainable vegan meals is actually pretty easy. And it doesn’t require shaved fennel seeds, goji berries, or other ridiculous ingredients.

Here are five books for some good, down to earth vegan food. Because good cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. And neither should vegan cooking.

Eat well my friends….

 

1. Comfort Eating With Nick Cave: Vegan Recipes To Get Deep Inside of You
By Joshua Ploeg and Automne Zingg

“We all suffer.” A statement that, I’m sure, Nick Cave would agree with.

While we usually associate guilty pleasures with the type of food kept under the dayglo display at McDonalds, there are plenty of better options out there. In Comfort Eating with Nick Cave, the emotionally somber musician inspires some amazing vegan comfort recipes. Try the surprisingly simple Cinnamon rolls for instance, using coconut oil and almond milk.

With these new recipes under your belt, you’re one step closer to embracing your inner Nick Cave: Listening to Tender Play by yourself in the dark as you eat your new delicious treats.

 

2. Hot Damn & Hell Yeah: Recipes for Hungry Banditos, 10th Anniversary Edition
By Ryan Splint

So you wanna kick it up a notch.

Maybe you’re a fan of Emeril’s catchphrase, or you just really like Westworld. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Tex-Mex/ Southern cooking. Travel down to south of the border with Ryan Splint’s cookbook, which covers everything from Vegan Chili, Drop Biscuits, and Vegetable Pot Pie. Included are some wonderfully drawn macabre illustrations, and other original takes on good ole’ southern food.

Go find some tequila and start cookin’: You’re a bandito now.

 

3. Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan, and Tattooed
By Cecilia Granata

Let’s be honest. Your grandma probably wasn’t vegan. But let’s say she was. And wrote a cookbook. And was also Italian. You’d end up with Cecilia Granata’s Mama Tried, a wonderful cookbook filled with old world recipes made with vegan ingredients.
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t make Tiramisu, Flan Al Cioccolato, Panna Cotta.
With most recipes only a handful of ingredients, and simple instructions, there’s little prep and cook time. Sounds too good to be true? It probably is.

Go get a copy before we sell out.

 

4. Chocolatology: Chocolate’s Fantastical Lore, Bittersweet History, & Delicious (Vegan) Recipes
By Cat Callaway, Greg Clarke, Darin Wick and Angel York

As many people will tell you, the hardest part about going vegan is the sweets. But you know what is vegan? Chocolate. No, not that crap they put in Nutella, but real unadulterated chocolate.
You’re not the first person to fall in love with chocolate, and Chocolatology covers the history and lore behind the notorious sweet. On your history lesson journey you’ll also learn about its health benefits, sourcing sustainable cacao, and some (vegan) recipes to boot.

Sounds like the perfect after-school special to me.

 

 

5. Fire & Ice: Warm, Cool & Spicy Vegan Recipes from Hot & Soul
By Joshua Ploeg.

Who knew someone could be so talented? Joshua Ploeg, an accomplished punk musician in his own right (Behead The Prophet, No Lord Shall Live) also happens to moonlight as a gourmet vegan cook in his free time. Ice and Fire is a wonderful pocket-sized assortment of fusion and eclectic recipes made with easy-to-find ingredients.
Covering everything from garlic linguine and pineapple gazpacho, to Peanut-Bread Tempeh, you certainly won’t find yourself bored with dinner options. (Did we mention there’s plenty of boozy cocktail recipes in here as well!?)

This is for the friend who tells you vegan cooking “can’t be interesting.”

Go prove him wrong.

 

 

 

 

This post was written by summer intern Drew Matlovsky. Thanks Drew!