Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice (I discovered after I wrote this entry that it is not in the JCL catalog, but is readily available Interlibrary Loan.)
Author Jessica Prentice is a professional chef and food activist, co-founder of Locavores and a founding worker-owner of Three Stoner Hearth: A Community Supported Kitchen in West Berkeley. Her website www.chelseagreen.com
Full Moon Feast takes us through 13 moons – Hunger Moon, Sap Moon, Egg Moon, Milk Moon, Moon of Making Fat, Mead Moon, Wort Moon, Corn Moon, Moon When Salmon Return to Earth, Blood Moon, Snow Moon, Moon of Long Nights and Wolf Moon. Each of these Moon chapters deals with a particular category of food and includes a history of a people’s relationship with that food group, traditional methods of preparing those foods and a discussion of present day production practices and ends with several recipes associated with the food group. Reference notes for each chapter are found in the back.
I found it an entertaining read, especially the parts about various traditional cultures and how they prepared a certain food. I look forward to trying several of the recipes, such as Cardamom and Jaggery Rice Pudding, Coconut-date energy balls and Quick Kraut.
A particularly interesting piece was in the Wolf Moon chapter, where she discussed how a group of Australian anthropologists believes that early humans learned to think and act like wolves from the time when they lived closely with wolves. And the aborigines have a saying: “Dogs make us human.” The recipes in this section are not how to cook wolf! They are foods connected to “Keeping the wolf from the door” during the long winter months.
Anyone with an interest in food, cooking, or traditional cultures should find this book appealing.