Monday, February 2, 2015

Feast: Food to Celebrate Life by Nigella Lawson


When it comes to celebrations, I'm not one to shy away from holiday cooking like some do… I don't feel particularly pressured or stressed by it - I thrive on it and I always have. Naturally, when I found Feast: Food to Celebrate Life by Nigella Lawson on the shelf at my local bookstore, I had to have it.


I thought Feast would be merely a book with lots of recipe and menu suggestions for various holidays throughout the year, but as usual, Nigella pleasantly surprised me… This book is so much more! Of course there are menu plans and recipes for various occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, but she also includes observances from other religions including Islam and Judaism with great background histories on the festivities and the symbolism behind the traditional dishes enjoyed. If you recently married someone of a different faith and you're hosting the feast this year, then this is the book for you!

Furthermore, Nigella doesn't neglect any of our regular, human rituals, providing food ideas for times of mourning, times of joy, children's parties and even the first night you spend with your significant other. This book truly does what it says on the tin: makes a celebration out of the meals that people tend to dread preparing the most.

 

I'm happy to admit that Feast is not my favorite cookbook by Nigella Lawson - I much prefer Kitchen, Nigella Express and my current favorite, Nigellissima, however it is the most interesting, educational book I've read by her. I have a few more of her books still left to read, but this one definitely left me excited for the upcoming dates this year and the feasts that will ensue… Knowing what they're all about is part of the excitement!

I definitely recommend reading Feast if only for the stories. There are a few great recipes that I've already gotten quite a bit of mileage out of for normal dinners, but it's also great for sparking ideas when entertaining is on the horizon and you're not quite sure where to start. There are tips and tricks for managing it all and quite a few ideas you might not have through of before. If none of that convinces you, then perhaps knowing there's an entire chapter on chocolate cakes will do the trick!
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