relish December 17


Top Ten Books for Foodies by Erin Johnson

With the advent of the holidays soon to be upon us, I felt this post was very timely for those of us who crave, yearn for, and generally think about food all day. I was fortunate to grow up in a house where a home-cooked meal was a given and the smell of warm baked bread, licking the spoon, and sprinkling powdered sugar on fasnachts were usual occurrences. Couple that with a few summers spent working on an organic food farm and you have all the makings of an obsessed, passionate and–at times–“hangry” lover of food.


It should come as no surprise that I spent more than one weekend watching Julie and Julia, poring over Mastering the Art of French Cooking and creating elaborate meals with my cousin as we donned pearls and greeted everyone who joined us at the table with a “Bon Appetit!” Needless to say, opening a small bakery has always been a dream of mine. The thought of waking up to rising dough, warm croissants, and creamy frosting is enough to make me want to scour my town in search of rental properties–not that I need another job right now.  But perhaps, one day…


Below you’ll find some of my favorite books that will not only feed your mind, but will feed your soul as well. So sit back, relax and get your food fix without feeling like you need to put on your sweatpants (unless you want to ;-)!


*Books are in no certain order.


cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ron Barrett

Loved by young and old alike. Also known as an oldie but a goodie. Who doesn’t dream of meat falling from the sky? Don’t forget to check out the sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh.


snicker of magic

 A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

For anyone who ever wanted to be a wordsmith and loves a little bit O’ magic. This book will have you laughing, squirming and rooting for Felicity Juniper Pickle like a scoop of ice cream roots for sprinkles.


a tangle of knots

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

Get ready to enter the world of Talents.This book blends realistic fiction with fantasy as it seeks help its occupants find their special “talents” and discover who they really are. Includes recipes.


chocolate fever

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

Nothing reminds me of childhood like a good dose of Chocolate Fever. While most of us understand that chocolate truly has the ability to save the world (or at least foil some hijackers) never is it so obviously as it is in the book Chocolate Fever. Up there with Stand By Me, The Goonies, and The Sandlot.


Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Kinsley

This delightful graphic novel memoir allows a glimpse into the life of a girl growing up in a gourmet family and how her life’s events are best remembered by certain foods.  Includes recipes.


Pie by Sarah Weeks

This book is about pies. Need I say more? Whether you are a pie aficionado or just love baking, this heart-warming book will make you laugh, make you hungry, and leave you wishing that pie ingredients would be dropped off on your doorstep every morning. Includes no less than 14 pie recipes.


Close to Famous

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

Joan Bauer’s books are extremely well written and never fail to create a link between the characters and readers. Close to Famous speaks of dreams, disappointments and, of course, cupcakes!   (Check out her book Peeled as well for a tasty description of life in upstate New York complete with apple orchards and haunted houses)


Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech

Another classic Sharon Creech book that focuses on inter-generational relationships as well as friendship problems. In the end, nothing soothes the soul like a good bowl of zuppa!


Pizza, Love and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

Growing up working in her family’s Greek-Italian restaurant, Sophie wants nothing more than to someday run her very own restaurant. When the opportunity to star in a teen chef reality show seems like the perfect way to help her achieve her dreams, Sophie has no choice but to dive in and cook her heart out! Nutritional Facts: Does contain 75% of your daily intake of romance, drama, and cute French chefs.


Julia’s Kitchen

Julia’s Kitchen by Brenda A. Ferber

This is a story of loss, love, and how food can really bring people together. For the worrier in all of us who sometimes feels the need to question the path our lives have taken. Includes a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish terms–as well as a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Yum!


Erin Johnson is a middle school librarian who loves playing video games, getting crafty, making and eating food and spending time with her husband. She hails from the beautiful state of Pennsylvania.