Storytime for Grownups: A Thanksgiving Feast

It’s the beginning of November, and as we recover from our Halloween induced sugar-high, many of us have already began planning for the biggest eating holiday of the year; Thanksgiving! This all-American holiday is generally marked by a large turkey, stuffing, gravy, and all the trimming, but it doesn’t have to be (unless you like it like that!)

This month, our expert library system services guy, Adam Davis of the Palm Beach County Library System, has a few cookbook suggestions for those of us who are brave enough to take-on the holiday kitchen ourselves!

“As an adult, Thanksgiving dinners have rarely been traditional,”Adam stated. “I have many vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and even freegan friends and family who make eating together an adventure. This list is dedicated to the traditionalists and the non-traditionalists in your circle!”

Plenty: vibrant vegetable recipes from London’s Ottolenghi / Yotam Ottolenghi

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike will drool over any of the dishes contained in this beautifully photographed cookbook. And if you love this book, he’s got a few more!

Momofuku Milk Bar / Christina Tosi

James Beard award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi shows you the ins and outs of such Milk Bar favorites as cereal milk & crack pie, both of which I’ve tried in NYC. This cookbook is for a more seasoned home cook, but novices and experts will learn a lot from Tosi’s innovative delights.

Martha’s American food: a celebration of our nation’s most treasured dishes, from coast to coast / Martha Stewart

Need I say more than Martha Stewart? This happens to be one of my favorite of all of her cookbooks. All things Martha on DVD, in book form, or even as an eBook at your local library.

Farm to fork: cooking local, cooking fresh / Emeril Lagasse

Published in 2010, this cookbook is a departure from what you think you know about Lagasse. If you’re expecting “Bam!,” you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re looking for farm fresh ingredients (veggies, meat, and seafood), you’ll be surprised by the variety of ingredients and how he prepares them (try the peach freezer jam!).

The Paleo Chef / Pete Evans

For those of you not in the know, paleo meals are gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free. If that sounds flavor-free, think again. From continental to international, there’s a dish for every palate and I promise, whether you’re paleo or not.

Vegan with a Vengance / Isa Chandra Moskowitz

I am not a vegan, but I swear by some of Moskowitz’s recipes. Her punk and Jewish upbringing influences her take on food. Her recipe for vegan matzah balls are the only ones that have ever turned out light and fluffy for me! If you’re looking for the traditional (corn chowder) or the non-traditional (jerk seitan), you’ll find it all here. If you have vegans at your Thanksgiving table, PICK UP THIS BOOK!

Marcus off duty: the recipes I cook at home / Marcus Samuelsson

Many people know Samuelsson from the Food Network’s, “Chopped” but I fell in love with his cooking and his journey through after reading his biography, Yes, Chef. All of his cookbooks are great, but this one is off the chain. My favorite Thanksgiving recipe? Try his garam masala pumpkin tart. It’s to die for.

Barefoot Contessa: how easy is that? / Ina Garten

What Thanksgiving booklist would be complete without the contessa herself? I have often wondered what it’s like to be her husband Jeffrey who gets to taste just about everything that comes out of her kitchen. Luckily, we can recreate her dishes in this and many of her other fabulous cookbooks. For your Thanksgiving feast, I would suggest her easy cranberry & apple cake.” Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and your guests will be making their reservations with you for Thanksgiving 2016!

Check out these and many more of the best cookbooks at your local Palm Beach County Library System branch. Reserve them today by visiting: You, your family, and your guests will be thankful for the treasures you find!