Thursday, May 4, 2017

Signs and Seasons: An Astrology Cookbook (review)

*This post contains affiliate links that I may make commission from; however, all thoughts are my own. I also received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

I've kind of been on a cooking kick lately, mostly because I'm trying to incorporate healthy, new-to-me foods to my diet but also introducing them to my toddler and baby to hopefully promote a good diet for their futures so when the opportunity presented itself to review this, I jumped right on it!

Food connects us to our families, history, culture, and to the natural world itself—to the seasons and the cycle of life. Just as our path around the sun—and through the Zodiac—dictates the seasons, the seasons dictate what will flourish, from the tender greens of early spring to late summer’s lush and impossible perfect tomatoes.
In Signs and Seasons, Farber and Zerner—along with chef John Okas—take home cooks through the four seasons and each of their astrological signs in over 95 tantalizing seasonal recipes that include starters; meat, seafood, and vegetarian mains; sides; and desserts for each sign.
Because this book is based around your astrological sign, it's probably best I start my review by telling you I am a Pisces. I am a Pisces through and through and if I could be a fish I probably would be. I love all things astrology, I totally believe in all of it, I actually have a psychic I go to and she is totally legit, real deal, not-messing-around.  I should also tell you that I really love reading cookbooks, the stories in them, the concepts behind them, the notes between recipes, everything in between, so this book was right up my alley.

Unfortunately, I kind of didn't love it.

To be fair, I need to mention I am not a foodie. Anyone who knows me knows I am a chicken nugget, french fry, nacho lovin' gal. I cannot help it, I am a child of the 80's and Pizza Rolls are my jam. I went into this book totally opened minded though thinking that maybe this is what I needed to enlighten me. Maybe I'm trying to eat the wrong dang foods this whole time. According to this book my foods as a Pisces are: pears, flounder, spinach, honey, almonds, eggplant, sweet potatoes, melon.

I'll eat almonds on my ice cream and I'll eat spinach if it's raw and thoroughly coated in French dressing. But that's it.

A lot of the general descriptions of a Pisces person were pretty accurate. And as we get into the actual cookbook, which is divided into seasons, I went right to the winter section which is where Pisces is sorted. (Oddly, I always assumed I was a spring sign being born in March, but no, I guess I'm a winter sign, WEIRD.) In each section we get some starters, salads, pastas, seafood, vegetarian, meat, pasta, sides, and dessert options, which is perfect if you're putting together a dinner party, you could easily pull something from each category and be all fancy.

But here's a hot tip: if I can't pronounce it? I will not eat it. What in the mother is "choucroute garni"? It's some kind of weird meat dish I'm not eating, that's what. Basically the only thing in the entire section of recipes that I would eat would be the cheesecake and cherry sauce, but I would pick the cherries off. As it turns out, I am, and will always be, an absolute child when it comes to eating food. I firmly believe now that there is absolutely zero hope for me to ever be a grown up. Don't take me anywhere nice, don't try to cook me real food, I just can't.

I do have to mention a little piece of nostalgia though- the food photography? The photos throughout the book are taken in such a way that it reminded me instantly of my Grandma's original Betty Crocker cookbook. Almost vintage looking, almost grainy? I don't know if that was the aim of the photos but looking at them brought back memories of sitting on her kitchen floor paging through her cookbooks and it made me smile.

So while I didn't totally love the book, I do have some friends who have been borrowing it and love it. These are my hippie loving life friends who are all about growing vegetables in their yard and having little bits of dirt in their food and being totally OK with it. They, of course, think there is something genetically wrong with me and how I eat, but that's OK. Because I've managed to not die of malnutrition yet so I can't be all that wrong, right? HA! But if you consider yourself a foodie and you are looking for new ways to pair foods and interesting combinations, I highly recommend this book. The reasoning why they paired certain things together is kind of fascinating so it was a neat read either way.


Ruth said...

I love cookbooks. I have a nice collection. Actually my favorite ones are the ones you get from schools or nursing homes or organizations that are for fundraisers and people just add their recipe to it. You can find some really great stuff. I have never been too much on diets for birth or blood type. I do think diet can be very useful for health problems. I try to eat low starch. I already have to do gluten free. But, low starch helps my inflammation.
So, you're saying I should never bake you a cheesecake?

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

Peter Floyd said...