Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seductions of Rice

I read a bio of Loung Ung, the author of, First They Killed My Father, in which she said, she felt at home anywhere a pot of rice was on the stove. And although I've never known hunger as she had, I recognized the feeling. The contented smell of simmering rice, almost sweet, grounds me like nothing else. I'm rarely without a pot of it on the stove.

And according to Seductions of Rice neither are large parts of the world where rice is also an everyday staple. I picked up this book years ago from a chain store sale shelf and brought it home. I'm still wondering why it was on sale. The book is a testament to basic, slow and local foods around the globe that compliment, begin or end with rice.

Sometimes I simply look at the pictures, other times I read ingredients for recipes I'll never make but taste each one as if I already had. And when I feel armchair adventurous I read the stories that go with the rich photography, dishes and history. And I'm there.

Seductions Of Rice is a book as nourishing as the bowls of rice eaten day after day from Cambodia to California.

Do you have a favorite book that you pick up over the years that continues to offer up new surprises or takes you somewhere else but comforts you exactly where you are? A book with pictures for those times that words get to be too many?


Donna said...

Oooo, I'll have to think about your question, but this book looks like a winner!

Going Crunchy said...

I find myself visiting "Table" books frequently, or used art books that I've gotten at booksales. One in particular is a Time Life book on American Then and Now. The photographs are so striking as they document our national changes.

I must read _Where the Red Fern Grows_ every few years as well as the _Little House_ books. Sigh, good stuff!

Green Bean said...

You know, I really don't have a book like that. I suppose I have a few books with favorite sections - beautifully written - that I stop and savor every few years but none with pictures like you and Shannon describe.

Melissa said...

the book that I read over and over (and the only one I've read more than 3 times) is Matilda by Roald Dahl, which I've read about 20 times. I think I am Matilda in a lot of ways (except my parents are nicer than hers), which is why I probably love the book so much.

Kale for Sale said...

donna - It looks like Andrew's Jamberry book is a good one with pictures and not too many words. Without kids of my own I resort to cook and travel books for pictures. It's obviously time I borrow some kids again.

going crunchy - Yeah, you go it. Sometimes photography can document the world in a way that words can only attempt too.

I've yet to read the Little House books but after all the comments about them here I know I need to.

green bean - I look forward to hearing some of your favorite book sections here on the book blog.

melissa - I don't know this book but I'm going to look it up. I love a book that's like an old friend, which is what Matilda sounds like.