Okay, a bit of a confession: sometimes even library staff are unaware of the breadth of the library’s collection.
A few weeks ago (November 4, 2023), DBRL hosted a Local Authors Open House. (This is a fun program where we give space for local authors to gather, sell their books and talk to readers. We will absolutely be doing this again so keep your eye out for the next installment.) As I was walking around the authors’ tables, I saw one of the authors had a cookbook on display. Of course, I was interested so I made a note of it. Later, I checked the catalog and found we had a copy.
The book was “For Such A Time As This: Flavors and Recipes of My Honduras” by Sarah Kohnle with Heidy Gissela Lanza Baca. Local author writes a cookbook and the guy writing about cookbooks hasn’t written about it? Ugh. *facepalm*
So, to rectify this oversight, I checked the book out and will share my thoughts. I was pleasantly surprised.
First, the book is bilingual! Each section of text is in Spanish and English; from the personal stories to the recipes, I really enjoyed this aspect. The recipes, covering what I assume to be the co-author’s cooking repertoire of typical Honduran meals, are mostly clearly written with good instructions for making the items. Being that the book is written by a journalist, it understandably has a feel of a long interview with the recipes included for flavor. Some minor errors in the recipes are scattered, but overall it’s a pretty good book. The dishes are devoid of much restaurant fanciness which gives them a feel of attainability. In my opinion, it is this attainability that gives the book such charm.
My one real criticism of the book? Oddly, it’s as if there is sometimes too much text on the page while also too much wasted blank space. As good as this book is, I feel it could have been even better. The photos, though not flashy, are effective and perfect. Just good photos of good food. I wish there were even more pictures, as some items didn’t have visual representation. I also wish there was more textual explanation of the dishes.
Overall, this is a good cookbook about good food!