COMESTIBLE 2018 GIFT GUIDE
Comestible is what it is because of our contributors. There are amazing writers, bakers, chefs, farmers, activists, artists, natural dyers, fermenters, podcasters, wine makers... just to name a few. As I was putting together one of our newsletters a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about all of the interesting books, baked goods, artwork and more that so many of the contributors are putting out into the world. I decided to pull them all together in a gift guide.
I know that this time of year, so many of our traditions have come to revolve around buying things, and as my friends at Lady Farmer recently put it, I "don’t want to be just another source of commercial noise that threatens your enjoyment of the real and meaningful aspects of the season." But I did want to feature the work of our contributors, because they are putting so much passion, intention and beauty into the world, and we are better for it.
Comestible has always been created with the intent of providing a space to slow down and think about issues related to food and beyond. It is a platform for sharing ideas that hopefully spark a conversation, and hopefully change. Putting this type of work into the world requires support, just like all of the creative pursuits of our amazing contributors. If you are going to consume this holiday season, please consider supporting them. You money is of value to independent writers, makers, farmers, and artists.
There are both gifts to give and organizations to support, and I hope that you get as much inspiration from all of this work as I do.
BOOKS AND ZINES
Sweeter Off the Vine is Yossi Arefi's love letter to seasonal fruits and desserts, a burst of color, flavor and inspiration.
The Fruit Forager's Companion by Sara Bir is a wonderful collection of stories and recipes related to foraging.
Laurence Deschamps-Léger's vegetable illustrations are what first drew me to her work, and you have seen featured in this year's Comestible issues. You can purchase prints of her work here.
There are so many links between food, fiber and fashion, and Sasha Duerr is a wonderful guide into this world. In her book Natural Color, she takes us through the world of local, seasonal color and natural dyeing.
Andrew Devries Barton is the publisher of Two Plum Press books as well as the author of Myrtlewood, a book of Pacficic Northwest home cooking. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, or just have a craving for this region, your bookshelf needs this.
Craving a stroll through Paris? Jessie Kanelos Weiner's book Paris in Stride helps you do just that, even when you can't visit.
If you have been looking to get into fermentation, or want to learn more about all the ins and outs of fermented food, let Kirsten Shockey of Ferment Works be your guide in her books Fiery Ferments and Fermented Vegetables.
Explore Haitian food culture in Cindy Similien-Johnson's book Let's Speak Haitian Food. The book is a culmination of half a decade worth of collecting, editing, and compiling heartfelt food memories from more than 100 members of the Haitian Diaspora.
FOOD AND DRINK
Thanks to Teresa Finney you can sign up for a seasonal delivery of linzer cookies.
Sarah Owens ships a box of holiday cookies, all made from wholegrain heirloom flours. While you're on her site, order a copy of her book book Sourdough too.
Adrian Hale is a dedicated home baker, and sells her bread through her site Thousand Bites of Bread, including options like a Bread and Poetry Box. She also uses food to support important initiatives like the Sadalsuud Bread Box - all of the proceeds from this purchase go towards helping families displaced by the civil war in Syria.
Emily Towe and her husband Jody Brix Towe produce wine in Southern California. At j.brix wine they take a minimalist approach, using neutral vessels and native-yeast fermentation. Order a few bottles for holiday celebrating.
In Northern California, Allie Hymas and her family farm and raise Icelandic sheep. Believing in making use of the whole animal, Allie sells the beautiful sheepskins.
Audra Mulkern, the founder of The Female Farmer Project is currently working on a documentary called Women's Work: The Untold Story of America's Female Farmers. 30% of the proceeds from these Women's Work t-shirts sold through Public Market Goods (and made in California).
In Montana, April Vomfell spends her days growing flowers and herbs as a flower farmer/farmer florist. If you are in the Montana area you can sign up for a flower CSA bouquet subscription. Not in the area? April suggests Slow Flowers as a resource for finding locally grown flowers.
Through her art and writing, Aline Lindemann works to support organizations that serve the unique needs of refugees by donating 50% of the proceeds of her artwork sales.
Many of Jessie Kanelos Weiner's beautiful illustrations are available as a print or postcard, so that you can get a little taste of Paris at home.
In response to the inhumane immigration policy separating families at the U.S./Mexico border, Julie Schwietert Collazo asked herself what she could to to help. The result was Immigrant Families Together, and initiative that pays bonds for parents in detention and work to reunite them with their children, as well as supporting families who have been reunited. You can support Immigrant Families by making a donation here.
On Heritage Radio, Coral Lee looks at cross-cultural exchange in food and contemporary media in her show Meant to Be Eaten. You can help support the show by donating here (be sure to select Meant to Be Eaten when you donate).