4 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Ten Speed Press for providing me with a free ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.
Now, I’ve had this ARC in my possession for a while and I have read it on and off around the year to get a good feel for it simply as it’s a book there to guide us through the different celebrations we participate in the year round. So I really wanted to get a feel for it.
As, I know there are people out there like me with food intolerances who generally ignore them all, eat whatever is on offer and live with the consequences when it comes to things like Christmas, birthdays, New Year and other special occasions celebrating life, love and family. What I loved about ‘Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations’ is that it clearly and simply showed there are meals we can make at these special times that mean we can feel happy and healthy afterwards as they suit our fussy food tummies.
We’ll start with the basics now. A great beginner’s guide to eating grain free for all occasions. The initial glossary on foods, equipment and a lot of good “why we use them” info was fantastic. Yes I didn’t learn anything new as I am not new to grain free… but it wasn’t a condescending “talking to idiots” tone you can get in some food intolerance books. Nor was it preachy or “my way is the only way” you can get in other food intolerance books. It was friendly, easy going and USEFUL! Gave off a really welcoming feel and showed a lot of care and consideration had done into the details on offer.
The layout and formatting was excellent – which is what I’ve come to expect with Ten Speed Press so wasn’t surprised. The recipes are laid out well: clear to read, easy to follow and although in imperial measurements (as it is a book meant for the American audience) there is a very user friendly conversion table in the back.
And speaking of useful things in the back of this gorgeous book – there is a chart of all the recipes that shows which ones are suitable for other food intolerances. Such as which are also nut-free, egg-free, etc. Yes this table doesn’t cover all the intolerances out there… but no book can. So my food issues aren’t listed. And, unfortunately, this book seems to use my ‘bad foods’ as main ingredients in most things.
So, yes ‘Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations’ is grain and (from what I could tell) dairy free, those of us who can’t have alliums or seafood might not find as many things of interest in this book as hoped. As with most cook books, I can adapt a few… but would need to avoid a lot more.
Which leads to…
Would I recommend this book to others?
Yes I would. It is a fantastic book and filled with so many great ideas to help us survive those special occasions and not make ourselves feel ill with grain! Big bonus there for those of us with wheat, gluten or grain intolerances!
Yes it is focussed on an American audience and focusses on a lot of American holidays, but I’m Australian and still found a lot of inspiration in foods shown. We celebrate similar holidays at similar seasons and what you should take from it is it’s not about what you’re celebrating… it’s about the fact there are food options out there to help you celebrate ANYTHING within season and grain free.
Would I buy this book for myself?
This is another reason why it’s taken me so long to write this review… as I really don’t know. I like the feel, look and overall warmth and welcome ‘Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations’ gives… but I didn’t find a lot of recipes that suited my specific dietary issues. It inspired me to be more dedicated to staying ‘bad food free’ during the celebrations around the year… but didn’t offer me as many recipes I could actually use. This is not the fault of Ms Walker or her book – the fault is all mine!
In summary: This is a great book for those wanting to feel included with their grain free intolerances during the holiday seasons and celebrations around the year. Read it, take inspiration from it, enjoy it!
Until next time,