“Greeting, Reading & Eating” with David Leite on Sunday April 23rd at 5:00pm

Byrd’s Books welcomes back author David Leite in celebration of his memoir, “Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression” on Sunday April 23rd at 5:00pm (6:00pm light fare served- prepared by David). For those of us who were fortunate enough to attend David’s author talk on his last book, “The New Portuguese Table” we got a preview of this new, wonderful book. Registration required.

Released by Harper Collins April 11th: 

The stunning and long-awaited memoir from the beloved founder of the James Beard Award-winning website Leite s Culinaria a candid, courageous, and at times laugh-out-loud funny story of family, food, mental illness, and sexual identity.

Born into a family of Azorean immigrants, David Leite grew up in the 1960s in a devoutly Catholic, blue-collar, food-crazed Portuguese home in Fall River, Massachusetts. A clever and determined dreamer with a vivid imagination and a flair for the dramatic, “Banana” as his mother endearingly called him, obsessed over proper hair care, yearned to live in a middle-class house with a swinging kitchen door like the ones on television, and fell in love with everything French, thanks to his Portuguese and French-Canadian godmother. But David also struggled with the emotional devastation of bipolar disorder. Until he was diagnosed in his mid-thirties, David found relief from his wild mood swings in cooking, Julia Child, and a Viking stove he named “Thor.”

Notes on a Banana is his heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, yet tender memoir of growing up, accepting himself, and turning his love of food into an award-winning career. Reminiscing about the people and events that shaped him, David looks back at the highs and lows of his life: from his rejection of being gay and his attempt to “turn straight” through Aesthetic Realism, a cult in downtown Manhattan, to becoming a writer, cookbook author, and web publisher, to his twenty-three-year relationship with Alan, known to millions of David s readers as “The One,” which began with (what else?) food. Woven throughout these stories are the dishes David loves the tastes that led him to happiness, health, and success.

A blend of Kay Redfield Jamison s An Unquiet Mind, the food memoirsof Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain, and Gabrielle Hamilton, and the character-rich storytelling of Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, and Jenny Lawson, Notes on a Banana is a feast that dazzles, delights, and, ultimately, heals.

About the author:

The winner of multiple James Beard awards, Leite grew up in a blue-collar Portuguese home in Fall River, MA, longing for middle-class stability and struggling with bipolar disorder, which was not diagnosed until his mid-thirties. Meanwhile, he threw himself into cooking.

The Vermont Country Store Cookbook: Recipes, History, and Lore from the Classic American General Store

VermontThe Vermont Country Store Cookbook captures both the essence of the iconic store and the soul of the Vermont way of life: a self-reliant, rich life in the slow lane. Through recipes, yarns, archival photos, and sumptuous visuals, it tells the story of five generations of Orton storekeepers, while featuring fresh-from-the-farm cooking that imbues the cuisine of the present with the best of the past. Approximately 120 updated and original family recipes evoke memories, conveying all the hominess of the catalogue, but also appeal to the modern tastes of contemporary cooks. The book also features sidebars of Vermont history and more than 200 photographs, both black-and-white archival and four-color photographs, the latter taken especially for the book.

The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking

80 Low-Carb Recipes That Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss

By Peter Reinhart & Denene Wallace, with photography by Leo Gong

The first gluten-free baking book from legendary bread maker and James Beard Award-winning author Peter Reinhart, with 80 world-class recipes suitable for wheat sensitive, diabetic, and low-carb/low-sugar dieters.

Amazing, easy-to-make recipes that revolutionize baking for wheat sensitive, diabetic, and low-carb/low-sugar cooks.

After more than two decades of research into gluten-free baking, bestselling author and legendary bread maker Peter Reinhart and his baking partner Denene Wallace deliver more than eighty world-class recipes for delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, and more in The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking.

Carefully crafted for anyone who is gluten sensitive, diabetic, or needs to reduce carbs to prevent illness or lose weight, these forgiving recipes taste just as good as the original wheat versions–and are easier to bake than traditional breads. By using readily available or home-ground nut and seed flours and alternative and natural sweeteners as the foundation for their groundbreaking style of baking, Reinhart and Wallace avoid the carb-heavy starch products commonly found in gluten-free baking. Additionally, each recipe can easily be made vegan by following the dairy and egg substitution guidelines.

Bakers of all skill levels will have no trouble creating incredibly flavorful baked goods, such as:

  • Toasting Bread, Banana Bread, Nutty Zucchini Bread, and many styles of pizza and focaccia
  • Cheddar Cheese and Pecan Crackers, Herb Crackers, Garlic Breadsticks, and pretzels
  • Blueberry-Hazelnut Muffins, Lemon and Poppy Seed Scones, and pancakes and waffles
  • Coconut-Pecan Cookies, Lemon Drop Cookies, Biscotti, and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
  • Brownies and Blondies, Cinnamon-Raisin Coffee Cake, Pound Cake with Crumb Topping, and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Apple Crumble Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Berry Pie, and Vanilla, Chocolate, or Banana Cream Pie

With Reinhart and Wallace’s careful attention to ingredients and balancing of flavors, these delicious gluten-free baked goods with a glycemic load of nearly zero will satisfy anyone’s craving for warm bread or decadent cake.

Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard

By Nigel Slater

Britain’s foremost food writer Nigel Slater returns to the garden in this sequel to Tender, his acclaimed and beloved volume on vegetables. With a focus on fruit, Ripe is equal parts cookbook, primer on produce and gardening, and affectionate ode to the inspiration behind the book – Slater’s forty-foot backyard garden in London.

Intimate, delicate prose is interwoven with recipes in this lavishly photographed cookbook. Slater offers more than 300 delectable dishes – both sweet and savory – such as Apricot and Pistachio Crumble, Baked Rhubarb with Blueberries, and Crisp Pork Belly with Sweet Peach Salsa. With a personal, almost confessional approach to his appetites and gustatory experiences, Slater has crafted a masterful book that will gently guide you from the garden to the kitchen, and back again.

wwd