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For those who are still looking for a great present for people who like to eat, I have summarized my current favorite list here. And best of all, the bookseller I trust, said that all books ordered by bookstores until Saturday, December 22nd through 17:45, will arrive on the morning of the 24th of December. In larger cities, the order deadline may even work later on Saturday.

Included are books that I brought back from my job travels last year or that have otherwise found their way into my kitchen. I have just noticed that all but a few exceptions are written by women. That makes me immensely happy, because I keep observing that in the food scene, women too often are not seen as to have a professional knowledge of cooking and eating. Clearly it’s time for a reality check!

1. I am Alison Roman’s fan since I saw her first on Bon Appetit. She now writes a biweekly recipe column in The New York Times. Her first cookbook, Dining In, is the best reason not to leave the house. Alison’s kitchen could also be translated as simple, umami and dirty. Or with: Olive oil, lemons, sea salt flakes, anchovies, tomatoes, market vegetables, the use of hands and a hot oven. Her Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies became an Instagram phenomenon in no time at all. Highly Cookable are also her recipes, made from rather fewer ingredients than too many, and photographed in great colors.

Dining In, published in English by Clarkson Potter, 304 pages for $17.34.

2. Incredibly beautifully designed colorful cooking and reading book by the artist Julia Sherman, with great recipes and conversations with creative VIPs like Laurie Anderson, Tauba Auerbach, Harry Gesner and Alice Waters. And even if the title is program, there are far more than (warm and cold) salads; Soups, drinks and desserts are also part of the party.

Salad for President, published in English by Harry N Abrams Inc., 272 pages for $ 23.79.

3. “Salt, fat, acid, heat” is the book that was missing in the cookbook market. It charmingly illustrated explains the few simple principles that give ingredients the essential flavour in cooking. For an interview Samin unfortunately wasn’t available last year, as she was already in the filming of her Netflix documentary series on cooking. Watch it! and get the book, it’s highly educating.

Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat. published by Simon and Schuster, 480 pages for $21,72.

4. A book about the restaurant with its nightlife as a bitter-sweet social cosmos. But also a coming-of-age story of a young woman in New York who fled the province in search of a job in upscale dining lands. A book about fears and desires, about loneliness and drugs, but also about pleasure, taste and sensuality, and the very special magic of hospitality and teamwork in the restaurant. The only downer: the depicted role models of women and men are unfortunately rather stereotypical and could have been worked out better. Still awesome New York reading for the holidays on the sofa.

Sweetbitter, published by Vintage, 356 pages for $14,34

5. I discovered this book first once again at Okka’s (as well as this great German weekend guide). The Danish chef and aroma expert Kille Enna presents seasonal recipes, each with a different blend of flavours. Hardly a cookbook has excited me that much by its very own approach to thinking culinary taste. What you might discover in the book only at second glance, but in my view is amazingly great: each aroma mix harmonizes with completely different ingredients as shown in a chart. This results in a wonderful range of favourite home recipes that can be seasonally modified. This is playing with flavours on master level!

My Aromatic Kitchen, published by Prestel, 288 pages for $32,80.

6. Same play on Aromas, but completely different concept. The German polymer physicist Thomas Vilgis has together with Thomas Vierich presented the second Aroma edition. This time the basis is vegetables, with a variety of recipes, stories, tips and tricks. The theoretical part has also been revised. Anyone who is interested in the chemical and physical contexts of cooking, as well as enjoys experimenting with culinary taste, is right here. Insanely great standard work for Flavor pairing. Unfortunately only in German (yet)!

Aroma Gemüse, published by Stiftung Warentest, 544 pages for 49.90 euros.

7. My most beautiful Ayurveda book. The recipes are wonderfully aromatic, based on the Ayurvedic principles (with great deductions for each dosha), and also seasonally sorted by year sign throughout the year. It is worth reading, many recipes are more elaborate and described in detail. In no other cookbook did I find the ayurvedic principles more plausible in the recipe design. It is beautifully photographed, comes in noble gold section and makes one really happy.

Ojas, published in English by Dovetail Verlag, 264 pages for $31,50.

8. The food at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco blew me away. It’s incredibly simple, tasty and concentrated, served dim-sum style on small plates. The just-published cookbook I had to have. It is a wonderful ABC of the State Bird Kitchen, with many basic recipes for broths, dashis, ferments, vinaigrettes, sauces, salty and sweet crunchy crumbs, powders and seasoning mixes. From these, you can put together fantastic little food like in a jigsaw puzzle, but there are also many recipe classics for small dishes from the restaurant. A great book that makes you want to cook and create recipe.

State Bird Provisions, published in English by Ten Speed ​​Press, 368 pages for $27,19.

9. Through Instagram, I’ve discovered this great cookbook of awesome women, whose subheading is “Recipes to Nourish Women” and whose earnings go entirely to “Planned Parenthood”. There is this beautiful statement by the artist Caroline Caldwell “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act”. Reflecting on the, not only in the USA, persistent, our society pervasive devaluation of women, this book is a good answer. Because when women support women, when women network, inspire and educate each other, I think a lot can be done. Although this book will not arrive in time for Christmas, certainly it will be in the new year still a pretty rad gift with your best friend.

Cooking Up Trouble, published in self-publishing, 116 pages for $ 30.

(Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something using it, I’ll get a mini-commission, and will probably buy another cookbook.)


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gua sha

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Here comes the list for quite practical things to do for body, mind and soul. May it inspire you!

Gua Sha.
Ayurveda to TCM is not far away. I do not remember what I did before this Chinese Gua Sha massage in the morning. My beautiful green jade comes with me on every journey, I’m addicted! I moisten my face with cold water, apply some moisturizer and, if necessary, a splash of squalane oil and use the stone, as explained in this wonderful video. It’s a big hit for neck and jaw tension. And beyond that a wonderful present for girlfriends!

What Yoga hasn’t done for me, Pilates has accomplished: change my body posture and release me from my ever-increasing back pain. Suggested by a new friend I met at the Ayurveda Cure who introduced me to a very different picture of Pilates – not the aerobic gym version that floated in the back of my mind, but a deeply precise, gentle and effective body training that roots in a strong center of the body. Since then, I have been taking private lessons that have changed my life. No exaggeration.
In the first lesson, it was about something as simple as: breathing.

Speaking of breathing, this little app visualizes various breathing techniques. Scientifically based, minimalistically designed, recommended!

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ayurveda cure

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It all started when I did an Ayurveda cure in spring.
The treatment was kind of a Body Reboot, in which I gave my body an attention like never before. I got massages and treatments, looked a lot at the sea many times a day and did a lot of not-doing.
Every day I had an appointment before breakfast with the Indian doctor, who in loose jeans and sneakers inquired after my well-being, body symptoms and my mood. He pushed a small glass of liquid ghee over and measured my blood pressure. For him, I noticed immediately, it was the most common thing that body, mind and feelings belong together and you basically just had to listen to what the body was trying to tell you.
He wanted to know how I felt after the massage treatments, what made me hungry, how my sleep, my digestion, and what my mood was.

I have taken a lot of practical out of this cure, very simple things like: no more (fridge) to eat cold and more time for daily body rituals. Fine to perceive how I feel after dinner. To drink more water (1 liter before the first coffee) and that tea from whole spices such as coriander seeds or cumin tastes great. To go to bed earlier.
But it is the Ayurvedic teachings as a whole that have deeply impressed me – in their logic (“it’s all connected”), their approach (“you are what you can digest”) and their simplicity (“you need to love your body “).

YOU NEED TO LOVE YOUR BODY.

What sounded so simple echoed in me for a long time and I began to suspect that there was still room for me to move up. I paid more attention than ever to what I put into my body and skin. And above all, I began to consciously perceive my own looking at myself in the mirror and what thoughts about myself and about others I gave room.

From then on things literally flew to me.

I suddenly noticed how many women casually comment on social media that they hate their body or parts of their body (they really wrote hate!!).
It was and is heartbreaking for me how “normal” this rejection of one’s own body is. And above all, it makes clear that women are confronted with a perpetual social ideal of beauty, which is generated by abstruse, unreal superficialities, and in which, as a rule, all women can only lose. I was surprised that even women whom I (in real life) had always perceived as beautiful, self-assured and successful women joined this canon. And then I realized, the “problem” was even more serious and much more destructively socially anchored than I thought. Because beauty is too often equated with an outward normative look, and too little with what it feels like.

My mind was circling in my head. Because there is so much to think about, so much to say about love and caring for your own body. About how women look at themselves, as in “honest and genuine”. About which image of the “I”  day by day floats through ones own mind, and is sadly reflected and confirmed on the outside.

There was and remains only one thing: stop it.

Stop hating the “I”, crunching your own body and your own behavior.
Stop with this socially accepted view of your own inadequacy.
Stop making one’s own well-being dependent on anyone out there.

And start to be mild.
Start really looking, at the bathroom mirror as in social interaction.
Making it clear that the claim to look or be a woman, one way or the other, comes from a social norm that does not equate women.
Understanding that looking at oneself has something to do with looking at others.
Begin to wonder about this wonderful body and what it can do.
Opning up to admiration, appreciation, caring for your own body.

Strengthening this miracle – a body made to use, to understand, and experience the world through it. That can give life, and is being changed by life.

So simple, so hard.

That’s why I started looking for voices that I consider self-empowering and that I like listening to because they make me think.

What I found are incredibly smart women who think about the difference between looks and inner feelings. 
Who show themselves as who they are, beautiful and incomparable. Women who enlighten and stand up for an independent relationship to the body and to beauty.

This story about the model Lauren Wasser, who lost her legs due to a TSS infection triggered by a tampon. Something I had read about before only in the leaflet of the tampon packaging.

And this documentary by Taryn Brumfitt on body ideals and her great way to a happy self that feels good.

Lena Dunham posts on Instagram about it.

“You have the right to remain fat”. Stumbled upon it on Instagram, landed at the author Virgie Tovar. Here is an excerpt from her book.

Body positivity. Melanie-Jasmin Jeskes Instagram channel Melody Michelberger is to be recommended anyway, for women from young to old, for men – oh, just for everyone. Nobody poses as bold and elegant in a bikini or underwear on the roof, in the garden or in the apartment. In addition, she has founded Trust the Girls and owns probably the most beautiful dress collection in the world.

Berit also writes on Instagram about such essential things as: showing legs. You cannot say it better than her: “Summer is for everyone!”.

Teresa Bücker, Editor-in-Chief of Edition F, not only tweets incredibly smart and funny, but also posted a pretty cool list of books on constructions of feminism, beauty and love. Bookmarked!

Last but not least. This new podcast by Allison Behringer, which is actually more an audio documentary or radio play, is a real gem. I devoured all the episodes produced so far and can say that the episodes are getting better and better!


And because reading and listening are great, but doing is, too, there will soon be a personal list with practical ideas for Body Love.
Enjoy browsing!

And please let et me know who you think is inspiring, too!
I’m glad to hear from you.

 

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Do you also like to gift advent calendars? Of course DIY is the most beautiful. If you cannot do that – I’ve picked out my culinary favorites from small producers. This year I have given away the home-made ‘Fresh from the farm’, for which you can choose from all sorts of home made mustard, salt mixtures, spreads, honeys and vinegars. I am already looking forward to this coffee calendar with 24 different single origin beans, which we have ordered for ourselves. Btw if you order by Monday, November 27th, then it will arrive on time for December 1st!

If you are still looking for sustainable gift inspiration for Christmas, then I have something for you.

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Rosensalz 1a Kitchen

 

“Friendship is the salt of life.”

This summer, I learned something big about friendship: that after courage (often) something very beautiful follows. And because I know that sometimes it takes an impulse from the outside, and I’ve experienced it as something so important and warming, I would like to promote this kind of courage to jump over-the-own-shadow.
In the end, the moments we can share with friends (… and with the loved ones and la famille), with people who know us – and who we know – since a long time are so beautiful and important. So if there is someone you would like to contact again since a long time: just do it. Do it! It may be that you both end up after 5, 10, 15 years and not even know where they went.

And then you may have a toast with rosé, or with rosy salt on buttered bread.
For as friendships are the salt of life, the salt is the best friend of vegetables.
Or pasta.

Or buttered bread.

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