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Botany, Ballet and Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 139 pages
  • Publisher: Heliotrope Books (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981619851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981619859
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,685,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Leda Meredith and I met on an expedition to Brazil in 2006. She dazzled our group with her knowledge of rainforest trees and plants, and her ability to cook anything anywhere. Encouraged by our enthusiasm, she began writing her memoirs and pairing them with recipes on Ille Grande. This luscious island off the coast of Rio admits no cars, and as we walked up and down mountain paths to the beaches Leda spoke about "birthing" this book. At some point during those rigorous excursions I volunteered myself as its midwife.

From the Back Cover

"What a delicious read! This book is such a beautiful blend of both familiar and unusual recipes, fascinating facts, and the poignant but impressive story of a multi-talented dancer's life. I loved it." -- Cynthia Gregory, Prima Ballerina "Leda triumphs...you're in for a delicious and fascinating ride." -- Ellen Zachos, author of Down and Dirty Gardening, Tempting Tropicals, and Orchid Growing for Wimps "Many people tout the benefits of eating locally. Leda Meredith lives them. Part memoir, part travelogue, part recipe book, Botany, Ballet, and Dinner from Scratch combines Meredith's passion for dance, foraging, gardening, cooking, and writing into an appetizing brew. The recipes and stories are to be savored, the garden and kitchen wisdom to be used." -- Jennie Schacht, author of Farmers' Market Desserts and co-author of Without Reservations and The Wine Lover's Dessert Cookbook "In this engaging memoir filled with mouth-watering recipes, Leda Meredith recounts a lifetime of urban foraging adventures. Begun in early childhood harvesting horta in San Francisco with her Greek great-grandmother, Meredith's foraging ways bring continuity and meaning to her life's twists and turns, as she repeatedly finds healing in food and her connections to it. This is a book sure to inspire readers to find pleasure in what is close at hand."

-- Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements (Chelsea Green, 2006) and Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-culture Foods (Chelsea Green, 2003)


More About the Author

Lifelong forager, food preservation expert for About.com, blogger for Mother Earth News, locavore, sustainable food systems educator, former professional dancer (yep, one of these things is not like the others ;)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elaine F. Marshack on August 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
An engaging writer, Leda Meredith interweaves a fascinating personal odyssey with unusual recipes that accompanied her journey and her evolving commitment to eating foods grown within 250 miles of her home. She inspires a similar effort in her readers.
(signed) Anonymous
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett Garfinkel on August 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
So I'm not a book reader at all but because one of my most favorite professor's was writing a book of course I got it. I finished this book in about 2 days which shocked me because I read really slow. Anyhow I enjoyed the way the stories connected to the recipes. You could tell it was a very heartfelt story. I loved it and have already read it again twice!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NYC fan on August 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm not a foodie or a dancer, but I totally enjoyed Leda Meredith's story. She explains the connection she feels to the food she eats and what drove her to eat locally -- within 250 miles of her Brooklyn home -- but she never sounds judgmental or over-the top. Instead, this is an honest account of one woman's struggles to do right by herself and the environment. It is an inspiring and powerful book and we would all benefit from Meredith's journey.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Dallal on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read preliminary excerpts, I have now purchased copies for myself and for holiday gifts. The passage that caught me contains her grace before meals: "The energy you bring me, I turn into the actions of an honorable life. You will have no cause to be ashamed of being part of my bones. May your spirit travel in joy."

The notion that we owe it to the beings we eat to use them honorably--really, to BE them as we live forward through them--shook me deeply. I do believe that when someone or something dies and I live because of their donation (whether it be the meat on my table or the cadaver bone in my dental implant), I incur a debt of gratitude to them. Meredith's prayer shows me in a simply solid way how to fulfill that debt.
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