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Janet Reich Elsbach’s ‘Extra Helping’ Is As Thoughtful As It Teaches Readers to Be

Published this past November, the cookbook “Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting & Building Community One Dish at a Time” is an artfully illustrated paperback with a simple goal: to give you real tools for responding to the “endless opportunities to hone the craft of feeding those too taxed to feed themselves,” along with “the art of gratefully receiving this attention” in those situations when the person who is too taxed is under your roof–or you. Food, Elsbach says, is one of the most foundational and meaningful ways to help one another. In this book, she shows how.

Janet Reich Elsbach's 'Extra Helping' Is As Thoughtful As It Teaches Readers to Be / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy
Written for anyone who needs a helping hand in community, ‘Extra Helping’ offers 70+ recipes for expanding families, the rearranged, the ill or recovering, the grieving and more.

According to Janet Reich Elsbach, Massachusetts-based author of the recently published cookbook, “Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting & Building Community One Dish at a Time,” caring for people with food is essentially the same as caring for people in any other way. Whether someone’s just brought home a new baby or is grieving the sudden loss of a spouse, to be able to offer the kind of help that is truly help, what’s required is less cooking skills, more listening skills.

In other words, what you need to know is how to be curious.

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as the hands in charge move me

The following is the second of what hopefully becomes a regular, infrequent series on this site: personal essays relating to food or writing themes. If you are a writer and would like to submit a contribution, contact me. Or, if this is not your thing, visit the home page for what else is new!

a personal essay on food blogging / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy
Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

I started food blogging in 2008. The original site where I wrote got sold in 2017 and has since been repurposed, but I can remember the archives via the Internet’s Way Back Machine—and yesterday I did. I was 25 when I started the blog, a year out of grad school. My day job was boring, I read food blogs for fun and I was trying to learn to write another way. The blog was practice.

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Why Use Olive Oil As a Moisturizer

Winter weather doesn’t have to destroy your skin. Consider this: the same oil you cook with can be a great way to rehydrate! Here’s why using olive oil as a moisturizer is such a smart solution this season.

Save your skin by tapping into an ancient beauty secret: use olive oil as a moisturizer. It’s available, it’s accessible and it works! According to an Instagram poll last week, 98% of you already rely on this ingredient for everyday cooking. So while you’re using it in the kitchen, why not drizzle a few drops onto your hands and rub them in? The people behind Pompeian Olive Oil say you’ll be glad you did.

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What’s the Best Olive Oil for Salads to Buy at the Grocery Store?

In a recent Instagram poll, I asked followers about olive oil loyalty. Do you prefer a certain brand? If so, what’s the best olive oil for salads and everyday cooking? Here’s what surprised me: among responses, three names kept repeating—including one that, turns out, has also won at least five olive oil taste tests online.

What's the best olive oil for salads and everyday cooking? / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy

Anyone who buys olive oil—and that’s essentially all of us, according to last week’s Instagram poll—knows the challenge of sifting through shelves of options at the store. How should you decide which one to buy? Is price most important? Or should you focus on source? Are oils from Spain better? What about Italy?

I asked you for your opinions last week, and about 24% of the 200 people polled said yes, you are loyal to a certain brand. Of those respondents, most people gave me one of three repeated answers.

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A Roundup of Valentine Food Ideas Shaped in Hearts

Take your roses and / fancy rings, I just want all / of the heart-shaped things! It’s almost Valentine’s, and here’s the truth: whether you’re nine or 99, cutting food in heart shapes is a great way to celebrate. So come get inspired! From pizza to PB + J, here are eight creative Valentine food ideas shaped in hearts! 

PB + J in a roundup of Valentine food ideas shaped in hearts / Go Eat Your Bread with Joy #valentines

Is food more romantic when it’s cut in a heart shape? Who knows, but it sure is more fun. Wherever you find yourself this Valentine’s Day–in a relationship or not, with a group of friends or home with Netflix–if you have to eat on February 14, you may as well smile as you do. Grab a cookie cutter or get creative: plan to try any of the below Valentine’s food ideas you can cut in heart shapes!

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