March 7, 2009
When I told my friends I was visiting Portland, the first thing out of everyone's mouth was "You have to go to Powell's!" I'd read a lot about this bookstore, so I was happy when Diane said it was on the agenda.
This place is huge. But thankfully, I find it more user friendly than the Strand in New York. The books are divided up into different rooms based on themes and colors, so navigating this store that is an entire city block is strangely intuitive. Of course, my first stop was the foodie magazine stand, then straight to the mother ship - the Food Section.
And mother ship it was! Aisles and aisles of cheaply priced books - everything from cookbooks to the Canadian history of the doughnut. I found a book on creme brulee and one offering pastry tips from the White House pastry chef. There were history books on the origins of the dinner roll, salt, the bagel, cookies - you name it, you could find a book on where your favorite food came from.
After piling a basket full of cookbooks and food literature, I settled on:
Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing From Gourmet Magazine by Ruth Reichl
Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson
The Essential Dessert Cookbook by Various Authors
I'm currently reading My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme (awesome book thus far, by the way), but once I finish that up I'm going to consume my new purchases!