Book Review: All Natural* by Nathanael Johnson

When I heard about the new book “All Natural” by Nathanael Johnson, I was immediately intrigued.  There are not many writers who delve openly and honestly into questions about whether “natural” approaches to eating, childbirth, and medicine are actually healthier. Most people come at these topics with pretty strong leanings or an all-out agenda already in place. So those of us who want to figure it out for ourselves are usually left reading two wildly opposing opinions and trying to sort it out on our own. Nathanael Johnson offers a rare helping hand that might save some of us from …

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A Talk with Sandor Katz about Pickled Peppers

I love the taste of naturally fermented sour dill pickles. Since I don’t live anywhere near a Jewish deli and I have lots of fresh vegetables on hand from the farm, I really want to learn to make my own. But my initial attempts at pickling have not been a success. Natural fermentation is the traditional way of making pickles taste like they are fresh from the barrel at a Jewish deli rather than fished out of a jar from the supermarket.  They are not packed with any vinegar and not refrigerated, giving them the amazing taste and some say …

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First Books

As a new Kindle reader, I have been giving some thought to the value of paper books over digital and it is sad to think of a world that no longer needs real books.  I am also grateful for the convenience of many books in my hand at once and find myself reading more fiction because it is suddenly accessible to read while nursing or rocking my toddler to sleep. My preschooler is starting a reading program at school.   This week he brought home his second “Bob” book to practice over the weekend.  I instantly fell in love with the …

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Jewish Parenting Book Review and Giveaway

Rabbi Ilana Grinblat’s, “Blessings and Baby Steps: The Spiritual Path of Parenthood” recently published by Behrman House offers a refreshing account of one mother’s attempt to infuse Jewish values and education into her parenting. I can attest that her short chapters make reading the book possible — even when you are busy chasing your own small children. I read the book while my children were engaged in sand play — three minutes here, 15 minutes there. Also, the chapters are very topical, so readers will easily hop around to topics of interest. The collection of essays spans pregnancy through age …

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