Food and photos to warm the wintry soul — notes on a new book

“Roast Figs, Sugar Snow,” new American edition of a book by Diana Henry

“In the morning,” wrote Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big
Woods), “the house was warm from the stove, but when Laura looked out of the
window she saw that the ground was covered with soft, thick snow.

“All along the branches of the trees the snow was piled like feathers, and
it lay in mounds along the top of the rail fence, and stood up in great,
white balls on top of the gate posts.

“Pa came in, shaking the soft snow from his shoulders and stamping it from
his boots.

“‘It’s a sugar snow,’ he said.”

Jason Lowe made a stunning two-page-spread photo of just such a scene in
the book I just received for review (see my subject-line, above).

And, just about at the end of the book, there’s a “recipe” for sugar-on-snow
(the author adds butter to the boiling maple syrup) . . . and an artful
Jason Lowe photo of the syrup on a bed of snow.

Diana Henry’s two-page essay about “sugar snow” season quotes Robert Frost
(Evening in a Sugar Orchard):

“The moon, though slight, was moon enough to show
On every tree a bucket with a lid,
And on black ground a bear-skin rug of snow.”

Wow. There are lots of cold-weather recipes from all over the northern
hemisphere, and many are colorfully illustrated. Sub-titled “Winter food to
warm the soul,” this is a real treasure. $19.99 in bookstores.