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Maybe you’ve joined Slow Books for our read-along programming for “How to Be An Antiracist” or “Braiding Sweetgrass,” or perhaps this will be your first read-along. Either way — we’re glad you’re here!

The Slow Books committee is pleased to announce the third annual Slow Food USA Network-Wide Read Along. This year’s “read” will be Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes” by Abra Berens. It’s part cookbook, part field guide with a glossary that goes beyond cooking terms and techniques, along with interviews with producers and farmers.

The Slow Books team will be hosting an ongoing discussion (hosted on Facebook and Italic Type) beginning in August leading up to a Slow Food Live event with Abra and some of her Granor Farm counterparts in November 2022

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • What we’re reading: “Grist” by Abra Berens
  • How can you participate: 
    • Read and cook along now through November
    • Join the discussion on our Facebook Event page 
    • Participate in the group chat on Italic Type (email/login to platform required; to join the group discussion, submit your email address that is linked to your account here)
    • Save the sate for a Slow Food Live event with Abra and members of the Granor Farm team on Nov. 10, 2022 at 1p.m. CT

We hope that you’ll be part of the conversation as we share favorites from the book, ask questions and explore the grains, and legumes that make up “Grist.”

Why “Grist”?

At the Slow Books Leader Summit session back in January 2022, curators presented an audience survey asking for feedback and what to read next and Grist was the clear winner. Additionally, as the ingredients that are the champions of this cookbook — grains, beans, seeds and legumes — are cornerstone staples in a diverse array of cultures and foodways (some of which are featured on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste), it seems to be a cookbook with universal appeal. Further, as a midwestern native who has put down roots at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI, Abra has a deep connection to the land on which the crops and ingredients go that she cooks and creates with. As “Grist” is not her first cookbook, the way the book is laid out (complete with resources, illustrations, interviews and more that enhance the book’s content well beyond just a collection of recipes) makes it accessible to a wide range of readers.