Olympic Peninsula Suggested Books, Volume 2 | Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula Suggested Books, Volume 2

Written by guest-blogger and local bibliophile, Mary Brelsford. Cover Photo Courtesy of Port Book and News.

The Olympic Peninsula Culinary Scene

When you think about coming to the Olympic Peninsula, do you think about the yummy food here? Or spectacular wines? Shellfish right off the beach or wild berries, plump and warm from the sun? While you are awaiting your next visit to the peninsula, here’s some food for thought. (Pun intended!)  One of our suggested reading (viewing) is a classic story told in book and movie, while one might give you something to do now at home. Be sure to check back for more reading suggestions.

Let’s explore books about FOOD & DRINK.

The Egg and I book cover

The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Humor. First published in 1945.

And oldie but a goodie set in the Chimacum Valley, it tells of the author’s life on an abandoned chicken farm, which she was totally unprepared to tackle. She and her Marine husband, Bob, lived with no running water, no electricity and rigors of farm life, including a neighbor who set her sights on Bob. And, then children! This will be a good book to read now while we are all #stayhome. Humor can get us through a lot. Take a message from Betty.

There is an Egg and I Road to find when you get here. In the meantime, check out the movie. Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert star. This film started the Ma and Pa Kettle films!

Art of the Pie book cover

Along with some good humor, we all need some good home-made treats. How about PIE! Our next suggestion can help. Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life® by Kate McDermott. Cooking, Baking, Desserts. Published in 2016.

2017 James Beard Award nominee Kate McDermott lived on a blueberry farm on the Olympic Peninsula in late 1990s. Her love of pies and experiments to make the perfect crust have led her to teaching the “art of the pie®”. In addition to her cookbook, her website and blog have many things to investigate from recipes to pie trivia. And her videos can help with hands-on demonstrations of how to make more than just pie!

Can’t you smell those apples and cinnamon coming from the oven? For family meal inspiration, check out Kate’s follow up cookbook, Home Cooking with Kate McDermott (2018), which focuses on healthy, affordable and mostly one-dish meals.

Working Girl Behind the Cellar Door book cover

Behind the Cellar Door by Kathy Charlton. Culinary, Wine, Autobiography, Memoir, Business. Published in 2017.

This is a fascinating story of the beginning of wine on the Olympic Peninsula. Kathy Charlton was the trailblazer or the original “Working Girl”. The brand of Working Girl wines has led to a successful business, pouring Working Girl and Olympic Cellars wine from this family-owned, women operated winery.

Olympic Cellars hosts many events during the year and a concert series of outdoor music for dancing and community fund raising during the summer months.

You’ll find some very good, award-winning wines on the Olympic Peninsula:

Harbinger Winery
Camaraderie Cellars
Olympic Cellars
Wind Rose Cellars
FairWinds Winery
Port Townsend Vineyards
Eaglemount Winery & Cidery
Marrowstone Vineyards

Resources for Cooking at Home

Want to start your kids learning how to cook during #stayhome? There are many books to help you and them master the mysteries of the kitchen and give them some good life skills. Here’s a link to GoodReads, but we suggest you always call the local book stores for their recommendation. They know what others have purchased and probably have heard reviews! Local stores listed below.

Happy cooking and happy taste buds! Stay Home. Stay Safe. We look forward to seeing you here on the Olympic Peninsula once we are all free to move about again.


Port Book and News LogoThanks again to Port Book and News in Port Angeles for reading suggestions. Port Book and News offers curbside pickup from 11am to 4pm; free home delivery for orders over $10 to locations between Black Diamond RD and Deer Park RD after 4pm; free ground shipping for orders over $30.

More Independent Bookstores on the Olympic Peninsula

Odyssey Bookshop, Port Angeles
William James Bookseller, Port Townsend
The Writers’ Workshoppe & Imprint Books, Port Townsend
Twice Loved Books, Sequim


Read all the book list blogs:

Volume 1, Boats

Volume 2, Food

Volume 3, History

Volume 4, Sea Life

Volume 5, Romance and Adventure

Volume 6, Our Favorites