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What are you reading?


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#361 Mjx

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:34 AM

I've been re-reading Dorothy L. Sayres' "Lord Peter Wimsey" mysteries, which contain a lot of descriptions of interesting meals.
So I pulled out my copy of The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook to refresh my memory of how some of these were prepared. . . .



I had no idea one existed! Is is any good? I was just re-reading Sayers's The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club which has this comment of Lord Peter's, which I've always found rather balanced, with regard to the appreciation of food:

Oh, yes – quite alot of things [are beastly]. Birth is beastly – and death – and digestion, if it comes to that. Sometimes when I think of what's happening inside me to a beautiful suprème de sole, with the caviare in boats, and the croûtons and the jolly little twists of potato and all the gadgets – I could cry. But there it is, don't you know?
(p. 239, New English Library paperbacks, 1968)



This kept coming to mind when I was over in the 'Moral Crusade Against Foodies' thread, and I ended up grabbing the book and re-reading it.

A lot of what I read seems to mention food, but I don't know that I could describe it as truly food-related. I do have Dumas' Dictionary of Cuisine sitting on a nearby table, trying to seduce me from the load of work I'm supposed to be doing.

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#362 RAHiggins1

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:57 PM

My wife scored a copy of "Life, on the line" by Grant Atchaz and Nick Kokonas. I got the book yestrday 2-21-11 and already a 3rd into it the next day and I am enjoying it so far . I'm just to where Atchaz has taken the Chef de Cuisine job at Trio. Atchatz comes across as a little over the top on trying to convey his differentness to other contemporaries. I only know one chef personally that he mentions in his book so far and if all of them are described as "Richard Blais" is then I would say his descriptions of others are pretty accurate as well.

How I relate to Atchaz's story so far is that in retrospect, it would seem Atchaz made the decisions early in life that I would have made, had this been my story.

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#363 IowaDee

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:36 PM

I just finished Appetite for America-how visionary businessman Fred Harvey built a railroad hospitality
empire that civilized the Wild West. Loved this book. Basically it is the story of how Harvey built
his business from a single lunch counter to an empire The research and attention to details are amazing.
The author has even included recipes served in the Harvey House restaurants. The author is Stephen
Fried and the book is well worth reading.

#364 andiesenji

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 03:48 PM


I've been re-reading Dorothy L. Sayres' "Lord Peter Wimsey" mysteries, which contain a lot of descriptions of interesting meals.
So I pulled out my copy of The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook to refresh my memory of how some of these were prepared. . . .



I had no idea one existed! Is is any good? I was just re-reading Sayers's The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club which has this comment of Lord Peter's, which I've always found rather balanced, with regard to the appreciation of food:


I'm sorry that I missed this post last week. I hope this helps.

It's out of print but you can find several listed at ABE Books at reasonable prices.

I've had mine since 1984 and it is signed by both authors. It is the first edition published by Ticknor and Fields which was a division of Houghton Mifflin.
As far as I know, there was only one edition.

The wine recommendations are of course dates to 1980 when the book was being written so are well out of date now.
It is fun to read them and imagine........

I've purchased a lot of books from Castle Rock in Las Vegas and they give accurate descriptions.
If all you want is a reading copy, there is no need to spend a lot.

Edited by andiesenji, 22 February 2011 - 03:49 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#365 Tri2Cook

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:17 PM

I've finally gone back to thoroughly read The Fat Duck Cookbook. I jumped to the recipes and science section as soon as I got the book but never actually read the stuff leading up to the recipe section. I wish I had. Now that I am, it's pretty interesting and has become my nightly pre-sleep read.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#366 Tri2Cook

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:50 PM

Okay, that went way too fast. Next up, Heston's Fantastical Feasts. I'm more interested in what he has to say than the actual recipes, pretty much the same way I went into the In Search of Perfection books. Should be fun.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#367 heidih

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 05:18 PM

I checked out Edible a Celebration of Local Foods from the library yesterday. It is fascinating and heart warming to learn and read about so many community based and sustainable food enterprises. Just on page 61 but I am inspired.

I also purchased One Big Table by Molly O'Neill which says it is 600 regional American recipes but I consider more food lit as it is really about the food stories. I am a sucker for food stories and am enjoying the history.

#368 daisy17

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:04 PM

Read Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton and Life, On the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas this weekend. Highly recommend both. Compelling stories, and Hamilton is an amazing writer.

#369 mljones99

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:53 PM

I started reading Life, on the Line the other day on the plane ride to my moms house. But, while I was there I found my grandma's old 1943 edition of the Joy of Cooking so I've been distracted by that.

#370 Alex

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:05 AM

Just finished Beyond the Great Wall, by Alford and Duguid. Valuable not just for the food, but for some insights into modern China.
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#371 barolo

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:09 PM

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War. In 2003 Anna Ceizaldo moves to Baghdad with her husband, the Middle East Bureau Chief for Newsday. Over the next 6 year she lives in Baghdad and Beeirut working as a freelance journalist, learning about food and culture and negotiating a relationship with her husband's parents.

I really enjoyed this book. Here's the New York Times Review
Cheers,
Anne

#372 heidih

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:22 PM

Just picked up The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof from the library. They are sailing around the Caribbean and exploring the cuisines. Enjoyable tales of local food so far.

#373 andiesenji

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:00 PM

I've finally got around to reading through Mma Ramotswe's Cookbook, based on the series by Alexander McCall Smith: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency etc.

Cookbook author: Stuart Brown, Foreword by Alexander McCall Smith.

It's not just a cookbook, it has vignettes of life in Botswana and some interesting explanations and descriptions of the foods popular in the country.
Also Mma Ramotswe's philosophy about food and life in general.

The subtitle is "Nourishment for the traditionally built" being a "traditionally built" person myself, I can empathize. :biggrin:
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#374 patrickamory

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:11 PM

I'm reading Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink; Barbara Kafka's The Opinionated Palate, and Fuschia Dunlop's Land of Plenty.

#375 handmc

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:53 AM

Gabrielle Hamilton's was a very good read. I flew through it in two days. I put down Jay Rayner's book when I learned Hamilton's was out. I like Rayner's book so far.

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#376 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 07:36 AM

Recently ran across Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter, her story about running a small farm (complete with geese, turkeys and pigs) on an abandoned lot in one of the scarier parts of Oakland, CA. A bit harrowing and I don't think I'm young enough, brave enough or crazy enough to do what she did, but it was inspiring. Her relationship with the animals she raised for food was really interesting -- it surprised me that she had a harder time dispatching the turkey (she was very fond of that turkey) than she did her first pig.


Edited to add: @ andiesenji
"Oh, yes – quite alot of things [are beastly]. Birth is beastly – and death – and digestion, if it comes to that. Sometimes when I think of what's happening inside me to a beautiful suprème de sole, with the caviare in boats, and the croûtons and the jolly little twists of potato and all the gadgets – I could cry. But there it is, don't you know?
(p. 239, New English Library paperbacks, 1968)"

i just loved this.

Edited by SylviaLovegren, 05 April 2011 - 07:40 AM.


#377 the old cook

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:59 PM

Many books at once, going back and forth between, just comparing different ages, different styles. My grandmother's cookbook "the American Woman's Cook Book" from l938, "A Treasury of Great Recipes" by Mary and Vincent Price (a fun read, wish I would have known them!) Larouse Gastronomique, the New American Edition, and the mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson about a caterer, which includes recipes, usually very simple, but some quite tasty. I love reading cookbooks, even if I never use any of the recipes the books seem to give an insight into the author and their likes/dislikes.

#378 Country

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 07:58 PM

Looking at Amazon tracking, TB's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking is supposed to show up tomorrow. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

#379 Mjx

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 11:12 AM


. . . .I had no idea one existed! Is is any good? I was just re-reading Sayers's The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club which has this comment of Lord Peter's, which I've always found rather balanced, with regard to the appreciation of food:


I'm sorry that I missed this post last week. I hope this helps.

It's out of print but you can find several listed at ABE Books at reasonable prices.

I've had mine since 1984 and it is signed by both authors. It is the first edition published by Ticknor and Fields which was a division of Houghton Mifflin.
As far as I know, there was only one edition.

The wine recommendations are of course dates to 1980 when the book was being written so are well out of date now.
It is fun to read them and imagine........

I've purchased a lot of books from Castle Rock in Las Vegas and they give accurate descriptions.
If all you want is a reading copy, there is no need to spend a lot.


Thank you! I somehow missed your reply until now. I wish I'd seen this a couple of weeks ago, since there was a chance I would have been able to find it while I was in NYC.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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#380 wkl

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 12:27 PM

just finished "Bones, Blood and Butter" by Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of Prune in NYC. i thought it was fantastic and highly reccomend it.

#381 LindaK

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:58 PM

If anyone is looking for beach reading, or any reading, I'd like to recommend Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink. It's a collection of articles, essays, short fiction, and cartoons from the New Yorker magazine. What a treasure.

Authors ranges from early contributors such as Dorothy Parker, M.F.K. Fisher, and A.J. Leibling to contemporary writers such as Adam Gopnik, Don DeLillo, and Julian Barnes. Some chef-authors too, such as Anthony Bourdain and Gabrielle Hamilton.

And the range of topics! The history of ketchup and food marketing from Malcolm Gladwell, Calvin Trillin on bagels, John Cheever on gin, Judith Thurman on artisian tofu in Japan... And some beautifully written profiles that brought tears to my eyes: Calvin Tomkins writing about Paul and Julia Child on the road, promoting her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and John McPhee writing of his week in a canoe and on the Appalachian trail, food foraging and philosophizing with the food naturalist Euell Gibbons.

I've read perhaps half of the collection. I'm slowing down now, I don't want it to end. If only I was actually on a beach, it would be perfect.


 


#382 violetfox

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:54 PM

I just found a used copy of "The Raw and The Cooked" by Jim Harrison, and absolutely love it.
"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

#383 Twyst

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:30 PM

Currently reading "the sorcerer's apprentices". About halfway through, seems a little bit soap opera like in places, but the behind the scenes access to el bulli definitely makes it worth reading.

#384 Darienne

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:07 AM

"Mexican Mornings" by Ruth Harkness, 1947 & 48, published in Gourmet magazine. Absolutely delightful reading. Haven't been so entranced by anything I've read for a long time.

Thanks go to EatNopales for posting about Harkness' writings in the Mexican forum yesterday.

I all to partake of this wonderful series.
Darienne


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#385 PlatosPlate

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:13 PM

How We Eat by Leon Rappoport. I wish I could underline the entire book. So many "aha!" quotes in here, and topics that get you to think of foods in many, many dimensions.
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#386 ElainaA

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:59 PM

I seem to remember a thread on this topic but I can't find it. So forgive me if I repeat. is there a place to discuss books about cooking that do not include recipes?

I just finished Laura Shapiro's Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950's America. She expleores the ways in which the food industry, with the help of the media, pushed the use of pre-prepared foods in the 1940's and 1950's - and chronicles the not always positive response. The disconnect between the marketers in the food industry and the real people cooking dinner in America is truly amazing - and the power of the industry to influence eating habits is , to me, truly frightening.

This is a follow up to Shapiro's earlier book Perfection Salad:Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century,which focuses on the rise of home economists and the push for "scientific and hygienic" methods in the kitchen. Both are well written - both readable and thoroughly researched. And they certainly help me better understand both my mother and grandmother.

Elaina
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But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

#387 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:36 PM

Laura Shapiro's books are wonderful. I'd also recommend anything by Betty Fussell -- her books on corn and beef are great reads, Laurie Colwin's "More Home Cooking" is good. Andrew Smith's various books on American cookery are entertaining, always. Andrew Coe's "Chop Suey" about Chinese food in America is really really good -- and his mother, Sophie Coe's, book on chocolate is superb.

Lots of good books about food. Curious to hear ideas from other folks.

#388 Jon Tseng

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

The best two books two books I know about cooking aren't recipe books: Culinary Artistry (Dornenburg & Page) and On Food and Cooking (McGee).

J
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#389 Merkinz

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:54 PM

McGee's 'On Food and Cooking' is up there for me.

#390 ElainaA

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

I love Laurie Colwin!! Both Home Cooking and Home Cooking 2. Her novels are also wonderful - it is so sad that she died so young.

Two others I would add
Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant edited by Jenni Ferrair-Adler - a collection of essay about eating and dining alone with contributions from everyone from food people such as Marcella Hazan and Laurie Cowing (who wrote the title essay) to Nora Ephron and Ben Karlin )co-creator of the Colbert Report).
Amanda Hesser's The Cook and the Gardener - the story of a year cooking in a chateau in France and her relationship with the eldrely gardener. Perhaps I love this because I am as much a gardener as I am a cook.

It must be obvious that I love to read as much as I love to cook.

Elaina
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero
But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina