• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
dharold

Not quite cookbooks

18 posts in this topic

Inspired by the section in Jeffrey Steingarten's It Must've Been Something I Ate I found myself preparing two different gratin recipes on Monday night. I'm loving Steingarten's book - his enthusiasm for pushing the envelope of testing is infectious. There's no way to look at one of the infrequent recipes in the book and not want to give it a go, but they are indeed infrequent - maybe a couple of dozen in total.

In parallel I'm reading Hugh Fearlessly Eats It All, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, another book that contains perhaps 20 or 30 recipes in total.

However while these books have few recipes compared to their overall page counts every single one is worth a try, and frequently the preceding text gives one more impetus to try them.

So my question is: what other books are out there like these two?

D.


Edited by dharold (log)

Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished reading "The Man Who Ate Everything". I thought it was awesome. I really enjoy his sense of humor and writing style. The next book I'm going to read is "It Must Have Been Something I Ate". I think it is more or less, the continuation of his first book.

Other than that, I don't know...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dharold,

I don't know if you know John Thorne who writes books with his wife, Matt Lewis Thorne. The three I have are Outlaw Cook, Serious Pig An American Cook in Search of His Roots, and Pot on the Fire Further Exploits of a Renegade Cook. He is an enchanting author. Many of his stories come from Simple Cooking, a food newletter that he writes with his wife. From the beginning of his first book, Outlaw Cook, where he tells you about how he got his first piece of cooking equipment, an 8-inch cast iron frying pan, you get hooked. His books make you feel like your have pulled up a chair and you are listening to someone telling you about his life and his passions. You really want to keep listening to him. Throughout his books there are many, many recipes, not inserted as just recipes, but told as an integral part of the story.

I would suggest reading Outlaw Cook first, to get a feeling for who he is and how he got to where he is. I find that I can open any of his books, start reading, and also start to smile.


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

Looks like they're out of print in the UK, but I'll keep an eye open for them when I'm in the US again in a couple of weeks.

D.


Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks!

Looks like they're out of print in the UK, but I'll keep an eye open for them when I'm in the US again in a couple of weeks.

D.

AMAZON (US) has them both new and used............

I wonder why our little fuschia links don't kick in here? It would be nice to have that link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I understand the question, that you're looking for books that aren't really cookbooks but nevertheless have recipes, Amanda Hesser's got a couple out; "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Cook and the Gardener."

I haven't opened it in years, but I think Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" may be another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Heartburn" by Nora Ephron

A humorous book loosely based on Nora's own divorce except that she made the protagonist a cookbook writer.

Sprinkled throughout the book are recipes, some incidental, some pertinent to the plot. Paraphrasing, here's one instance: "I got mad at him so I threw a pie in his face. It was a key lime pie. It's quite good. Here's the recipe." :laugh:


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John Thorne has a new book called Mouth Wide Open, A Cook and His Appetite, coming out in November from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. According to their website, Serious Pig is still in print, although I know it is hard to get a hold of.


www.RabelaisBooks.com

Thought for Food

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooops, got distracted by looking for John Thorne info, forgot to mention the Laurie Colwin books: Home Cooking and More Home Cooking from Harper Collins. Both still in print, easy to find. Lovely reads about food and it's place in her life, scattered with recipes. I always want to cook after reading Colwin.


www.RabelaisBooks.com

Thought for Food

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dharold,

If you have access to the Amazon in the U.S. (I am curious as to what you get when you type in Amazon.com , although I would imagine that you could go for Amazon U.S.) Anyway... Amazon here has the three books I mentioned with the "Look Inside" feature. You can read quite a lot of each book. They have the Table of Contents and then a list of all of the recipes that appear in the book. Then there is quite a bit of the text ( as in up to twenty some pages) You can get a feel for his writing. In Outlaw Cook, if you go up to P.10 you can read the chapter I mentioned in an earlier post where he gets his first piece of cooking equipment from a thrift shop. As a housewarming present he gets it for a great price as well as instructions on how to use/take care of it from the owner of the shop. It's a really great chapter. I think that you may get hooked.

Two of the books are available at very reasonable prices. Outlaw Cook is rediculously expensive which I don't quite get, even for a book that is out of print. I would imagine that there are other ways to find that one. You mentioned coming to the the States. If you want to save some money, you can always get the books shipped to where you are going, if you are visiting someone.


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of books in a similar format -- I've often found them in the "food literature" section of a bookstore. Here are a few that are mostly biographical:

Ruth Riechl's books

Madhur Jaffrey's Climbing the Mango Tree: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

Memoirs of a Lost Egypt

Katish: Our Russian Cook

Clementine in the Kitchen

On Rue Tatin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a totally differnet type of book... The New Food Lover's Tiptionary "More Than 6,000 Food and Drink Tips, Secrets, Shortcuts, and Other Things Cookbooks Never Tell You" by Sharon Tyler Herbst. She is the person who wrote The New Food Lover's Cmpanion. It is a great book for information, tips, interesting facts, how to ________, etc.. It is really helpful, fun to just open up to a page and read, and... it is full of recipes.


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! This thread has really come to life! Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I'll be sure to start picking up books from the list when I've finished my current read (The Soul of A Chef, by Michael Ruhlman).


Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're not highbrow but on the fiction front there's Diane Mott Davidson's murder mystery series about a caterer/sleuth. She includes a relevant recipe for every chapter.


Edited by KristiB50 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

caterer/sleuth? that's fantastic! I'm not a huge mystery/whodunit reader, but I am wildly entertained by all the different day jobs of fictional detectives. It seemed as though just about every profession under the sun had been covered, but caterer is a new one on me.


"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was given a copy of Maya Angelou's Hallelujah! The Welcome Table (2004) for my birthday. It contains a series of stories from her life that are associated with food. And it has the recipes. I thought it was heartwarming and a fun read. It shows how much of our lives and memories revolve around food and cooking.

Has anyone read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? It was included in the brithday package, but I haven't delved into it yet. Soon.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading 'The Language of Baklava' by Diana Abu-Jaber now; this woman can really *write* about food and growing up Middle Eastern-American. There's a delicious-sounding recipe or two per chapter.

As well as Diane Mott Davisdon, there are also culinary mystery series by Amy Wittig Albert and Johanna Fluke.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was a good, if not spectacular, read...I prefer her fiction.


Edited by baroness (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      Started in on Rob's book tonight.  Nice pictures, interesting philosophy.  The bit about grapevines reminded me ever so much about my balcony.  My grapevine has been growing ten or twenty years, planted by the birds.  Never a grape, ever.  Only recently did I learn that unlike European grapes, the native grapevines are sexual.  This one is undoubtedly a boy.  He provides lovely leaves and shade, and something for the tomatoes to hang onto.
       
    • By Bon Appetit Cookbooks
      This topic was hijacked from the Vancouver Board.
      What cookbooks do you love to cook out of at home?
      Is there a specific recipe that is your favorite?
      Or is there a book you just can't live without?
      If you have pictures, even better! Lets see how it turns out!
      Some of my favorites to cook out of:
      The Balthazar Cookbook - The Beef Tartar is amazing! As is the Chicken Liver Mousse
      The Babbo Cookbook - The Strawberries & Peaches with Balsamic Zabaglione
      Barefoot in Paris - The Blue Cheese Souffle looks JUST LIKE THE PICTURE!
      The Bouchon Cookbook - The Roast Chicken will seriously change your life
      Gordon Ramsey Makes it Easy - The Chocolate Pots are the easiest dessert in the world and tastes so good....especially with the Amedei #7
      There are lots more. Hopefully I can take pictures and show you.
      Hopefully this post can be an ongoing thing.
      I think we are all interested in what eachother cooks!
      Happy Cooking

      J
    • By Dave the Cook
      Those of us that have been following Rob Connoley's (aka gfron1) trek from home cook to down-and-literally-dirty locavore James Beard-semi-finalist chef are justifiably proud of his well-deserved transformation to a published author, which he has faithfully detailed in an earlier topic. If you're not familiar with his story, I urge you to catch up, then come back here, because we're ready to move on to the next step.
       
      Rob's book, Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field, is finally, officially available. This alone is awesome news, and you should totally order your copy today. Or . . . 
       
      . . . we want to continue the conversation about Rob, his book and his future plans in this topic. And just to up the awesomeness, Rob is offering a free book to a randomly selected participant here.
       
      Simply post a question or comment in this topic between now and 11:59 p.m. CST (US), 13 September 2016 and you'll be eligible to "win," based on a random drawing to be conducted, with each participant getting one chance, not including Society volunteers (and Rob himself. Multiple posts will not improve your chances, so don't get overheated.)  The winner will be announced on 14 September.
       
      Rob will be along shortly to add his encouragement and whatever late-breaking news he has -- he's busy guy these days, so be patient -- but there's no need to wait to post questions or comments.
       
       
      P.S. And if you don't win, you should still get this book.
    • By liuzhou
      A few weeks ago I bought a copy of this cookbook which is a best-selling spin off from the highly successful television series by China Central Television - A Bite of China as discussed on this thread.   .
       

       
      The book was published in August 2013 and is by Chen Zhitian (陈志田 - chén zhì tián). It is only available in Chinese (so far). 
       
      There are a number of books related to the television series but this is the only one which seems to be legitimate. It certainly has the high production standards of the television show. Beautifully photographed and with (relatively) clear details in the recipes.
       
      Here is a sample page.
       

       
      Unlike in most western cookbooks, recipes are not listed by main ingredient. They are set out in six vaguely defined chapters. So, if you are looking for a duck dish, for example, you'll have to go through the whole contents list. I've never seen an index in any Chinese book on any subject. 
       
      In order to demonstrate the breadth of recipes in the book and perhaps to be of interest to forum members who want to know what is in a popular Chinese recipe book, I have sort of translated the contents list - 187 recipes.
       
      This is always problematic. Very often Chinese dishes are very cryptically named. This list contains some literal translations. For some dishes I have totally ignored the given name and given a brief description instead. Any Chinese in the list refers to place names. Some dishes I have left with literal translations of their cryptic names, just for amusement value.
       
      I am not happy with some of the "translations" and will work on improving them. I am also certain there are errors in there, too.
       
      Back in 2008, the Chinese government issued a list of official dish translations for the Beijing Olympics. It is full of weird translations and total errors, too. Interestingly, few of the dishes in the book are on that list.
       
      Anyway, for what it is worth, the book's content list is here (Word document) or here (PDF file). If anyone is interested in more information on a dish, please ask. For copyright reasons, I can't reproduce the dishes here exactly, but can certainly describe them.
       
      Another problem is that many Chinese recipes are vague in the extreme. I'm not one to slavishly follow instructions, but saying "enough meat" in a recipe is not very helpful. This book gives details (by weight) for the main ingredients, but goes vague on most  condiments.
       
      For example, the first dish (Dezhou Braised Chicken), calls for precisely 1500g of chicken, 50g dried mushroom, 20g sliced ginger and 10g of scallion. It then lists cassia bark, caoguo, unspecified herbs, Chinese cardamom, fennel seed, star anise, salt, sodium bicarbonate and cooking wine without suggesting any quantities. It then goes back to ask for 35g of maltose syrup, a soupçon of cloves, and "the correct quantity" of soy sauce.
       
      Cooking instructions can be equally vague. "Cook until cooked".
       
      A Bite of China - 舌尖上的中国- ISBN 978-7-5113-3940-9 
    • By Lisa Shock
      The team over at Modernist Cuisine announced today that their next project will be an in-depth exploration of bread. I personally am very excited about this, I had been hoping their next project would be in the baking and pastry realm. Additionally, Francisco Migoya will be head chef and Peter Reinhart will assignments editor for this project which is expected to be a multi-volume affair.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.