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suzilightning

What food-related books are you reading? (2016 -)

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On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 1:09 AM, Smokeydoke said:

Just finished Hot Bread Kitchen and Polpo. I wasn't as impressed as others. I can't believe Hot Bread Kitchen won Food52's cookbook of the year.

 

My next cookbook will be The London Cookbook. I'm looking forward to it.

 

Somehow, The London Cookbook escaped my notice. Looks great. I may order it, but worry I'll get homesick.

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ir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=142152139Oishinbo:  Japanese Cuisine by Tetsu Kariya.  I'm not much for manga but I'm eyeing this series mainly as a gift.  Looks interesting.

 

ir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=142152139

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Last night I finished Josh Katz, Speaking American.  The title may not sound "food related" but much of the content deals with how we (in the US) denominate what eat and what we call the food surfaces upon which we cook it.  This goes far beyond a simple "What we call a sandwich on a roll with meats and cheeses."

 

No mention of a Norristown Zeppelin, unfortunately.

 

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Recently I started to read 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child and Simone Beck 

great book for those who likes cooking

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Yesterday I finished "reading" Culinary Artistry.  It has pages and pages of lists, so I skimmed a lot.  I had recently been tempted by a sale on the Kindle version of the Flavor Bible, but learned that Culinary Artistry was very similar and I happened to have it my pile of unread books.  I am now glad I didn't buy the Flavor Bible.  I don't think I am within the primary audience for Culinary Artistry as I am generally not building menus or creating new dishes from scratch. There are a lot of somewhat interesting quotes in it, but I think they might be more appreciated more by culinary  professionals (and those who aspire to be a professional).

 

At first I thought perhaps the many lists would be a handy reference, but now I am not so sure.  I thought if I had an abundance of  an ingredient or seasoning it might give me some ideas on what to do with them; or perhaps if I grow tired of a recipe it might give me some ideas on how to change it up.  Then I realized in either of those cases I am far more likely to browse the wealth of examples on the internet than to pull out the book.  I wonder if that is a sign of the times or just my own inclination.

 

It also occurred to me that while the lists of seasonings that go together seem accurate and potentially useful, I am not sure I would make use of them without learning more about the traditional recipes and preparations they are used in.  I think the flavor themes would become obvious in that process.  I recently had that experience with Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty.  Many of the same flavor themes were repeating in recipe after recipe.  I found myself seeking out the recipes that seemed to break new ground in some way.   That probably doesn't sound like an endorsement, but I think it was good in that perhaps it means I am starting to get a feel for the cuisine.  I eventually found myself throwing together tasty Sichuan-ish lunches out of whatever bits I needed to clean out of the fridge.

 

While I was reading Land of Plenty I found myself browsing a lot of related material on the internet - and often making those versions of things for one reason or another.  I am glad I read the book though.  It was useful and guided my explorations, but I do wonder how often I will use it as a reference from this point forward.  I think that is even less likely with Culinary Artistry.

 

 

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I'm reading Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japanese Food Culture by Matt Goulding.  It is published under Anthony Bourdain's imprint by Harper Wave.   So far I am enjoying it.  He meets and tells about some interesting people in out of the way places and there's some lovely images in the book.


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I just finished Real Food/Fake Food by Larry Olmsted.  I am glad I read it, but I ended up skimming through many sections.  It may be a bit too thorough to maintain my full attention.  I often felt the same point was being made over and over again for a given product.   Plus, I don't need to be presented with multiple lines of evidence to believe that there are a lot of scams and shady deals out there.  I am happy to have the info on which designations and sources are trustworthy though.

 

I just started Alton Brown's EveryDayCook.  I have only read the equipment and pantry sections, but so far it seems like it is going to be a light/easy read.  I am am ready for a bit of a break so that is just fine with me.

 

 


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After listening to 2 Serious Eats interviews with Frank Bruni I picked up his memoir Born Round from the library. Brutally honest and interesting

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Dipping into "What She Ate" by Laura Shapiro.  So far have read the chapters on Eva Braun and Eleanor Roosevelt....

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!

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29 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

Dipping into "What She Ate" by Laura Shapiro.  So far have read the chapters on Eva Braun and Eleanor Roosevelt....

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!

I enjoyed that book immensely.

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I really enjoyed Amy  Thielen's memoir "Give a Girl a Knife"  Picked it up at the library and will be purchasing. She writes in a unique and colorful and engaging passionate way about her food journey from growing up in a remote northern Minnesota to culinary school in NYC to interning & cooking on the line with chefs like Bouley and at restos like Cru, living off the grid at times and returning to her roots. https://www.amazon.com/Give-Girl-Knife-Amy-Thielen/dp/0307954900

Plus I LOVE that her mom taught her to cut with a paring knife towards her thumb as my female elders did.

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Started in tonight on Six Seasons. The butters and condiments alone are worth the price. Artichoke mayonnaise? Yes, please.

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Think like a Chef, by Tom Collichio. Good book on basic techniques and strategies.

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Just finished A Meatloaf in Every Oven by Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer.  Got a few recipes out of this I hadn't thought of before.

Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking by William Woys Weaver.   In the pork section he highlighted Dietrich's in Krumsville, Berks County PA.  This is a place we used to stop at each year when headed back from our roundtable at Hawk Mountain.   @HungryChris there is a recipe for panhaas(scrapple) you might like to check out.

Mimi Sheraton's German Cuisine.

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Just finished What She  Ate by Laura Shapiro.  Liked it a lot.  I read another of her books, Perfection Salad, many years ago and enjoyed it as well.

Last week I read A Square  Meal by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe.  Subtitled A Culinary History of the Great Depression.  I think I read that it had won a James Beard Award for the best non-fiction food writing.   Not hard to see why.  Have an Amazon order with a couple more food books due tomorrow so watch this space......

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 3:03 PM, IowaDee said:

Just finished What She  Ate by Laura Shapiro.  Liked it a lot.  I read another of her books, Perfection Salad, many years ago and enjoyed it as well.

Last week I read A Square  Meal by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe.  Subtitled A Culinary History of the Great Depression.  I think I read that it had won a James Beard Award for the best non-fiction food writing.   Not hard to see why.  Have an Amazon order with a couple more food books due tomorrow so watch this space......

Have you read 97 Orchard by her?  Just finished that one as well.  The story behind the tenement museum in NYC as told by the different immigrants and what they ate....now I am ALMOST thinking about braving going into the city to see the museum........

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8 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

Have you read 97 Orchard by her?  Just finished that one as well.  The story behind the tenement museum in NYC as told by the different immigrants and what they ate....now I am ALMOST thinking about braving going into the city to see the museum........

Definitely go to the Tenement Museum. It's become my new favorite museum in NYC. But be aware that admission is only by guided tour—and they fill up. So plan ahead, and book on line for the tour and/or neighborhood walk that you want. While you're in the neighborhood, the Museum of Chinese in America is also worth a visit. And there are plenty of places nearby to get a nice meal.

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1 minute ago, MelissaH said:

Definitely go to the Tenement Museum. It's become my new favorite museum in NYC. But be aware that admission is only by guided tour—and they fill up. So plan ahead, and book on line for the tour and/or neighborhood walk that you want. While you're in the neighborhood, the Museum of Chinese in America is also worth a visit. And there are plenty of places nearby to get a nice meal.

Thanks Melissa......I did say ALMOST.  I have a hard time dealing with crowds and cities so I haven't been into NYC - except by car to catch a cruise ship - in about 20 years.  I am a big wuss.

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Yes, I did read that one as well.  Her writing exposes me to a slice of life that I know nothing about.  So interesting.  Makes me wish I had kept all my Foxfire books.  Husband's family grew up dirt poor.  My MIL told me that they usually ate whatever her father could hunt or fish for.  And that included, I swear, crow for than once.  By the time I became part of the family those days were long gone and she delighted in her well stocked pantry!

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I've been reading Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich. I'm about halfway through it, and he doesn't come across as a likable character to me, more like a Bourdain-style bad boy without the charm. Whether this is actually how he is IRL or if it's a persona he adopted because he thought it would sell the book, I don't know. But at this point, I have zero interest in eating at his restaurants or meeting him. I'm currently debating whether it's worth finishing the book.

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On 10/10/2017 at 2:03 PM, IowaDee said:

Just finished What She  Ate by Laura Shapiro.  Liked it a lot.  I read another of her books, Perfection Salad, many years ago and enjoyed it as well.

Last week I read A Square  Meal by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe.  Subtitled A Culinary History of the Great Depression.  I think I read that it had won a James Beard Award for the best non-fiction food writing.   Not hard to see why.  Have an Amazon order with a couple more food books due tomorrow so watch this space......

Well, you've enabled me. I just ordered A Square Meal. I always found it interesting, as a kid, to visit the "pioneer homestead" type places, because the way of life they demonstrated was one I saw on a regular basis. I grew up in the Tennessee River Valley, part of the first generation post-TVA. Prior to TVA, that was one of the most backward places on the face of the planet, and the "old folks" still held to lots of the "old ways." I knew many people (and was related to many of them) who had no electricity and no running water in their homes, and whose way of life, other than having a car or truck, was little different than the previous three or four generations. 

 

This ought to be a good read. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the recommendation.

 

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31 minutes ago, kayb said:

Well, you've enabled me. I just ordered A Square Meal. I always found it interesting, as a kid, to visit the "pioneer homestead" type places, because the way of life they demonstrated was one I saw on a regular basis. I grew up in the Tennessee River Valley, part of the first generation post-TVA. Prior to TVA, that was one of the most backward places on the face of the planet, and the "old folks" still held to lots of the "old ways." I knew many people (and was related to many of them) who had no electricity and no running water in their homes, and whose way of life, other than having a car or truck, was little different than the previous three or four generations. 

 

This ought to be a good read. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the recommendation.

 

Funny because somewhere else ... many years ago in a galaxy far, far away....some of us wrote of how we grew up.  I was raised by a grandparent and a mother who lived through the depression.  we were poor-ish and had a shared garden with Aunt Belle from across the street.  Also learned to hunt with bow and arrow...fish ... crab ...clam ... you get the idea.   We also used to go cruising around the island and marking where the wild grapes, wineberries, wild raspberries, wild asparagus and a few other things I won't say were.

Funny ... my mom HATED  the smell of honeysuckle since that was what was planted around the privy at her mom's house.

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Right now I have 

The Gourmands' Way: Six Americans in Paris and  the Birth of a New Gastronomy by Justin Spring in the living room .

Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Theilen in the bedroom. 

I'm really enjoying The Gourmands' Way quite a bit.  I had never heard of Alexis Lichine and didn't realize how hard Alice Toklas' life was so hard after Gertrude Stein died.

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