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suzilightning

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

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I ran across this on a thread here recently (I don't remember if the actual post was in fact recent), but Jane Grigson's "The Mushroom Feast".  

 

Oh man.  Grigson will make a person reconsider all her life's choices.  

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On 6/15/2016 at 4:53 AM, annachan said:

I recently finished On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta by Jen Lin-Liu. Quite an interesting read.

 

I also read this.  very good.  would love an extended food sample trip sometime, preferably by train.

 

 

I highly recommend this book

Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food 

 

outstanding account of food in WWII, specifically in England, Germany, USA, USSR and Japan.  what was eaten, government policy, military rations.  some real horror stories.  several times the Japanese lost more troops to hunger (and related malnutrition etc) than battle losses.


Edited by Smithy Adjusted link to be Amazon-friendly (log)

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The Harvey House Cookbook, by George H. Foster & Peter C. Weiglin.  It has a lot of recipes from that restaurant chain, and from the later employee cookbooks.  I don't know when I'll get around to cooking from it, but it's interesting to read about the chain of restaurants built and run along the Sante Fe Railroad, and Harvey's influence on the westward expansion in this country.

 

It also has some nice turns of phrase.  For instance, when the Fred Harvey organization took over the newsstands in the train stations and the on-board concessions: "...the standards improved immediately.  Candy and tobacco were fresh, and the vendors were trained not to be." xD

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The Comfort Food Diaries by Emily Nunn

Mr & Mrs Sunday's Suppers by Lorraine Wallace

Leave Me Alone With the Recipes by Cipe Pineles

 

WOW!  What a week.  The least strong of these three was Mr. & Mrs. Sunday's Suppers.  Good recipes and I do appreciate the recipe for Key Lime bars without canned condensed milk.

Leave Me Alone with the Recipes is truly a piece of art and culinary history.  Get it and read it and glory in it ...

For me, someone who struggles with an allergy to alcohol, The Comfort Food Diaries was something I could truly identify with and saw myself mirrored in many pages.  The thing that hit home with me the most was the section when Ms. Nunn writes about being at her sister and brother-in-laws  house in Palm Springs.  She is surrounded by all kinds of citrus fruit that she picked and juiced then drank with seltzer.  There was a beautiful kitchen but she didn't turn the stove on and cook for herself.  She says she cooked to show other people love....or get them to love her but didn't feel she was worthy of love.  The rest of the book is a cross country adventure to learn who she is, reconnect with people who knew her and come to peace with herself.

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Hi suzilightning.

 

You had a ton of great replies, seems like I have several books to buy after reading your post, but I can't stop adding my two cents suggesting 3 books that I like a lot:

 

"The apprentice" by Jaques Pepin

 

"32 yolks" by Eric Ripert

 

And "Como agua para chocolate" by Laura Esquivel (you can find it in English and the movie is great too)

 

Here is a bit of info on that book: Laura Esquivel's debut novel Como agua para chocolate took the literary World by storm with its unique yet familiar story of love and longing on the Mexican border during the perilous times of the Mexican Revolution. This author's narrative, seeped in magic and peppered with Mexico's culinary customs, was quickly taken to the silver screen where Tita and Pedro's forbidden relationship would captivate audiences not only in its native country, but around the globe - cementing Equivel's name within the ever-growing canon of Latin American women writers. Nathanial Gardner introduces the reader to both the novel and the film version of Como agua para chocolate and examines not only key themes, such as rebellion and tradition, but also its style and main characters. This narrative's acclaimed use of food and other gastronomic elements are taken into consideration as well as the significance of magic realism to this text.

 

Best regards and happy reading.

Luis

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@Luis J

 

Gracias.... but don't buy the books.... borrow them from your library like I do.   Loved The Apprentice by Mr. Pepin.  He unfortunately almost lost his life up near we are planning on moving.  Thank goodness he didn't /  Laura Esquivel's novel is well known though I felt the book was better than the film.

 

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@Luis J - Time for me to re-read Like Water for Chocolate, one of my favorites, thanks for the reminder!

 

I recently enjoyed two food-related books that I borrowed and just returned to the library.

   

France is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child.  Great photos, all by Paul Child and mostly from their time in France in the late '40s - '50s, well before Julia Child became famous.  It was co-written by Alex Prud'homme (who also co-wrote My Life in France with Julia Child) and Katie Pratt. 

 

The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook by Chris Fischer is subtitled, "A Year of Cooking on Martha's Vineyard" and it reads like a cross between a diary and a cookbook with stories about his own farm as well as other local farmers and fishermen.  The author came to my attention a few years ago here on egullet when @SLB mentioned a Moth Radio Hour story by Chris Fischer

There are recipes I'd like to try but mostly I wanted to eat Chris Fischer's food -  the dishes prepared with the local island ingredients that he uses.  I doubt I could do them justice with supermarket fare.  

 

Edited to add the very important information that Chris Fisher, author of the book mentioned above, recently married comic Amy Schumer

 

 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Most of the way through A Fork in the Road which is an anthology of short pieces by authors.  I have read some of the pieces before, like Josh Ozersky's and Marcus Samuelsson's but still fun to dip and taste whatever I want.  I'm also about to start The President's Kitchen Cabinet which is about the African-Americans who have worked for the presidents of the United States.  I had also read his book called Soul Food and found his scholarship spot on and his writing style is so smooth.

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just read Kaukasis by Olia Hercules.  I say read because for me this is a reading cookbook.

Also picked up Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian Indian from the library.

 

more to come........

 

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On 9/23/2016 at 3:12 PM, chefmd said:

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.  Fascinating read!

I just finished this.  

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2 hours ago, suzilightning said:

just read Kaukasis by Olia Hercules.  I say read because for me this is a reading cookbook.

Also picked up Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian Indian from the library.

 

more to come........

 

 

Small world.  On my pile I too have Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian Indian from the library.  Currently reading my most recent score:  Emily Hahn's Time-Life The Cooking of China.

 

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Who's your favoritest food writer?

I see M. F. K. Fisher mentioned a lot—love the last name!

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The Reporter's Kitchen by Jane Kramer.  I had never heard of this woman but love her writing.  My favorite was an essay of foraging when she interviewed several chefs who incorporate foraging into theirrestaurants.

Also Hippie Food: How back to the landers, longhairs and revolutionaries changed the way we eat by Jonathan Kauffman.  Not far in but intriguing especially as someone who grew up in that time frame.

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Half way thru Giles Coren. How to eat Out. A very funny and irreverent look at dining out.He is of course an absolute snob just like his father. Also underway is The Angry Chef, Anthony Warner. A wonderful rant about food science or lack of it. He has a blog by the same name. Worth a look. D

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2 hours ago, Doofa said:

Half way thru Giles Coren. How to eat Out. A very funny and irreverent look at dining out.He is of course an absolute snob just like his father. Also underway is The Angry Chef, Anthony Warner. A wonderful rant about food science or lack of it. He has a blog by the same name. Worth a look. D

 

I used to read the Giles Coren column but haven't in a long time.  I remember one column of his where his then-girlfriend  had given him his walking papers.  That column was a review of a restaurant outside of London but if memory serves, it seems to me that 90% of it lamented the break-up.  It was one of the saddest columns I have ever read.  

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I am enjoying listening to Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll by Andrew Friedman about American chefs in the 70s and 80s. The title is catchy but misleading. It talks about the influential chefs from that area, what inspired them to become a chef, and their impact on the profession.

I knew a lot of these stories already, and it’s nice to see more dots being connected or to learn about chefs I was not familiar with.

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Echoing @suzilightning, I just picked up Jane Kramer's The Reporter's Kitchen from the library.

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I'm currently reading The curious cook by Harold McGee and it's worth reading. Most of the experiments in the book are still valid today and his explanations are well written. The topic of boiling meat might seem obsolete with immersion circulators but fundamental principals are the same.

 

I've learned a lot about browning in for example pesto and what you can do with egg yolks to make better/safer sauces.

After that I'll probably read On Food an Cooking also by Harold McGee.

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16 hours ago, Alex said:

Echoing @suzilightning, I just picked up Jane Kramer's The Reporter's Kitchen from the library.

I really enjoyed this.

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24 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

I really enjoyed this.

 It’s on my wish list but so is so much else. xD

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I recently finished How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture (American Ways) by Clementine Paddleford.  I got interested in this book after reading Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate.  They are very interesting read in tandem.  Clementine Paddleford was not a name I was familiar with before reading Hometown Appetites.  Her writing is very much of her time.  She is chatty and intimate and charming.  If you have read much magazine writing of the 50’s and 60’s, Mrs. Paddleford will be a recognizable voice.  She truly had an amazing career and her travels were extensive.  The recipes in How America Eats are incredibly varied and fairly complete for the time that she was writing in.

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