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What food-related books are you reading? (2004 - 2015)


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Epitaph for a Peach by David Masumoto

 

I read his piece in the LA Times years ago and it has always stuck in my mind.  A second generation farmer who confronts the sad state of what we value in our food. It came out in 1995 but I find it relevant in 2014.

This is an incredible book. It's sad, but somehow manages to keep a thread of hope alive. And heidih is absolutely right that, 20 years after the events in the book, the content is spot-on relevant still. Get to know the farmers who grow your food.

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Just started the novel Quesadillas, by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated into English by Rosalind Harvey (Amazon link)

 

 

Back then I thought, among other things, that all the people and things that appeared on TV had nothing to do with our town...Until one night we had a terrifying experience when we sat down to eat our quesadillas: our town was the main item on the news. A silence so complete fell that, apart from the reporter's voice, all you could hear was the rustle of our fingers carrying tortillas to our mouths. Even in our surprise we weren't going to stop eating: if you think eating quesadillas in the midst of widespread astonishment is implausible, it's because you didn't grow up in a big family.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying 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."

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  • 1 month later...

I've been reading The Pat Conroy Cookbook from cover to electronic cover, instead of jumping around to various topics in search of a particular recipe as I've done since I bought it last year as my very first electronic book.  The man is a wonderful story teller.  Earlier contributors to this topic have already noted his hilarious story involving Nathalie Dupree.  A much later chapter tells of the moment when he began, more or less, to reconcile with his father.  That single story gave me belly laughs followed by tears: something I've learned to expect with his writing.

 

I picked up and put down this book at the bookstore when it first came out; at the time I wanted a cookbook and there were too few  recipes for the book's size.  In the intervening years I've fallen in love with Pat Conroy's writing, and this book is for me a beautiful balance of evocative stories and great food.  Last night I made, for the second time, his crab cakes.  I'll be making them again when I can get more fresh crab meat.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I too read Quesadillas and enjoyed it.  Also like the author's other book. Down the rabbit hole. Not so food related unless you're

interested in the diet of a Liberian pygmy hippopotamus but still an interesting book.

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  • 8 months later...

Nigel Slater's The Kitchen DiarIes II.

This well-known British food writer seems to approach food and cooking very much like I do. He, of course, does it much better than I but I definitely feel an affinity for the kind of food he enjoys and the way in which he approaches the cooking of it. I am reading very slowly so I can relish every word and I hope to cook many of his dishes.

I am sure I will eventually get the first volume of his diaries as well as his book Appetite. I have the Kindle edition of Eat which is a great resource especially for a singleton.

Any other Slater fans?

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, absolutely a Slater fan here.

 

I'm currently enjoying Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah. She and her diplomat husband have just started a stint in France, when he gets sent to Iraq and leaves her alone for a year in Paris. She fills the year by traveling around France, and exploring some of the regional foods.

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Anna, absolutely a Slater fan here.

 

I'm currently enjoying Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah. She and her diplomat husband have just started a stint in France, when he gets sent to Iraq and leaves her alone for a year in Paris. She fills the year by traveling around France, and exploring some of the regional foods.

Glad to know there's at least one other Slater fan. I have added "Mastering" to my wishlist. Glad to see it's available in the Kindle edition.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I read Tender when it first came out and I was so impressed I bought a copy of my own.  I also gave a copy to my son.  I enjoyed Ripe but I was not compelled to buy a copy.  Those are the only Slater that I've read.

 

Right now I'm finishing Bitter and reading Liquid Intelligence (which I may end up buying).  On my stack are Fat and North and Chad Ward's book on knives.  I am particularly interested in North as I know very little about Icelandic cookery beyond rotten preserved shark.

 

Waiting on the shelf for me at the library is Ottolenghi's latest.  Very pretty as are all his books.  But to me they all seem pretty much the same.

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I read Tender when it first came out and I was so impressed I bought a copy of my own.  I also gave a copy to my son.  I enjoyed Ripe but I was not compelled to buy a copy.  Those are the only Slater that I've read.

 

Right now I'm finishing Bitter and reading Liquid Intelligence (which I may end up buying).  On my stack are Fat and North and Chad Ward's book on knives.  I am particularly interested in North as I know very little about Icelandic cookery beyond rotten preserved shark.

 

Waiting on the shelf for me at the library is Ottolenghi's latest.  Very pretty as are all his books.  But to me they all seem pretty much the same.

Neither Tender nor Tender II (Ripe) has called out to me. I don't have a garden and have never had the slightest interest in learning to care for one and my suspicion is that both of these books are heavy on the gardening. I would be happy to find out that I am wrong.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have just started reading Relae: A Book of Ideas. This is much more Chef Christian Puglisi's manifesto than it is a cookbook in the usual sense. He is one of the new Nordic chefs who has now opened four restaurants. Relae was one of his first and the book outlines the philosophy behind his idea for this restaurant. I was attracted to this chef because like me he lives in a climate where little grows for many months of the year. In such a place eating local, unless you have the almost forgotten hunting and gathering skills of our aboriginals, will likely lead to starvation. He believes in making the very best of what can be well produced locally and sourcing from as far away as necessary for the rest.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, have you read North The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gislason and Jody Eddy?  I have a coworker traveling to Iceland next month and I suggested he might want to bring a jar of peanut butter.  The book is fascinating even though I am not much into lichens, putrefied shark and horse.

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Anna, have you read North The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gislason and Jody Eddy?  I have a coworker traveling to Iceland next month and I suggested he might want to bring a jar of peanut butter.  The book is fascinating even though I am not much into lichens, putrefied shark and horse.

No, I think that is why I avoided Rene Redzepi. Although it is highly unlikely that I will attempt a single recipe from Relae, for the most part the ingredients are obtainable without a well-outfitted expedition into the unknown. I consider it highly adventurous to purchase a new-to-me green from my local Asian grocer so trekking through urban and or Arctic landscapes to find dinner just ain't going to happen.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The Holidays aren't over in my kitchen.  In fact, I still have these beloved editions still sitting on a chair in the living room with any number of sticky notes attached to pages of delicious recipes.  And the restaurant reviews, oh those dearly missed, beautifully written restaurant reviews.  Gourmet, how we miss you.

 

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I'm  reading  a old cookbook recommended by my father on how to pickle herring and trying to translate it for gfron,  This one at least dont ask for a  oak drum to pickle the herring in, it is bit hard because the cooking terms are old  but it is fun to read anyway.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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La Cuisine Française. French Cooking for Every Home. Adapted to American Requirements. By François Tanty. Chicago: Baldwin, Ross & Co., 1893.

 

This one sounds lovely.  I actually used recipes that old on occasion.  But aside from the recipes, it gives one an insight into the history and tradition of cuisines and the burdens one had back in that day.  Imagine, they knew how to puree peas without a food processor.

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I find old cookbooks and agriculture books fascinating...I've collected thousands of them.

What I find most interesting is the amazing wisdom gained by folks before the science was "fully" understood...just by simple observation.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I do love my old cookbooks and most of them are very  fun to read, how ever this one uses for example    tanke = thought    näve = fist/hand  and   kast = throw as measurement which means I need to grab another cookbook  to get the right amounts.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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My sister gave me a copy of The North African Kitchen: Regional Recipes and Stories, by Fiona Dunlop. It's a charming description of 8 modern home cooks in Marrakech, Fez, Tunis, Carthage, La Goulette, and Tripoli, with insights into their lives followed by recipes. There are beautiful photos (of the area as well as the food), and discussions of cultural influences and history. She quotes a Moroccan king as saying that Maghrebin cuisine is "rooted in Africa, watered by Islam, and rustled by the winds of Europe."

The book makes for fun reading, and the recipes look promising.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My sister gave me a copy of The North African Kitchen: Regional Recipes and Stories, by Fiona Dunlop. It's a charming description of 8 modern home cooks in Marrakech, Fez, Tunis, Carthage, La Goulette, and Tripoli, with insights into their lives followed by recipes. There are beautiful photos (of the area as well as the food), and discussions of cultural influences and history. She quotes a Moroccan king as saying that Maghrebin cuisine is "rooted in Africa, watered by Islam, and rustled by the winds of Europe."

The book makes for fun reading, and the recipes look promising.

I'd love to read this book.  This is my favorite kind of cookbook...the one full of stories and suchlike...plus I love North African food as much of it as I have had.  I think I'll order it through ILL when I get home.  Thanks, Smithy.

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I'd love to read this book.  This is my favorite kind of cookbook...the one full of stories and suchlike...plus I love North African food as much of it as I have had.  I think I'll order it through ILL when I get home.  Thanks, Smithy.

In that case, I also recommend Richard Sterling's Dining with Headhunters: Jungle Feasts and Other Culinary Adventures if you like food from Southeast Asia. One or two of his stories brought me to tears; more made me laugh out loud. I insisted on reading the funniest one to my darling, and we belly-laughed together.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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The Holidays aren't over in my kitchen.  In fact, I still have these beloved editions still sitting on a chair in the living room with any number of sticky notes attached to pages of delicious recipes.  And the restaurant reviews, oh those dearly missed, beautifully written restaurant reviews.  Gourmet, how we miss you.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0325.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0329.JPG

 

For those who missed my original post, I still have available FORTY years of Gourmet Magazine absolutely FREE to anyone who can arrange to come to my house south of Nashville TN to pick them up!  PM me if interested.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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