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


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A perfectly delicious Father Brown short story, The Invisible Man. I was captivated by the first paragraph:

In the cool blue twilight of two steep streets in Camden Town, the shop at the corner, a confectioner’s, glowed like the butt of a cigar. One should rather say, perhaps, like the butt of a firework, for the light was of many colours and some complexity, broken up by many mirrors and dancing on many gilt and gaily-coloured cakes and sweetmeats. Against this one fiery glass were glued the noses of many guttersnipes, for the chocolates were all wrapped in those red and gold and green metallic colours which are almost better than chocolate itself, and the huge white wedding cake in the window was somehow at once remote and satisfying, just as if the whole North Pole were good to eat. Such rainbow provocations could naturally collect the youth of the neighbourhood up to the ages of ten or twelve. G. K. Chesterton, of course.

And the next story in the book is Lamb to the Slaughter with the famous leg of lamb, and, I believe, some potatoes and a can of peas which she runs out to the grocery for, to establish her alibi.

Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work.

Sinister sentence, that. Especially from a "children's" writer.

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"Trail of Crumbs" by Kim Sunee

Oh the dinners she prepares. The recipes at the end of each chapter. Its a sad/search for one's identity story surrounded by food.

i have that as an advanced reader's copy but what i started at the gym today was another arc of Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson a Canadian writer who has produced this prequel to Anne of Green Gables. in 45 minutes on the treadmill i'm about 120 pages in. while not a good as lucy maude montgomery's writing it is quite close and has scads of food references - both to abundance and scarcity.....

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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  • 2 weeks later...

"The Magic of Fire: Hearth Cooking, 100 Recipes for Fireplace or campfire" by William Rubel, gorgeous illustrations by Ian Everard.

I can hardly recommend this highly enough - one of the most beautiful books I own, and fascinating. After years of imagining that food cooked over a wood fire in the outdoors tastes better, I now realize that that is often true. These are great recipes, quite accessible, and the whole thing is remarkably poetic as well.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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"The Tenth Muse-My Life in Food" by Judith Jones. While I knew Ms. Jones was Julia's editor before I read her book, I never realized how influential she was in bringing so many cookbooks and authors to the attention of America. And I found it quite interesting and satisfying to know that she herself has a love of food and the American kitchen. I think that is probably why so many of the cookbooks she worked on have been so successful-her own love of food and cooking helped to coax the best from the chefs and cooks she worked with. The book reads like a history of American cooking in the last half of the twentieth century. Imagine counting Julia Child, James Beard, Edna Lewis and MFK Fisher among your personal friends. Quite amazing.

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Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen. The author was born in Vietnam, fled at the age of 5, and grew up in Grand Rapids with a Hispanic stepmother. Much of the memoir revolves around the different cultures' foods and the desire to fit in.

MelissaH

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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Sounds like I need to get to reading! I loved Eating India (raved about it a few pages/months back), and also have but haven't read Stealing Buddha's Dinner, Gumbo Tales, and Trail of Crumbs. Sounds like Trail of Crumbs is what I'll start next! I too have an advanced copy that she signed for me at the Book Expo last year! Damn.

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Hi...I am just new to this group... :biggrin:

I am on the last leg of reading Legend and Legacy by Robert J. Serling. It is about the story of Boeing and its people.

Cheers,

austramerica

Life is short: Break the rules...Forgive quickly...Kiss slowly...Love truly...Laugh uncontrollably...And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance...
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  • 2 weeks later...

I just finished "Eating Heaven" by Jennie Shortridge. Heartbreaking but uplifting . . . and there are recipes! I'm buying extra copies to send to friends. Set in Portland, Oregon, so of special interest to Pacific Northwesterners, but a good read wherever you are.

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I have posted about this book already but to give it more exposure I have just finished reading Fuchsia Dunlop's new Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper. A stunning read, it encompasses her journey from student of the Chinese language to food addict.

She chronicles her 15 years of living and travelling in China, her growing passion and obsession with Chinese food, history, preparation and recipes. The lengths she has gone to to accurately detail the food is amazing. she manages to inveigle her way into places westerners have never been permitted, including a long stint at a Sichuan chef's course, the Chinese equivalent of the CIA. She becomes fluent in the Sichuan and Hunan dialects as well as Mandarin. At the end of each chapter she posts a relevant recipe.

The book is intensely personal and full of incredible anecdotes about the history of China and how it is inextricably bound up with eating. I absolutely take my hat of to her total dedication to the subject (and the people) she loves.

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I have posted about this book already but to give it more exposure I have just finished reading Fuchsia Dunlop's new Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper. A stunning read, it encompasses her journey from student of the Chinese language to food addict.

She chronicles her 15 years of living and travelling in China, her growing passion and obsession with Chinese food, history, preparation and recipes. The lengths she has gone to to accurately detail the food is amazing. she manages to inveigle her way into places westerners have never been permitted, including a long stint at a Sichuan chef's course, the Chinese equivalent of the CIA. She becomes fluent in the Sichuan and Hunan dialects as well as Mandarin. At the end of each chapter she posts a relevant recipe.

The book is intensely personal and full of incredible anecdotes about the history of China and how it is inextricably bound up with eating. I absolutely take my hat of to her total dedication to the subject (and the people) she loves.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm reading Alice Waters & Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee, a biography of Waters and the restaurant.

Horrible book in every aspect- poorly written, poorly researched, dull and boring, etc... A waste of time to read this book, and a missed oppurtunity for McNamee.

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what i started at the gym today was another arc of Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson a Canadian writer who has produced this prequel to Anne of Green Gables.  in 45 minutes on the treadmill i'm about 120 pages in.  while not a good as lucy maude montgomery's writing it is quite close and has scads of food references - both to abundance and scarcity.....

OOOOh! Anne books! Thank you so much for posting about this - I wasn't aware of it and I have always loved Anne books! They are among the books that I cannot read without a snack nearby!

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I'm reading Alice Waters & Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee, a biography of Waters and the restaurant.

Horrible book in every aspect- poorly written, poorly researched, dull and boring, etc... A waste of time to read this book, and a missed oppurtunity for McNamee.

i'm reading this as well,but find it interesting and engaging. to each his own, i suppose.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I'm reading through two cookbooks right now-"The Boston Cooking-School Cookbooks," written by Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer of "Miss Farmer's School of Cookery." The two editions I am reading were published in 1913 and 1921, respectively. I plan on trying some of the recipes and we'll see how they turn out. Some of the recipes are based on cooking using a woodstove and call for a "hot oven," so I'll have to do some guessing when I try some of the techniques in the cookbook.

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KIM

you are welcome. i love the anne books as well.

currently

Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking. love the narrative around the recipes.

Napa: the story of an American Eden by James Conaway. a bit of a slog but interesting. hoping it will pick up

Suburban Safari by Hannah Holmes. what really goes on in your back yard throughout the year. most of the food stuff is what various animals, birds and insects eat. i don't want this book to end

All Dressed in White. various authors. ok. this is my gym book and is a collection of Regency romance stories. not too much food though.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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