Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Wishlist Book Talk #11

The cookbook aficianado is never ignored for the holidays.  Remember, they're the ones supplying everyone with fabulous fare, in fact, they're probably busy in the kitchen right now!  So here's a few gems just for them.

The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food--Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When the Nation's Food Was Seasonal by Mark Kulansky actually came out last year, but it's still sitting on my list to give to the perfect person.  You see, the cutie and I were driving through a horrendous rain storm, and we were listening to NPR until it was lost.  I can't remember what the show was, but they were talking about this book, and it sparked both our interest - enough that it's been sitting in it's own note on my iTouch since we landed in a hotel.  Anyway, think of it as your grandma's cookbook - all those recipes that were often verbally handed down for generations.  It's a great addition to any kitchen.

Next up is kind of along the same lines.  It's called One Big Table: 600 recipes from the nation's best home cooks, farmers, fishermen, pit-masters, and chefs by Molly O'Neill.  The product description from Amazon describes it better than I ever could:  "an informative and heartwarming refutation of the demise of American home cooking. Ten years and many miles in the making, this collection celebrates the nation's culinary diversity, both ethnically and agriculturally, and offers a uniquely intimate look at what home cooking in America is truly like today. O'Neill crossed the country, interviewing home cooks and spending time in the kitchens of recent immigrants. The results are enticing recipes that intertwine family stories, personal histories, and food. From stuffed Danish pancakes in Utah to tamales in Santa Fe and Vietnamese shrimp pancakes in Mississippi, this eclectic collection showcases the best this country has to offer. O'Neill also includes old-style American fare, including black-eyed pea and mustard greens soup, corn chowder, campfire trout, and bluegrass bass with Kentucky caviar. Sidebars abound on everything from black sea bass to Johnny Appleseed, Elvis to shrimp. As engaging in the armchair as it is in the kitchen, this book is an enduring testament to our historic traditions and the new culinary forays being made by American home cooks."

Simply divine.

Now, I saved the best for last, best as in it's the cookbook for those new to the kitchen.  The How Not to Cookbook: Lessons Learned the Hard Way by Aleksandra Mir.  Everyone needs to start someplace and this one sounded like a good jumping off point.

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