You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

cookbooks!

Native

Seaweed, Salmon and Manzanita Cider, Dubin & Tolley.  What an amazing book.  This brilliant gem, beautifully photographed, tells you about REAL Native American cooking.  This is a combination of heritage food, POV home cooking, and thousands of years of wisdom.  Get it, order it, search for it- this was a gift from a friend in California, and these focus on foods from the tribes there.

Colonial

To Set Before the King:  Katharina Schrott’s Festive Recipes First-hand intelligence practically from the table-sides and kitchens of the Habsburgs.  Nothing much more to say.

Groundbreaking publications (19/20Centuries)

Buckeye cookery, ed. Estelle Woods Wilcox.   If you came of age in the 60’s or 70’s, you were probably aware of this book.  It is a friend to self-sufficiency enthusiasts.  However, it is also a valuable document for all of us.

Classic American

A Shaker Kitchen, Norma MacMillan.  Learn something more about the Shakers, besides their famous Shaker Lemon Pie.  A pious and simple tradition, producing simple, breathtaking food.

Comprehensive Cuisine

The Art of South American Cooking, Felipe Rojas Lombardi.  This is a stunning, thick volume of culinary treasure.  Think:  Southern Cross meets Joy of Cooking.

Vegetarian

Simple Food for the Good Life, Helen Nearing.  A goddess from the Pantheon of American Back-to-Nature movement speaks.  She & her husband (Scott) are intelligent, belligerent, humorous icons.

Baking

The Book of Whole Grains, Marlene Anne Bumgarner. I’ve had this cookbook for probably 30 years, and I love it and refer to it often.  It’s not strictly a baking book, but it does have a wealth of recipes categorized into 10 chapters of one whole-grain each; and then additional chapters for nuts/seeds; and finally legumes.

World Food

Japanese Cooking:  A Simple Art, Shizuo Tsuji, intro MFK Fisher.  This 450 page bible of Japanese cookery in English language is illustrated with simple line-drawings; it earned the praise of MFK Fisher AND Craig Clairborne.  This reflects the science, detail and aesthetic of a renowned food tradition.  This is definitely a specialty book.

Reference

Greast Garnishes, ed. Su-Huei Huang.  This is a book of Chinese food garniture- and the connections to the history of the Imperial Court are inescapeable.  Bi-lingual in Mandarin and English with colorful, detailed photos.

Desserts

Chocolate, Linda Collister.  This is a beautifully photographed collection of classic chocolate recipes- it’s a modest 125 pages or so, but it is described by The Guardian as one of the best chocolate cookbooks you’ll ever own.  I think that’s probably true.

Food Writers

First of a pair:  “Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles” James Beard’s correspondence with Helen Evans Brown, ed. John Ferrone.  I love reading collections of letters.

Quirks

This isn’t a quirk, but a follow-up to the previous category.  Epicurean Delight:  The Life and Times of James Beard, Evan Jones.  Two giants of American food and writing in one volume- this is quite  a biography, and James Beard lived quite a life.