Thursday, March 23, 2017

Too much cooking too little writing?

Home Cooking: a Writer In the Kitchen
by Laurie Colwin

Not what I'd hoped for. It just didn't sing to me.  Maybe if I'd already been a fan of her writing, I'd have adored it.  There was nothing not to like--it just wasn't amusing, or endearing, or clever or the slightest bit deep.

But I see her works of fiction have very good ratings on Goodreads.  So please, please disregard my opinion and check it out if you think it's something you might want to try.  And if you absolutely love it, I'd like to know why.

(Going to go read other peoples' reviews now.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

No more cookbooks! Except...

Vegan Without Borders
by Robin Robertson

Very informative cookbook with example recipes of many cuisines around the world.  In most cases she selected one or two signature dishes of a cuisine that were already vegan or easily adapted.  In only a few did she simply make a meatless version of a meat-based dish.  I was pleased with that first approach--it's always good to remind yourself that many people don't build a diet around meat, milk and cheese.

I found a couple to try but how good they turn out to be remains to be seen.

The best reading was the recipes themselves.  The background material--the introductions to the cuisines--was skimpy and often just a repeat of the obvious.  I think it was a mistake to combine all of India or China into a single chapter.  If she couldn't take the time (or space) to do regional cuisines inside the bigger countries, then I wished she'd chosen a single area inside each to cover.  Say, Northern Indian; or Shandong.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happiness in the garden

I should preserve it in carbonite.  Oops--too late.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fluff is the mind-killer

Little Blog on the Prairie
by Cathleen Davitt Bell

Oddly, I liked this book.  It amused me.  The culture shock experienced by a family who had to give up electronics, machinery, and convenience foods against their will and live like a family from 1890...well...it made an amusing story.  When the family actually started to like a little of the work, the story seemed forced--but their delight when they got hold of something good--like fresh bread--that was real.  I could almost taste it.

It's a shallow teenager book with impossible coincidences, of course. I'm not sure whom I'd recommend it to--if you're the kind of teenager who always wanted to go back to 1890, you'll probably hate their shallow materialism.  And if not, you might sympathize but wonder what's the point?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ruth Reichl memoir part 2

Comfort me with apples
by Ruth Reichl

Continuing the life history of restaurant critic and Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl, this one takes us through travels to Europe and her first years at the LA Times.  I liked her better than the first time--she's a little more mature now and her decisions are more sensible.  But it still has all the fun, food, and fantastic people you can desire.

I don't remember any particular part that I'd deem "worth the wait" or "must read."  And she is still growing up, you know.  Not until Garlic and Sapphires did I really come to love and admire her. And now I know how she got that way--I'm content.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Let us, at last

Stupid auto-correct.  That was,

lettuce,
 at last!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Called not chosen

The Call Of The Farm
by Rochelle Bilow


This book had everything I love to read about...and I still didn't like it. It's hard to say why, but I think I had a personality conflict with the author.

Plucky would-be food writer falls hard for a guy working on a CSA and goes to work on it herself. She finds that she loves the people and the work, immersing herself in the experience so deeply that she forgets who she really is.  Or was.

She's the kind of personality that makes herself over to please a man, and while she recognizes that kind of lifestyle is unsustainable, she can't seem to stop herself.  Occasionally she tries, and one look at him drags her back into the charade.  On top of that, she doesn't seem to have--or develop--any depth.

All that aside, she does truly love the work.  And that's the redeeming part of this story.