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Food Writing
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Food Writing Reply with quote

I know there's a hugely successful "reading/books" thread currently under way, and there was a cookbook thread some time ago, but I'm wondering what specific food-topic reading everyone is doing these days. Any books, magazine articles, cookbooks, etc., you'd like to encourage the rest of us to enjoy as well? After all, we need something to read until Clotilde's book is published!

I'll start: I've been enjoying Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater. As the title suggests, this is both a daily diary and a recipe trove. The recipes appear in "real time", that is, on the days on which Slater writes about them, so there's not really any particular rhyme or reason to their appearance except for the season and Slater's desire to eat that food on that day. It's a treat to hang out with Nigel in London these February evenings and read a passage or two each day. The photos are lovely and the book feels good in my hands.

Will I cook from this book? Probably sometime down the road. A few recipes tempt me, but the greater pleasure is in the writing, which is enough for me.
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave my boyfriend Julian Barnes's The Pedant in the Kitchen for Christmas, but I'm afraid it's one of those cases of giving a present I wanted myself... Wink Suffice it to say I've been stealing it periodically ever since. (The essays are all very quick reads so he never notices it missing!) If you've ever read one of Barnes's novels or essay collections you know what to expect in terms of tone and content (dry wit, unapologetically intellectual), but it's heartening, not to mention amusing, to see this intellectual powerhouse admitting to dissolving into a gibbering wreck when faced with a recipe with cheerfully imprecise instructions...
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Julian Barnes (just bought his "Arthur and George" but haven't had a chance to read it yet), but I don't know "The Pedant in the Kitchen". I'll be looking for it asap. (If I'm very lucky, I won't be able to find it in the US and will have to schedule a visit to my aunt in London...)

Thanks, Rachel!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On our last trip to Bozeman, I snatched an issue of Gastronomica from the Fall 2006 quarter, published by the University Of California- Berkley Press. What a find. Each article is enough to sate even the most ravenous of minds, creating a lovely, lasting affair with the issue that will surely hold over until the next one is on the newsstand. Spendy, of course, but well worth it. Some of the most brilliant of food related writings, even some above the heads of the mainstream (myself included) are to be found in this booklet of gold. It runs $47 a year for a subscription, and I just might take the plunge, if not to look smarter...

Also, a cookbook on current Israeli cuisine, for those homesick days... not so much a read as a comfort item, like favorite jammies.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have it yet, but I'm homing in on, 'The Silver Spoon' the Italian cookery bible. It's big, has the spoon on the front and a whole wealth of fabulous Italian recipes within... I am not drooling, I am not drooling, I am not drooling!!

I am looking to get the money together to buy it tho'!
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's quite amusing that the second selection - Julian Barnes - is really a book criticising the first - Nigel Slater! (albeit in a fun way, not really critical!)

I love both books - and I like the way Slater writes about food rather than just giving a list of recipes. Perhaps the archetype of this sort of food writing is Elizabeth David?
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Nicki



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 106
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ooooh, I want the Silver Spoon! Why do I feel guilty about spending money on this, when the cost could easily be cancelled out by not buying some other luxury...£25 = 9 pints = a cardigan = 2 courses & wine = 3 DVDs = a food shop. Ok, that's not really a luxury!
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicki,

I came sooo close to getting it bought for me... and then didn't. Crying or Very sad But I want it... and I want it NOW!!! ... ahem, I want it and I'm having it, so there! I was asked to make a list of books I wanted and it could be bought for me as part of a fine art curator's budget... er, then she told me it had to be only art books... I tried to sneak it through on the basis that we could say it was about spoons and silverware... but she wouldn't go for it.

Once I have it I'm going to make something delicious for her and then she'll understand why she should have!

As for feeling guilty... you're gonna have to work on that aren't you?! Personally I don't do guilt... gilt possibly, but I have no shame... as those friends of mine having seen me in red vinyl snakeskin trousers will testify to. Shocked

I would say, get the book... then visit the food shop. The rest will come in time... you will be rewarded... how could you not be, eh?! Who could resist your big soft looking eyes when you give 'em that look?!! ... It's a long shot cap'n, but it just might work...!
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin: Before you buy the book, please read through the comments about "Silver Spoon" that have been posted here. The English edition is not a direct translation; it's been altered with a marketer's eye to what might appeal to Americans. The original does not represent the best Italians have to offer.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Georgia,

Have you read Ruth Reichl's trilogy? I have them all (gace a Rainey) and would be happy to drop them by sometime. They are all particularly poignant having lived in the Bay area for the past 30 some odd years - and having observed the food scene all the while. And the last book - about her time at the NYTimes was quite a delight! PLUS _ they're all full of recipes - which Rainey generously typed out and I will be happy to share with you! =)
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katiebee



Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Gainesville, FL

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:25 am    Post subject: Yummy reading Reply with quote

I also love Ruth Reichl's 3 books...and my very favorite foodie "memoir" (an oldie but a goodie) is Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser. The recipes throughout are all fabulous and her writing is incredibly entertaining. I'll also recommend a GREAT cookbook written by 2 authors from my hometown. It's called Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas and is chock full of yummy, easy recipes and funny, tongue-in-cheek "confessions" to make your time in the kitchen fun. It's laugh-out-loud cooking written by 2 PTA moms. Highly recommended! (Available on Amazon.com) Happy reading!
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I recently finished Heat, by Bill Burford (which they have at the Montclair library, Georgia). No recipes per se, unless you aspire to butcher a whole pig and then he does explain that in rather more detail than I expected! (This after he describes bringing the deceased pig into his Manhattan apartment and up in the elevator! Rolling Eyes) But lots of discussion of being in various kitchens and learning the trade. There were some hilarious parts to it. And Mario Batali comes off in a pretty good light. Laughing

Last fall I read Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs. That was an easy and entertaining read. Again, really no recipes, but very funny in some places!

The Nigel Slater book sounds good. Will have to look for that!
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The English edition is not a direct translation; it's been altered with a marketer's eye to what might appeal to Americans. The original does not represent the best Italians have to offer.


Deste...
WHAAAAT!!!! I...I... I'm shocked! What is the matter with these idiot marketers? Why can they just not leave the book alone? Somebody give me a large wet fish and leave me alone in a room with them... it's for their own good.

What about the French edition? ...thinks, I might just be able to translate that....! *&^%$£-ing marketers!!! Evil or Very Mad May their socks be filled with scorpions and their knickers with fleas... and may it be all my fault! Let that be a lesson to them.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...............and I'm reading Donna's copy of Don''t Try This At Home now, and thoroughly enjoying it, so is the Daughter In Law who really doesn't like to read.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna, I'm pleased you enjoyed 'Heat'. My mum is reading it at the moment.

I received 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' for Christmas, along with Tony Bourdain's 'The Nasty Bits' and 'The French Laundry Cookbook' - perfect gifts for a bookloving foodie, or a food-loving bookworm.

So Omnivore's Dilemma is at the top of the 'must read' pile.
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