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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook...Review

This cookbook is quite simply fun. I found it in a used bookstore several weeks ago. Sure, some of the recipes are interesting, but more than that, it's a terrific commentary about food and the evolution of cooking. Along with recipes, there are informative stories about the creation of food products like gelatin and the ability to flash freeze food, which was perfected by Clarence Birdseye.

The photos are vintage, as are the recipes. Some are appealing, such as "Orange Bread" and "Baked Pork Chops with Apples". "Beet Aspic" doesn't sound very good, but it was "up-to-date" in 1928!

I love the little excerpts and anecdotes sprinkled through out the book. They share things like this gem from 1895, To keep vegetables fresh, place them in a deep dish in about two inches of cold water. Take a piece of linen, soak it in water and spread over all, letting the corners dip into the water to keep the cloth moist. Place dish in a window where the the air can blow over it.

If you can track down a copy, this is just a fun book to read. That there are good recipes in it is simply a bonus.  You may be able to get a copy here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Strictly Sundays...Review

About the book:
Joe Fitzpatrick's been working wonders in the kitchen and on the grill for decades. Now you, oh lucky one, can share his secret powers and wow friends and family alike. Serve real food that fills the belly, satisfies the soul, and wins the day. Not just Sundays.

I prepare dinner and my family sits down together nearly every night of the week to eat together. Even so, Sunday dinner is often a bit more special and something I like to spend more time preparing. Strictly Sundays is a beautiful little cookbook with just that premise. Many of the recipes aren't simple: they take some work and preparation, but the end result is a dish your family can enjoy together on a day that is just a little more special.

For those who don't cook with alcohol, be aware that many of these recipes call for wine, so you will want to find substitutes. For inexperienced cooks, many of these recipes could also be a little intimidating at first. However, nothing is out of reach or experience.

The book doesn't include any bread or dessert dishes. I also wish, just like I do with most cookbooks, that there was a photo for every recipe and that the binding was spiral so that it would lay flat. The photography, however, is gorgeous and perfect for a book that is more gourmet than ordinary.

Thanks to Bostick Communications for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Joe Fitzpatrick here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

* * * *
4/5 Stars