Inspirational cookery writers
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ETA: Will add touchstones later. It's only been four months since I was supposed to add touchstones!
I buy older cookbooks, and much prefer the approach to cooking and to food in those earlier times. Today's book is Good Housekeeping Cook Book (the 1955 edition). The spine needs a bit of TLC, and some favorite recipes from a previous owner have been marked in pink highlighter (gently, not obscuring the text, thank goodness), but it's in very good condition, and it looks like hours and even days of fun.
A couple that I've cataloged are Sharing Our Gifts: From the Kitchens of St. Michael's (well-worn, chock-full of mid-to-late 20th century Chicago-area 2nd-generation immigrant cooking) and The Odyssey of Greek Cooking (1st through 3rd generation Greek immigrant cooking). I got the former as a gift from my mother who was a friend of some of the Ladies of St. Michael's Parish, and found the latter at a Greek festival sponsored by the church that sponsored the cookbook, Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, West Nyack, New York.
The other one I want to single out as "inspirational" right now is Cooking from the Heart, a collection of 100 recipes chosen by chefs with accompanying personal stories explaining what makes the recipe special to them. Lots of family stories, lots of stories about first jobs.
After her wisdom and recipes so not after 1st editions.
In recent years I have taken a liking to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who is similar in style.
Jamie Oliver is very good for beginners, but came along a bit too late for me. Over the years I have accumulated books by Beverley Sutherland Smith, Jill Dupleix, Claudia Roden and of course the incomparable Stephanie Alexander. I don't have many American cookbooks because the weird approach to measurements makes them so difficult to use.
Nowadays I don't buy many actual cookbooks. I prefer books about cooking, history or memoirs, which do often contain recipes.
I always thought Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, inspired curiosity about food. I remember one line of his, "How hungry did someone have to be to first eat a grape leaf?"
It's a pretty plant, and now and then I even consider growing one. Chokecherry jam or syrup is indeed delicious, but eating even one cherry in the raw state is enough to convince you to never do it again.
People don't like anything to come between themselves and their plate, I know, but high fat foods are truly not sustainable in terms of having a long vibrantly healthy life. I look through cookbooks from new writers who are themselves significantly overweight, but generally I pass on those books for that reason. High fat food per se doesn't taste good to me anymore. Taste bud preferences don't change overnight, but they do adapt in about 3 months.
If your impression is that macrobiotics is all about hair shirt self-denial, read the George O'Dowd 128 page Karma cookbook: great tasting dishes to nourish your body and feed your soul ... he is more widely known as the one and only Boy George.
Another inspirational writer is Nancy Singleton Hachisu, whose 2012 cookbook Japanese farm food is a gem. MrsLee earlier on this thread mentioned oysters. Nancy recommends that oysters be used in sashimi, salt-broiled, tempura, and nabe. Nancy also has some recipes for clams.
Gabriel Cousens, MD, has published a number of good cookbooks, although his last few have dived off the deep end into raw high-fat food. Conscious eating is my current favorite of his.
Another favorite macrobiotic writer is Marcea Weber. If you only want to try one of her books, Macrobiotics and beyond: a guide to total living is the one. The correct book is not touchstoning.
My favorite writers on natural desserts are Marcea Weber and Meredith McCarty. Yummy desserts that skip the eggs, dairy and refined sweeteners? Yeppers!
By the way, I recently read Gulp, and she says that organ meat is actually quite good for carnivores, it has loads of vitamins which natives in the polar regions would be unable to get otherwise. I forget what she said about the cholesterol though, but since these food and nutrition trends seem to change all the time, you might want to look into it. You can have all the liver on this earth which was destined to be mine.
>39 hfglen: :)
However, I do have a fondness for liver sausages and liver dumpling soup. In both cases, the texture has been profoundly changed.
I don't remember the author, but 30 years ago in a Reader's Digest article, they talked about mushrooms and the cooking thereof. I despised, loathed and hated mushrooms, but my lovely new husband adored them. So, I decided to use that article's cooking techniques and cook some for him. Low and behold I discovered that I loved mushrooms! I haven't found that to be true of liver though, in spite of my husband (not new, but still lovely) liking it.
Well, if you will put ketchup on the table...
I was taught that seasoning food before you've tasted it is an insult to the cook. My in-laws used to salt everything as soon as it was put in front of them, so I stopped putting out the salt shaker.
As an aside to that was taught to taste first.
If a put a big bowl of fresh chillies on the table are you going to smother you fruit with it? Yes maybe.
Sorry looking back I seem to of contributed to taking this chat away from it's subject of "Inspirational cookery writers"
So of course the day came when everybody got roast dinner and she served him - a cheese sandwich. He never said it again.
That most inspirational of cooking writers Edouard de Pomiane counselled against cooking for guests you don't like. The food will only turn to ashes in your mouth. Far better to take them to a restaurant, or perhaps today get something home delivered.