Tuesday, January 13, 2009

cookbooks



Just another stack of books, but I find lately that I look through them for protracted periods of time, comparing recipes or just reading. The personality of author is so clearly drawn, sometimes, in the explication of the process of making something. Laurie Colwin is just perfect. As are her novels.

A book that I just borrowed from the library is the companion to the dreadful PBS series On the Road Again, Spain, starring a falstaffian, often inebriated Mario Batali, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman of the NY Times and another actress, Claudia Bassols. This TV series is such a grandiose exercise in self-indulgence, that I couldn't believe it. I kept checking back; surely there would be some real cooking, something for the viewer to grasp on to. No, it was the four of them, sitting around tables in expensive restaurants, eating. Or driving expensive, brand new cars through the countryside to get to an expensive restaurant to be filmed sitting around eating. The book is worse! It seems to have actual dialogue from the TV shows and occasional lists of favorites: Mario's favorite candybar is a Nestle's Crunch, by the way. Just in case you were wondering.

His Babbo cookbook is informative . . . although complicated.

18 comments:

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I too love reading cookbooks....I have to ask emma how she's doing on her project to cook new recipes from the myriad of cookbooks she (and I) have been collecting....I wonder if the love of reading recipes and cookbooks is a trait one inherits like blood type or eye color?

agree on the show...I only saw one episode and was so disappointed even though I generally enjoy gwyneth...

nestle's crunch...favorite candybar come on.....

Leon Basin said...

Nice collection...

Kurt said...

It seems everyone hates that show.

I'm sick of all the travel porn. Is there anywhere we can learn about non-luxury travel?

Joanne said...

I like looking at cookbooks too and dreaming about the beautiful meals pictured there. I'm not that great of a cook :(

Megan said...

Haven't seen that show but it sounds like that's a good thing!

Very nice collection, I agree.

Now I want to look through mine when I get home...

Squirrel said...

Breakfast Lunch and Tea sounds good!~
a foodie trillin book is en route as of noon today.

Femin Susan said...

Hi...
Good collection.. Keep it up..

angela said...

That must be a great job, sitting round eating, drinking and talking. I think I'd be a natural!

They say we only use 4 recipes per book. I think that's probably true. At the moment I've got my eyes on the Nigella Express cookbook but will wait till I go to the UK. 17% tax on books in France..ridiculous!

Reya Mellicker said...

I met Mark Bittman at a party recently. He's just another one of those arrogant celebrity jerks. I found him completely uninteresting.

Like you, I love reading cookbooks.

Linda said...

And here I was hoping I could see that some day. They made it look like it was going to be so good. Have you read The Sharper The Knife, The Less You Cry? Good book on the Cordon Bleu cooking school.

Adrianne said...

I too love reading cookbooks. In May 2008 I decided to stop cooking animal products at home (long story), which required several new cookbooks and the willingness to cultivate some additional cooking techniques. It has been a very fun and tasty adventure, and I have become a much better cook overall as a result. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything has long been my favorite cookbook (I say that with apologies to Julia Child, whom I adored, I mean just *totally* adored). I thought that, as a more or less vegan cook, I would have to spend less time with Bittman, but then I discovered his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which also is fabulous. I shall have to steer very clear of that hoity-toity tv show so as not to ruin my image of Bittman, which at this point is based solely on his wonderful books.

Stacie said...

Bittman is an ass...that is all I can say.

citizen of the world said...

I like reading cookbooks, also, but it sounds like I'd hate that one.

Barbara said...

I probably have more cookbooks than any other type of book. It is fun to see how they have evolved over the years. Things like olive oil replacing all that butter!

JGH said...

I loaned Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin out and never got it back! So I must replace it and get the second one--are there any others that I'm missing? What novels of hers would you recommend?

I also found On the Road show annoying.

Squirrel said...

I got no problem with his favorite candy bar ... my absolute favorite candy is as boring as can be. (and I clearly recall a time in childhood when Nestle Crunch was my personal fave--it was knocked out by the Clark bar.)

tut-tut said...

Squirrel: You haven't revealed your favorite. Mine is not a candybar, but a chocolate: a chocolate-covered cherry from the Whitman's box (or were they there?).

ParisBreakfasts said...

Read the Tenth Muse by Judith Jones for a terrific overview on USA cookbooks and food. I assure you you'll love it.
why they think these 4 idiots merit a food show is questionable, though I do very much like Bitman's mini videos on the NYTimes...