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Monday, March 21, 2011

COOKBOOKS: Reissues and Newer Editions for 2011....

...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback
reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher
a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will
reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will
rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text
while keeping the focus tight. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
16. SPECIAL EVENTS; a new generation and the next frontier. Sixth ed.
(John Wiley & Sons, 2011, 550 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-44987-5, $55.55 US
hard covers) is by Joe Goldblatt, currently Executive Director of the
International Centre for the Study of Planned Events in Edinburgh. He
has established many, many programs through the United States, and is
thought to be the leader in the field of Event Management. The first
edition of this book was published in 1990 by Van Nostrand, and then
Wiley took over. Lately, it has been updated every three years. So this
becomes a gold standard text in the area. Besides coverage of what
event management is, discussion questions (this is a text, after all),
and career management and advancement, there has been a general
updating plus new material. There are new chapters on greener events,
corporate social responsibility, international best practices, and
expanding event fields. More than 200 new web resources are indicated,
as well as constructive uses of social media. There are also more
interviews with event leaders and newer case studies. The updated
bibliography contains quite a few relevant sources. Quality/Price
rating: 89.

17. THE NEW SONOMA DIET; trimmer waist, more energy in just 10 days.
(Sterling Publishing, 2011, 383 pages, ISBN 978-1-4027-8118=6, $22.95
US hard covers) is by Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D., currently a
nutrition instructor at the CIA in California. The first edition of her
book was in 2005, selling a lot of copies. There is a subscription
website, which has much more additional
information. The main thrust of the diet is quality food, flavours, and
a healthy exercise regimen. The updating is for more coverage of the
so-called SuperFoods, here labeled Power Foods, and the evolving
glycemic index. New material covers omega 3 fatty acids, pro-biotics,
dark chocolate, Vitamin D, gluten free recipes, and wine. Lots has
happened in the past 5 – 6 years. The basic 10 power foods have been
added to, with beans and citrus. There are 21 days of menus and recipes
with all sorts of combinations. My basic go-to food has been dark
chocolate and almonds, and they are here. Guttersen promotes the three
wave theory: the first wave (10 days) is the approach to the diet, the
clearing of the path. The second wave is the continuation of the diet
for weight loss. The third wave (after reaching target weight) is
changing the diet into a lifestyle. The older book would still be
useful, so don't pitch it. This book is meant for new readers.
Quality/price rating: 88. 

18. COOKING BASICS FOR DUMMIES. 4th ed. (Wiley Publishing Inc., 2011,
436 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-91388-8, $19.99 US paper covers) is by Bryan
Miller (once a restaurant reviewer for the New York Times and now a
food writer covering dining trends), Marie Rama (food consultant), and
Eve Adamson (cookbook author). The last edition was in 2004. So here we
are with newer material on trendier dining (BBQ and grilling) and newer
equipment. As a basic book for under twenty bucks, it is pretty good.
And the fact that it appears to be revised when needed is also pretty
good. And yes there are even metric conversion tables. One of the keys
is at the back: a glossary of top 100 common cooking terms, plus notes
on common substitutions, abbreviations and equivalents. There's also
enough stuff here to make you a short order cook. Each prep has a clear
explanation of technique, with ingredients listed in boldface and
nutritional data at the bottom. There's an indication of prep times,
cook times, and yields. All courses and meals are covered, with a lot
of variety – about 100 starter preps in all, with variations as needed.
Quality/Price rating: 90.
19. WEIGHT WATCHERS NEW COMPLETE COOKBOOK, 4th ed. (J Wiley, 2011, 416
pages, ISBN 978-0-470-61451-8, $29.95 US loose leaf edition) is an
update of the 2007 edition, which was released in a plastic comb
binding. It was originally published in hardback in 1993. The new,
fourth edition, has many changes, such as a separate chapter on slow
cooker meals and new sidebar advice. The new PointsPlus™ program is
explained. Recipes have been labeled for skill level, and there are
more preps for grains and veggies. Plus, of course, the new design:
loose leaf allow for better recipe display in the kitchen. Once again,
the emphasis is on healthy eating for family meals and for
entertainment meals. The book has always been 500 recipes in length,
but they are always changing. There are some helpful technique photos,
as well as the usual technique tricks and tips. Quality/price rating:
20. AT HOME WITH MADHUR JAFFRY; simple, delectable dishes from India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (Knopf, 2010, 301 pages, ISBN 978-
0-307-26824-2, $35 US hard covers) was originally published as "Curry
Easy" in different form by Ebury Press in London. Six of her previous
books have won Beard Awards – she's the go-to person for Indian food.
It's a summative book of some 190 recipes, for this is what she does at
home. It follows the SLOFE principles (seasonal, local, organic, fast,
and easy). As she says, "to make a proper curry generally calls for the
browning of wet seasonings such as onion, garlic and ginger, the
browning of dry spices like cumin, chilies, and coriander, and the
browning of the meat itself. Now I find that if I just marinate the
meat with all the spices and seasonings and then bake it, both covered
and uncovered, all the browning happens on its own; the curry absorbs
the spices and is delicious." So the emphasis is on simpler methods and
fewer steps. But she does change the order of the food: like many
cultures, all the food comes out at once, with fresh fruit for dessert.
Here, she has a Western culture order to the dishes, with appetizers,
mains, sides, and desserts. I should think at this time of her life
that the publisher would need no log rolling, but Deborah Madison and
Betty Fussell do appear on the back cover. Try eggplants in a North-
South sauce, gujarati-style okra, roasted moong dal with mustard
greens, or Pakistani goat curry with potatoes. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric
table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.

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