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Sunday, December 27, 2015


MY KITCHEN YEAR; 136 recipes that saved my life (Appetite by Random House, 2015, 329 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-752995-4, $39.95 US hard covers) is by Ruth Reichl, well-known cookbook and recipe writer (since 1972), restaurant reviewer, novelist, and food editor (Gourmet). In October 2009 Gourmet closed and Reichl was at loose ends. She turned to the kitchen for a year, and used cooking as therapy, developing some preps to help her motivation. The book is part recipes, part narrative-memoirs, and each recipe is anchored by a tweet she sent the day she cooked the recipe. The dishes were created and photographed in her Hudson Valley home kitchen. There is both a recipe index and a subject index, which is perfect if you want to read the narratives separately by theme. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: fans and those new to cooking.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: spicy Korean rice sticks with shrimp and vegetables; pollo alla diavola; eggplant and arugula sandwich; food cart curry chicken; grilled London broil with red onions; three-day short ribs; cider-braised pork shoulder;  Venetian pork spareribs.
The downside to this book: tight binding and/or small gutters
The upside to this book: a good commentary on how food can chase away the blues.
Quality/Price Rating: 91.

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