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Monday, January 14, 2019


...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. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
14.THE SELF-SUFFICIENT LIFE AND HOW TO LIVE IT. New edition. (DK Books, 1976-2009, 2018, 408 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-7735-4 $35 USD hardbound) is by John Seymour, who first wrote this now bestselling classic guide to living a more sustainable way of life in 1976. He died in 2004 at age 90. His book has been re-published many times with updated changes, and in this edition, it has been overhauled with a mixture of his words from the 1976 book, his 1978 book "The New Self-Sufficiency Gardener", a 2018 foreword by Alice Waters, and some more changes since 2009 with regard to chemicals and pesticides, and the like, principally by disciple Will Sutherland who runs the School for Self-Sufficiency. There are also some words from Seymour's daughter Anne Sears about what it was like growing up "self-sufficient". It is really good to have this fully updated and revised book back in print. As the publisher notes, "for more than 40 years, John Seymour has inspired thousands to make more responsible, eco-friendly life choices." This current book tells you everything you need to know to go off the grid – basics such as gardening, milling, brewing, foraging, cheese making, raising and butchering livestock, preserving and freezing, chopping wood, et al. There are many sections here that apply to modern life in the big city. It's a timeless guide to green living, complete with colour drawings. Quality/price rating: 91.
15.GLAMOROUS COCKTAILS (CICO Books, 2012, 2018, 160 pages, $14.95 USD hardbound) is by interior designer William Yeoward. It was originally published in 2012 as WILLIAM YEOWARD'S AMERICAN BAR, an hommage to his favourite American-style bars in London. He  selects some cocktails from each. Presentation is paramount here, so the photography adapts well. There are about 70 recipes, with tips and advice for each drink. These are fashionable mixes from iconic London bars, such as The Connaught Bar, Annabel's (members only club in Mayfair), The Berkeley Blue Bar, The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy, and The American Bar at the Savoy. Replete with good descriptions from various bartenders and lots of photography. Both metric and avoirdupois are used in the recipes. Quality/price rating: 87.
16.THE SWEDISH CHRISTMAS TABLE (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012,2014,2018, 199 pages, ISBN 978-1-51073820-1 $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Jens Linder, a Swedish chef, and Johanna Westman, a Swedish TV host. It was originally published in 2012 as DECEMBER in Sweden, and re-published in English in 2014 and 2018. The original title is more exact for Sweden as they celebrate Christmas all month long, beginning with Advent calendars for December 1. Here, then, are traditional holiday meals, side dishes, candies and drinks, in over 100 easy-to-prepare recipes. As Sweden is part of "Scandinavia", many of the preps can be substituted back and forth for and from the other countries. The Christmas celebrations end up, of course, with New Year's Eve. So there is a whole month's worth of frolicking here. There's a glogg party with roasted and spiced nuts, bacon-wrapped dates, gingerbread nut cookies, fig and port wine marmalade, warmed wheel of Brie, plus – of all things – pissaladiere from southern France (which harkens back to the salt cod and spice exchange trade from centuries earlier). Several glogg recipes are also given. The book is great fun, but could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 86
17.WINE FOLLY: MAGNUM EDITION (Avery, 2018, 318 pages, ISBN 978-0-525-53389-6 $35 USD hardbound) is by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack. It was originally published in 2015 and was based on the website (itself founded by Puckette and Hammack in 2011). She is a sommelier and visual designer; he is a web designer. The main principles and rationales for the book have not changed: the material has just been updated and extended to move with the times of expanding wine information. The winefolly website is free, and is probably the #1 ranking wine education site on the Internet. The book is meant to improve one's knowledge of wine and refute intimidation and uncertainty. The book would help novices to assess wine quality, handle-serve-store-age wine, find new wines to taste, and make relevant food and wine pairings. And overall they should gain confidence. As the authors say, "your homework assignment each time you try a new wine is" -- to focus on tasting the wine, find the wine's grape variety, to learn about the region where the wine is from, and to match with food. Puckette has a wealth of infographics for the millennials, various graphic wheel charts for tasting and aromas, plus examples of wines to explore. Did you know that pinot grigio actually has a taste? Expect green apple, unripe peach, thyme, lime zest, and quince – okay, now who has actually tasted "green" apple (NOT Granny Smiths), "unripe" peach, or knows what a quince is? Get to it.... A terrific book for beginners! Quality/price rating: 89.
18.THE VENISON COOKBOOK (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011, 2018, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-3725-9, $15.99 USD paperbound) is by Kate Fiduccia, who hosts the Woods N' Waters TV series along with her husband. She is also an expert hunter. This book is the paperback reprint of the 2011 hardbound edition. Here are more than 125 recipes for hunters and non-hunters. Venison is relatively healthy, with only 3.6 grams of fat per four-ounce serving. The range here is from modest comfort home food to gourmet, with recipes for every meal and snack during the day. So at breakfast, try the venison veggie frittata or the venison asparagus delight. Lunch has venison tamale pie, dinner includes venison moussaka, baked pasta with venison, venison Wellington. Indeed, anything done with beef can be done with venison. Just don't let it dry out. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 86
19.THE GOURMANDS' WAY (Farrar, Straus AND Giroux, 2018, 435 pages, ISBN 978-0-374-53801-9 $30 USD hardbound) is by Justin Spring, who specializes in writing biographies. Here, in this paperback reprint of the 2017 hardbound book, he delves into six Americans in Paris (Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher, Alexis Lichine, A.J. Liebling, Richard Olney, Alice B. Toklas) and the "Birth of a New Gastronomy" – the 1950s and 1960s is the timeline. And of course, Paris itself is prominent. Spring has tied together many different Parisian fragments of these Americans' writings: they crossed paths frequently as they knew each other, they ate at the same cafes and bistros, they wrote similar materials about the Parisian life and food and wine. "Bons viveurs" indeed. It all really wound down when Olney left for the Var in 1967. And the stage was set for a new confluence of Fisher, Child and Olney with James Beard, Simone Beck, Judith Jones, and others in Luke Barr's 2014 telling book "Provence, 1970". So Spring's book is a vital precursor. Illustrated with many black and white photos. Quality/price rating: 90
20.DIABETIC LIVING DIABETES DAILY (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-328-49770-3, $19.99 USD paperbound) is from the magazine Diabetic Living (Meredith). They've got 130 recipes here to keep you on track with mindful ways to eat and live well. These include building a support team, reducing stress, fitness and lifestyle changes, overcoming emotional eating, and right-size portions. There are also two weeks of balanced menu plans. All courses are covered, from breakfast through lunch and dinner, and include snacks, desserts, "classics", salad meals, bowls, and seafood. There's a lot of effective hand-holding here that works. The book could have been improved if it also used metric directly in the recipes, but at least it had metric conversion charts at the back. Quality/price rating: 89
21.EATING WELL SOUPS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-328-91103-2, $22 USD paperbound) is from the magazine Eating Well (Meredith), which has been around since 1990. I was once a Charter subscriber. Soups, of course, are the ultimate bowl foods. Here are 100 healthy recipes for the ultimate comfort food, all from numerous contributors and with full nutritional data, timings, and cook notes. For the most part, these are all hot soups. There were only five chilled soups – mostly gazpacho variations – and no chilled fruit soups (although fruits such as apples are used as a component of hot soups). There is even a chapter labeled "better-the-next-day soups" which allows for
quantity cooking without being shy about it. The concluding section is soups by the formula: chicken soup, chowder, and pureed veggie soup. Each formula allows for quite a few variations, and there are also garnishes which can change the texture and taste.
The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89
22.SKILLET (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 2018, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-156-6 $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Ann Helm Baxter. It was originally published by Hachette Livre (Marabout) in 2017. This is the English language edition. Her collection of 70 quick and tasty one-pan recipes are easily achievable for dinner after a hard pressed day at work. She envisions a beetroot tarte tatin or chicken & mushroom pot pie. But basically it concerns the tastiness of loving care towards burgers, curries, risotto, pizza, pasta, desserts, with specific chapters on vegetarian and fish & seafood. There is both metric and avoirdupois for listed ingredients, but the book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes with regard to teaspoons and tablespoons. Quality/price rating: 86


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