Variations on a Theme: For the Holidays — Food
- Patricia Bochi
- December 12, 2012
In this variation on the theme of "Holiday," we focus on food. We've listed a few books that capture the essence of cooking food for yourself or for others, and the pleasure that comes from it. Each book includes narratives of a personal, yet universal, nature that enrich the experience of creating food and charm the readers.
What are the holidays but “making merry,” as the ancient Egyptians used to say. The occasions, the times and the tastes may vary, but food remains at the heart of all “making merry” times.
Below are a few books that capture the essence of cooking food for yourself or for others, and the pleasure that comes from it. Each book includes narratives of a personal, yet universal, nature that enrich the experience of creating food and charm the readers. Bon appétit!
The Way We Cook: Portraits from Around the World by James Oseland (ed.)
The book is a “chronicle of global cooking,” celebrating real people and their culinary traditions. The stories of these home cooks and professionals in far-flung locales are told through beautiful color photography gleaned from over a decade of travel journalism. Fifty recipes accompany the stories, which are as different in their preparation as they are alike in their shared humanity. Compiled by the editors of Saveur magazine, this book is perfect for both coffee table and kitchen shelf.
Dinner: A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table by Jenny Rosenstrach
This book is an extension of the author’s popular blog, DinnerALoveStory.com. It tells the story of how she and her husband learned how to cook dinner every night and honor the tradition of the shared family dinner. Part memoir, part cookbook (it includes 120 recipes), the book is about keeping perspective in today’s busy life. A friendly approach to the eternal question: What’s for dinner?
A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories by April Bloomfield with J.J. Goode
The author of this book wanted to be a policewoman but ended up in cooking school; she wanted to wear a uniform, so it turned out all the same. The book combines innovative yet straightforward recipes that reflect the author’s English roots and a strong Italian influence, with stories of Bloomfield’s personal journey. The author is the owner of several acclaimed restaurants: The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and The John Dory, in New York.
CookFight: 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes, an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance by Kim Severson and Julia Moskin
The authors of this book are New York Times food writers, who for a year turned kitchen warriors fighting for kitchen dominance. Each chapter chronicles a new challenge, one for each month of the year — from the “Fancy Food” challenge to the “Weekday” challenge — and the approach of each cook. Warmth, scuffles and fun are included.
Patricia Bochi is a writer, Egyptologist and art historian. She is Features Editor at The Independent.