Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Cookbooks

New to me, that is. Pegasus and Pendragon Books sends people on buying trips to England, returning with all manner of interesting editions. I have no idea why they do this. Maybe because people like me, who are in love with unusual editions, willingly buy them.

A recent willing purchase was Jeanne Strang's Goose Fat and Garlic: Country Recipes from South-West France. This English book, originally published is 1991, is an interesting companion piece to Paula Wolfert's comprehensive The Cooking of Southwest France. Strang and her husband live on a farm in France, so Goose Fat is more of a memoir than Wolfert's book, alive with the sorts of stock French peasantry Americans fantasize about. The food is quite like Wolfert's; indeed, many recipes are nearly identical, but Strang is no cookbook writer. Hers are the sort of recipes that mention soaking the dried codfish for twenty four hours halfway through the recipe. Nonetheless the book provides excellent hisorical notes, and its chapters on mushrooms and eggs are Elizabeth Davidesque in their thoroughness.

The other cookbook is Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. It was Bayless's recipe for roasted pork loin with tomatillos, in Corby Kummer's Slow Food, that hurdled me once and for all over my fear of pig. I also came very late to Mexican cuisine--my childhood exposure was nil--but now love it. Mexican Kitchen reminds me of All about Braising: I want to make everything in it. Chilied Tortilla Soup with Shredded Chard. Tacos of Garlicky Mexican Greens with Seared Onion and Fresh Cheese. Red Chile Rice. How can this white girl go wrong?

Authors, Cookbooks


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