Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Let the Meatballs Rest

This is a collection of 100 brief essays discussing specific foodstuffs, their histories and how they have helped shape the human societies that include them in their diets.

Potatoes, for instance, were introduced to Europe in the 16th century but their bland flavor and "subterranean nature" made them unappealing. Only when other crops had failed and starvation loomed did farmers turn to widescale production of the easy-to-grow spuds.

Garlic, likewise, was once considered fit only for peasants. Eating such strong and foul-smelling food was a damning mark of poverty in the 10th century.

And eggplant, first brought to Europe by Arabs, was long associated with "the lower class and Jews." Yet the peasant cuisine that emerged from their use would later be co-opted by the upper classes.

And Other Stories About Food and Culture
by Massimo Montanari
Columbia University Press, 2012
Cover Art: Let the Meatballs Rest
Reviews Archive
Submit a Book for Review

Monday, December 10, 2012

Eating Out with Let the Meatballs Rest

In his chapter, "The Beautiful and the Good," Montanari argues that beauty and beautiful food shouldn't be the privilege of the few.

"It is a primary need of the individual and of society. Beauty is natural, but it has to be cultivated and is therefore also culture. Beauty makes things more acceptable, more pleasing, more desirable. 
"The ancient Greeks thought that the body and the spirit were fundamentally the same and that a truly beautiful man could not be other that truly good... And so it is for food. To be be really good it has to be really beautiful. Not only the nch food of grand occasions, but even humble, ordinary, daily food. Beauty is needed every day."
~ Massimo Montanapi from "Let The Meatballs Rest"

Book Store
Book Search
Out of the Past

Review: Fish Grilled and Smoked

"I have discovered what I believe to be an exciting new fuel for smoking fish, a fuel easily found in any farm supply store, hardware store, and even supermarket," writes outdoorsman and author John Manikowski. "It's inexpensive too. Corn. Dried whole corn kernels."

In the pages of this how-to guide and recipe book, Manikowski reveals the secret of his “soft smoke” method using dried corn that can make a fish smoker out of almost any grill.

Manikowski includes step-by-step illustrated directions for building three separate smokers: a streamside smoker, a home smoker, and a large backyard smokehouse.

He discusses the best species of fish to smoke—bluefish, yellowtail, whitefish, herring, and lake trout -- and provides recipes for curing solutions and special rubs.

There's more ways to cook a fish than smoking it, of course, and Manikowski covers most of the basics, from directions on cleaning fish, techniques for boning and scaling, and advice on wine pairings.

The 150 recipes in the book include main dish meals like Striped Bass with Cattail Shoots and Morels, Grilled Butterflied Trout, and Grilled Small-mouth Bass Wrapped in Corn Husks.There are also recipes for side dishes using wild mushrooms, grilled eggplants and tomatoes, as well as an assortment of condiments, sauces, and desserts.

150 Recipes for Cooking Rich, Flavorful Fish on the Backyard Grill, Streamside, or in a Home Smoker
by John Manikowski

Recipe Excerpt: Salmon and Corn Chowder
How To Do It Books
Here's How To...
Submit a Book for Review

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review: Animal Origami

True magic lies in transforming an angular piece of ordinary paper into a life-like representation of a living animal. Origami master Joost Langeveld offers this boxed set of challenging exercises for nimble paper artists.

Langeveld's origami instruction book explains how to fold 20 different animals from the turtles to tigers, and from elephants to whales. There are folded creatures from the African plain and hand-crafted critters from the ocean deep.

Continued in ... Animal Origami

by Joost Langeveld
Thunder Bay Press, 2011

How To Do It Books
Here's How To...
Guidebooks and How-to Titles
Submit a Book for Review

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Taylor's Encylopedia of Garden Plants

Unlike other encyclopedias that become dated due to political, social and scientific changes, the Taylor's Encyclopedia of Garden Plants is sure to stand the test of time as probably the most complete and authoritative guide to ornamental flowers, trees and shrubs in North American gardens. The information in this text will be as accurate and as valuable at the end of this century as it is today. Its pages will yellow and its cover will wear out before there is much change in the nature of the 1,000 species covered here.

Continued in ... The Book Stall

edited by Frances Tenenbaum  
Houghton Mifflin, 2003
Cover Art: Taylor's Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
Farm and Garden Books
Growing Guides
Seed, Plant and Nursery Catalogs
Submit a Book for Review