What's Cooking Email Newsletter – November 2009
Welcome to the latest edition of What's Cooking! When we started writing this newsletter a week ago, it was all about summer being just around the corner, and showcasing some of the fantastic summer entertaining and kitchen gardening titles which have arrived recently.
However over the past week, a new phenomenon has swept through the store and she's called Julia!
Julia Child that is….
A whole new generation appears to have fallen under the spell of Julia Child. We shall call it "the Julie & Julia effect". The film is a delight, in no small part due to Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child. However, her books remain as relevant and usable as they ever were.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking (soft cover)
This is the classic cookbook, in its entirety - all 524 recipes. Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. This beautiful book, with more than 100 instructive illustrations, leads the cook from the buying and handling of raw ingredients, through each essential step of a recipe, to the final creation of a delicate confection. The focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery and lend themselves to an infinite number of elaborations, bound to increase anyone's culinary repertoire. The techniques learned here can be applied to recipes in all other French cookbooks, making them infinitely more usable.
My Life in France-
When Julia Child arrived in Paris in 1948, a 'six-foot-two-inch, thirty-six-year-old, rather loud and unserious Californian', she spoke barely a few words of French, and didn't know the first thing about cooking. 'What's a shallot?' she asked her husband Paul, as they waited for their sole meuniere during their very first lunch in France, which she was to describe later as 'the most exciting meal of my life'. As she fell in love with French culture, buying food at local markets, sampling the local bistros and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life began to change forever, and we follow her extraordinary transformation from kitchen ingenue to internationally renowned (and internationally loved) expert in French cuisine. Bursting with Child's adventurous and humorous spirit, "My Life in France" captures post-war Paris with wonderful vividness and charm.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol I & II (hardback boxed edition) -
With the 1961 release of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle, began a virtual revolution in American cookery. In the years that passed, their book found its way into almost 700,000 households, and Julia Child began her French Chef programs broadcast by Public Television, a whole generation was inspired to new standards of culinary accomplishment. The classic Volume One, acknowledged to be one of the great cookbooks of our time, was joined by its sequel in 1970 -- a new collection of recipes from the country kitchens and haute cuisine of France, carefully chosen and adapted by Julia Child and Simone Beck, and designed both to enlarge the repertoire and bring the reader to a new level of mastering the art of French cooking. A gift-boxed set of these classics on French cooking in the hardcover version.
The Tenth Muse - My Life in Food -
Living in Paris after World War II, Judith Jones broke free of the bland American food she had been raised on and reveled in everyday French culinary delights. On returning to the States-hoping to bring some joie de cuisine to America-she published Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The rest is publishing and gastronomic history. A new world now opened up to Jones: discovering, with her husband, Evan, the delights of American food; working with the tireless Julia; absorbing the wisdom of James Beard; understanding food as memory through the writings of Claudia Roden and Madhur Jaffrey; demystifying the techniques of Chinese cookery with Irene Kuo; absorbing the Italian way through the warmth of Lidia Bastianich; and working with Edna Lewis, Marion Cunningham, Joan Nathan, and other groundbreaking cooks. Jones considers matters of taste (can it be acquired?). She discusses the vagaries of vegetable gardening in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the joys of foraging in the woods and meadows. And she writes about M.F.K. Fisher: as mentor, friend, and the source of luminous insight into the arts of eating, living, and aging. Embellished with fifty recipes-each with its own story and special tips-this is an absolutely charming memoir by a woman who was present at the creation of the American food revolution and played a seminal role in shaping it.
This monthly newsletter from specialty independent bookseller Cook the Books, of which the above is only a part, is always interesting read.
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