8 posts tagged with “book review”

  • Regrets and potato doughnuts + a giveaway for Per La Famiglia

    Whitecap Books kindly provided me with a copy of Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Cooking for review but was given no input into the writing of this post.

    My biggest regret in life is not learning German.

    Saturday mornings spent as a kid trying to master what noun went with which definite article — der Hund, die Katze, das Mädchen — when I’d have rather been watching cartoons was enough to alienate me from the entire process. And much to my Oma Mayer’s disappointment, the rest of her existence was spent speaking in a German-English pidgin that included lots of gesturing when we were together.

    Now, nearly three years after her death, I’m finally trying to master the language. But for every new word I gain, I become more acutely aware of what I lost by having waited this long, including learning from her in the kitchen when I’d visit her in Germany.

    Continue reading

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    Category Reviews


  • Peach Tree
  • All-star cast: Caring for cast iron pans

    Cast iron pans are an essential kitchen tool, loved for their even heat distribution and the iron they add to food. Here’s how to keep the at their best.

    I always drink an oatmeal stout from a glass.

    That way I can marvel at its murkiness, impenetrable even when held up to light.

    I inherited my love of dark beer from my Oma Walter. No one else in my family would touch the stuff. And even me, as a child, couldn’t fathom drinking something so cloudy, black and mysterious — a mindset informed by living in a home where water-clear Labatt Blue was enjoyed in amber stubbies.

    But the bitter coffee and sweet chocolate synonymous with stout grew on me as I got older and every time I drank a dark beer that I really loved, I’d think of my Oma as she smacked her lips after a pleasurable first sip, looked upon her glass with approval, and said “Oooh, dat’s a gut beer,” in her German-flecked English.

    I also credit her with my appreciation for the cast iron frying pan. Continue reading

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    Category How To's, Reviews


  • Peach Tree
  • Digging into Seven Spoons

    Everyday yellow dal recipe in Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day, by Tara O'Brady.

    As Tara O’Brady handed me a copy of her cookbook to borrow for work a few weeks ago, she slid me a silver tin with it.

    Inside was a good one-third of a pie: a walnut oat cherry butter tart pie, the recipe for which can be found in her book, Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day. And with it came an apology. It was Thursday. She made the pie on Tuesday and was sorry the crust might not be as flaky as it was a couple of days ago.

    I waved off her caveat, and looked forward to a quiet moment that evening to tuck into it and the pages of her absolutely stunning debut as an author. Continue reading

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    Category Food Finds, Reviews


  • Peach Tree
  • Cookbooks and coleslaw: Reviews of Yummy Supper, The Bread Exchange and Bar Tartine

    Rainbow slaw with purple cabbage, radish, green apple and orange.

    I was 15 when I got my first cookbook.

    It was What to Cook When You Think There’s Nothing in the House to Eat by Arthur Schwartz. With its red- and yellow-checked jacket, and heavy, black serif typeface leaving no room for photos on its pages, this book’s sales pitch was clearly in its title.

    I pointed it out to my mom when I found it in the stacks of the W.H. Smith bookstore at Fairview Mall in Kitchener, knowing it would at least get a raised eyebrow out of her, if not a chuckle. It was a time in our lives when she was growing tired of the usual refrain that happened every day when she got home from work around 5 p.m.

    “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

    “Can you give me a minute? I just got in the door. Besides, did you ever think I might like to come home to dinner already made?”

    “But there’s nothing to eat!”

    Cue my mom’s eye roll and her trip to the fridge where, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, she miraculously found the makings of dinner.

    “Will you use it if I buy it for you?” she asked about Schwartz’s book. Continue reading

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    Category Recipes, Reviews