LitStack Rec: Jerusalem: A Cookbook & Exit West

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Jerusalem:  A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi Some cookbooks are defined by a generation. Your grandmother’s shelf likely held The Joy of Cooking or Julia Child’s The  French Chef. Your mother’s, The Silver Palate or The Moosewood Cookbook. Jerusalem is a cookbook that has similarly struck a culinary-cultural nerve, tapping into an unbridled [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – In Which I Divulge a Secret

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I have a secret I’m going to share with you.  It’s not that searing of a secret, just something I haven’t really talked about with anyone; perhaps to keep from raising expectations, perhaps due to fear of failure.  But I think I’ve learned something from keeping this secret that undermines its relevancy, so it feels [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Something New Every Second

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The other day I was reading Michael Gibney’s Sous Chef:  24 Hours on the Line, an engaging look at a day in the trenches of a fine dining restaurant in New York, and I came across this passage: Cooking is an exercise in kinetic awareness, economy of movement, mastery of the senses.  You can smell [….]

LitStack Review: That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay

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That Part Was True Deborah McKinlay Grand Central Publishing Release Date:  February 4, 2014 ISBN 978-1-4555-7365-3 You know, I wasn’t going to finish reading Deborah McKinlay’s new novel, That Part Was True, after the first fifty pages or so.  It wasn’t that it wasn’t well written – except for a few beginning passages where I [….]

LitStack Rec: Pictorial Cooking

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The Oxford-Duden Pictorial English Dictionary (Second Edition, Oxford University Press) This week’s recommendation is obviously not a book for reading, but it is a book every writer should have. The Oxford-Duden Pictorial English Dictionary is an essential reference that is indispensable for writers, a guide to the exact names of things when “thingy,” won’t do. [….]

Keeping a Struggling Writer Satisfied, in Body and Mind

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Virginia Woolf wrote, ”I have only one passion in life — cooking.” Over at Brain Pickings, it seems that Woolf was not the only literary lion to place her writing second to a love of things culinary. Poets and writers are known to toil in the kitchen as well, and over a hundred prized recipes [….]

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

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Yes, Chef: A Memoir Marcus Samuelsson Random House First Edition: June 26, 2012 ISBN 978-0-385-34260-5 —♦— I’m not a fan of cooking shows, where a chef walks you through the steps of making a really good dish.  Maybe it’s because I’m a pretty pitiful cook and no amount of display, discourse or demonstration is going [….]

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk

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John Saturnall’s Feast Lawrence Norfolk First Edition: September 4, 2012 Grove Press ISBN 978-0-8021-2088-5 Kings raise their Statues and Churchmen build Cathedrals.  A Cook leaves no Monument save Crumbs. I have to believe that cooking – as an art, as a pastime, as something that has gripped our collective imaginations – has never been more [….]