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Showing posts from 2018

Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream in Ruby // Cook Your Books

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In this Cook Your Books series, I have chosen 15 books to read in 2017 based on somewhat arbitrarily chosen categories. While we're well into 2018, I did finish reading this book last year--these posts take longer than I anticipate. My theory (bogus it might turn out to be) is that all 15 of these books will somehow connect to food. And I plan to write about that food.  It turns out that these entries are a sort of long-form blog-post. So settle in.  This twelfth installment is an Oprah's Book Club Selection.

Oh, this book is brutal. Sexism, rape, systematic racial injustice, torture, cruelty. Compassion, community, family, love, magic realism, metaphor. Certainly, Ruby by Cynthia Bond was all the talk of the Oprah airwaves in 2015, and I chose it for this twelfth installment. And what a whirlwind it was.

The book opens with Ruby Bell wetting herself in the street as the men circle on a center-of-town porch, jeering and judging. All save Ephram Jennings, who promptly returns hom…

Spicy Meat Dolma from Samarkand

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Very few things I can make without a recipe, and dolmas are one of them. Why? Well, when I was a vegetarian for a decade, I taught myself how to make dolmas because, people, they were so freaking tasty, and if I made them myself I could guarantee that they were meat-free and low on oil. Nowadays, the meat doesn't matter, which is a boon for this recipe, for I am telling you, friends, this is all meat. All meat wrapped up in a grape leaf.  And I couldn't be happier.


I snatched up this cookbook a while back, and I don't cook from it nearly enough. This fabulous glimpse into the cooking of the Caucasus region leaves one mouthwatering and aching for dill, eggplant, beets, cucumber, mint, rose petals, and pomegranates. Caroline Eden and Elanor Ford take you on a culinary tour, and they promise that you will not only not get lost but also that there will be delightful stops along the way.


For my first stop, I went with this recipe, for it was an old standby with a new twist for me…

Review of The Drinking Food of Thailand

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I wanted this to be my cookbook.  I get the premise of Andy Ricker's new book, The Drinking Food of Thailand: easy food that is perfect for a 2 a.m. snack in the midst of a night on the town. However, I am generally not awake at 2 a.m. and my nights on the town are somewhat circumscribed.

However, if you're in the market for an adventure-filled cookbook, this might be your book. If you're looking for photos that are meant to capture the nightlife in Thailand, this might be your book.  If you want to go on a bit of your own journey to find some ingredients, this might be your book.  If you're delighted by Ricker's work with Pok Pok in NYC and Portland or a fan of Anthony Bourdain, this is most certainly your book. If you want to get out of rut with your own Thai cooking, people, pick this book up immediately.

If you're looking for a Tuesday night meal before sitting down to answer all those work emails you didn't get to during the day, this is not your book…

Cook Your Books Series for 2018

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Whew.  And we're back for round two of my series.  Last year, I proposed to read 15 relatively arbitrarily chosen books on 15 different topics. My theory is that no matter what I choose to read, food will somehow play an important role. Turned out to be true. So I am doing it again.  (And while I am behind in posting, I promise you the four books I still have left over from 2017 actually all have food in them: Ruby, The House of Spirits, The Sympathizer, and Spendthrift--when I post them, I'll link here, but I promise I actually finished the books in 2017; I just haven't done the posting.)  

Ready for my 2018 list?  

1.  A book of letters.
2.  A rewriting of a Shakespeare play.
3.  A post-apocalyptic or dystopian novel.
4.  A book by an author from a country I have not visited. 
5.  A book that is more than 500 pages. 
6.  A book that feature anxiety.
7.  A book written by a woman under 25.
8.  A classic Austen.
9.  A book I always think I have read, but haven't.
10.  A book set …