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February 24, 2010


Love the library too. I have out right now a book about beans which I cannot recall the name of. Told me I don't have to presoak my flageolets. Eureka!
Does your book about cancer mention tumeric? Pubmed.org has a lot about it..just this past year it has been used in breast cancer studies with great success..just my 2cents from being a nutritionist... I am reading Alice Waters and Chez Panisse right now, but thinking I should switch to Farm City which sounds more interesting.
Made the beet greens lasagna with bechamel sauce from Platter of Figs..It was phenomenal!

I LOVED Salt. Loved it, recommend it to all my friends. I was less enamored with A Platter of Figs, but I will say that Momofuku is one of the best memoir/cookbook I've read in a long time. Mr. Chang or his ghost writer are VERY funny.

Taras Greco, Bottomfeeder, is a an excellent read and equally important book, but if you are looking for light an funny, it is not. Sadly it speaks of the global fisheries, their lack of sustainability and the collapse of nearly every commercial fish stock. It made me mad, depressed and slightly hopeless...everyone who eats fish should read it!

Had to finally de-lurk given my out loud laughter over your "discovery" of the public library. We too "discovered" it a year and a half ago when we too were thrown into financial distress after the recession took out my restaurant, left me with a pile of unpaid bills, debt from trying to save it, and 8 months trying to sell it...we "discovered" a lot of things and like you cut out everything we could think of. But we did have a few laughs at our own expense when we realized how much we could live without and how much was out there we were stupidly not taking advantage of. I'm a big fan of second had clothing stores now and often challenge people to guess how much the clothing they just complimented me on cost (I can be annoying sometimes). And my 9 year old daughter is having a field day exercising her unique sense of style with 4 and 5 dollar items from the women's small sizes. I've been following you for about a year and love your wry humor through all the challenging times...very similar to how I deal with and talk about my own. I particularly enjoy your local food focus - another thing we've been working hard on in the last year. My sister lives in jamaica plain and I'm constantly sending her links to your blog when you talk about local events and food offerings as being currently trapped in little rock I can't take advantage of them myself. I'm very envious. But I'm doing what I can here until I escape back to the northeast and just started a blog as a means to channel my own food obsession: www.typepad.com/italwayscomesbacktofood/

Thanks for all your humor, ideas, and passion for local - it keeps me inspired and laughing...what we all need right now.

Well, to answer what I've been reading lately: the Indian cookbook you sent me, Five Spices? I don't remember the name...but I'm getting up the courage to make the fish soup. I'm also reading Anton Chekhov's short stories for my blog that makes fun of classic lit, which is: http://deadwhiteguyslit.blogspot.com

i miss the Minuteman network... i moved to New Hampshire and got LAUGHED at for suggesting the very idea that town libraries team up! On the contrary, various towns horde and stockpile their goods like greedy elves-- they charge you ridiculous fees if you want a membership card when you're a NON-resident. *sigh*

We've had to cut way back, too. We actually read someplace that taking your kids on a tour of the bank is a great/free way to spend time. LOL.

The library is awesome. I long for the day when my stack of books aren't related to parenting tips/tricks/advice (which most of the time, don't help anyway, since I think these books were made for the parents who have babies while they, themselves, are still babies and lack any sort of common sense)...but I digress.

Favorite fun cookbooks: anything by Laurie Colwin and John Thorne's, Simple Cooking and Serious Pig aren't bad either.

More serious recipe type books that I go to over and over again:
Horn of the Moon Cookbook, Ginny Callan
Cooking at the Natural Gourmet, Debra Stark
Sweetness and Light, A book of Desserts, Kip Wilcox and Lisa Cowden

I love food books! I just finished Feeding a Yen by Calvin Trillin. He was (is?) a writer for the New Yorker. I liked it alot and will check out more of his writing. The book is about his yearning for local specialties on a global scale (Ceviche in S. America, Pan de Bagnat in Nice) and being obessed about these dishes until he can go eat them there.

I also recently read Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl but didn't like is as much as Comfort Me with Apples or Tender at the Bone. Oh hey, since she tweeted about you, you've probably read all her stuff, huh? :)

I have not read any food books (mainly because of my current issues with jet propulsion of food out of my mouth), however, I have been reading other books. In fact, I've read 9 books in the past 3 weeks, and they didn't have any pictures in them either. The one who said for years "books are not my friend". Tell me your proud. Come on... say it...

I hear you on the budget cuts; we've gotten rid of cable TV but are clinging stubbornly to our 2-movies-a-month Netflix. I, stupidly, have not yet gone to our little hometown library, but then, I have thousands and thousands of books at home, crammed into every nook and crevice. Currently I'm re-reading:

-Agatha Cristie mysteries
-Bleak House, by Dickens (sucks as much as the first time)
-Stalking the wild asparagus, Euell Gibbons
-Anything (and everything) by Christopher Moore
-How to Cook a Tart, by Nina Killham (hilarious and foody at the same time)

Also just finished Blood River, by Tim Butcher (a Christmas gift), a fascinating if somewhat dreary exploration of the Congo.

It would take me years to re-read everything that is in my home 'library' but eventually I may get tired of reading 50 year-old mysteries so... off to the library I shall go!

Ooh, that Jungle Effect sounds fascinating. I'm going to track it down.

I've been checking out knitting books and photocopying patterns. So much free-er than buying them.

Righteous Porkchop! It's ah-ma-zing.


I am a massive fan of the public library! I regularly try cookbooks from there and I have indeed used the bathrooms. The bathrooms are really very very nice! Thanks for the book recomendations!

Libraries. doh!

Thanks for the reminder. Always love reading your blog, and hearing your unique voice. A real treat.

Reading: wow, where to start.
With Mark Kurlanski, of course: Food of a Younger Land

It's a selection of writings from a depression-era Writing Workshop project that attempted to collect info on what people were eating all over the country. This was before the highway system that's in place now, and, while many of the original texts are incomplete or even lost, the book is an absolutely fascinating read.

Then there's Richard Wrangham's "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human".
It's a, ummm, gastroanthropological reading of evolution - and, this is the great thing, it makes sense. Including the suggestion of the development of cooking as a somehow protofeminist event.

And of course just about anything by M.F.K Fisher, Calvin Trillin (as someone already mentioned), Michael Pollen, and, ok, Ruth Reichl.

And then there's a novel by the Japanese American writer Ruth Ozeki: "My Year of Meats". Thoroughly enjoyable, eye-opening, entertaining - and while I myself enjoy eating meat, a book like this could make me leap off the edge into vegetarianism without too much trouble.

And food movies (requisitioned from Minuteman Library Network, naturally - you can request up to 5 current films and, presumably, innumerable older ones....): 'King Corn', 'Eat, Drink, Man, Woman', and the great one about the Japanese Noodle Shop I forget the name of. Julie and Julia, of course. And the one about the brothers running a 'real' Italian restaurant in New Jersey and trying to deal with a clientele that wants red sauce.

I could say: "don't get me started!" but obviously it's too late for that.......

I have a recent obsession with both Nigel Slater and Simon Hopkinson. Nigel's The Kitchen Diaries is my dip in and out book of choice. If I'm in a slump I'll flick it open to see what he cooked on that date. Next up is his memoir Toast. Gorgeous writing.
Roast Chicken and Other stories is Simon's first book. I love his opening chapter for each section and I'm cooking my 3rd and 4th recipes from the book tonight. More Helpings is already in the queue and a friend said he has a vegetable one as well, so that is on the list.
I read The Last days of Haute Cuisine by Patric Kuh - great if you love restaurant history.
But have a I finished Michael Pollan yet you ask? Ahhhhhh...well...ummmm, no. Sorry.

jo: Great! I've added Nigel and Simon to my list. And don't worry, I still haven't finished Michael Pollan, either!

Elisabeth: Those first two books sound absolutely fascinating. They're on my list. And the last movie you mentioned is Big Night, one of my all-time favorites. I don't know the Japanese noodle one, though.

Chef Gwen: Thank you! And, yes, it's easy to overlook the library sometimes. It just sits there so quietly.

Mary (Shazam): It's actually a little weird that I've never seen the inside of the bathrooms at our library given that we're there all the time. My kids have iron bladders, I guess. Based on your recommendations, however, I look forward to taking my relationship with the library to the next level!

Kari: Added! Thanks!

Mary (mittenmachen): That's a very good idea. Happy knitting.

Kaela: Wow, that's a lot of books. Lucky you! I currently have Stalking the Wild Asparagus in the queue on my nightstand. I didn't want to start reading it until things warmed up and started growing around here so there might be something to stalk.

Sis: I am proud. Wow. I don't think I could read 9 books in 3 weeks if I tried. Maybe 3 books in 9 weeks. Glad you finally got bitten by the bookworm! It's never too late.

danish: I will definitely put Trillin on the list. As for Reichl, I've read Tender at the Bone and Garlic & Sapphires, but I haven't read Comfort me with Apples. Thanks for the reminder. (It was verrrrry generous of her to tweet about my blog!)

Susan: Consider them added. Thank you!

Amy: Wow, a bank tour! Do they still have banks?

Lynn: For shame! Whatever happened to "Live Free or Die"? You tell 'em.

Amanda: That's a pretty funny blog you've got there! I do hope you make the soup. Let me know how it goes.

Rebecca: Thank you for delurking with such a nice comment! You have a most excellent blog yourself. Keep it up!

Megan: I'll definitely add Bottomfeeder to the list. I'm trying to educate myself more about this fish situation.

Adrienne: That one wasn't even on my radar. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. This list ought to keep me busy for a while!

Seaweed Snacks: I've heard that about turmeric. Indian food is in fairly regular rotation in our house, so hopefully it's working its magic!

Speaking as a librarian: Welcome back! We missed you!

And I usually walk out of the thrift store with 3 to 5 books.

I have to say, I love your blog. Usually too shy to comment, but I wanted to ask: doesn't your library circulate older magazines? My library won't lend the current issue, but older issues are ok. They are stored under the current one. If the library would rent me a room, I'd live there.

I read a lot last year. There's a whole sob story behind it, but I'll spare you and just say that I read 124 books.

Since you liked Salt, a few similar books: The Secret History of Chocolate by Sophie and Michael Coe, The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson, and The Sushi Economy by Sasha Issenberg.

The four best books I read last year:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer and Barrows
There Is No Me Without You (about AIDS orphans in Africa) by Melissa Fay Greene
Three Cups of Tea (about building schools in rural/poor Afghanistan and Pakistan) by Greg Mortenson
What the World Eats (one edition was called Hungry Planet - this book is AMAZING) by Menzel and D'Aluisio

And, sorry, I can't stop, but one great book I've read that combined grief and laughter, sometimes on the same page, was Good Grief by Lolly Winston.

Addendum to earlier post:
'Japanese Noodle Movie' is called "Tampopo".
Well worth a slurp.

Finally coming up for air after my mom had a stroke! Believe me Alzheimer's and a stroke is NOT a good combination! Anyway love the library too! It's really been my salvation while taking care of my mom.

What I have out now is Cooking for Two from Cooks Illustrated because I cook dinner for my mom and I three nights a week and it's IMPOSSIBLE for an Italian to cook for less than say oh, 8 or 9 people.

Also The Professional by Robert B. Parker. I cried for a day when I found out he died. This one must have slipped under my radar as I usually buy his books as soon as they come out because I can't wait to read them.

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