11 April 2020

Weekend Cooking: 2 Good Books for Foodies

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish ReadsHappy Saturday! As always (lately), I want to start out by wishing  you all health and safety, and I hope you are all finding enough to eat and drink as you continue to stay home and practice social distancing.

This week was my final trip to my mother's house to get the items I really wanted to keep and to take home with me. Travel was a bit stressful, but we were able to make the drive without stopping and without seeing, talking, or being near another human being. Playing it safe for us and for others was our goal.

Because I can't quite cook the way I'd like when I can't acquire needed ingredients, I don't have a cookbook review today. Instead, I'm giving you a quick overview of two foodie books I have on my reading list. One is a biography and the other is cookbook; both come out next week.

Even if I'm not cooking and baking the way I used to, reading helps me envision better days and dream of social gatherings--but not before it's safe. Here are my recommended books, in no particular order. The summaries are adapted and taken from the publishers.

Review of The Planter of Modern Life by Stephen HeymanThe Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution by Stephen Heyman (Norton, April 14). This biography is about Louis Bromfield, who was a well-rounded young man: a World War I ambulance driver, a Paris expat, and a famous Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist. He turned his back on the literary world, though, to return to his native Ohio to follow a wild agrarian dream. On his 600-acre farm, Malabar, he created a bit of utopia, inspiring modern America’s first generation of organic farmers and becoming an early advocate of environmentalism. Though he devoted himself to his farm, he was still very much a part of the celebrity scene, even providing the setting for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's wedding. A fascinating and well-wrought examination of an interesting life.

Review of Everyone Can Bake by Dominique AnselEveryone Can Bake: Simple Recipes to Master and Mix by Dominique Ansel (Simon & Schuster, April 14). This cookbook, written by a well-known French pastry chef, provides much more than just recipes for tasty desserts. Ansel helps us home bakers learn the foundations by showing us how to master simple recipes for tarts, cakes, and more, including the delicious fillings. Once we have the basics down pat, he shows us how to mix and match flavors and techniques to create our own signature treats or to copy his unique ideas, like the Cronut, which is what happens when a doughnut marries a croissant. Ansel's own story of his life in France and many of his tips and tricks fill the pages of this innovative cookbook. Get ready to be inspired.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


shelleyrae @ book'd out 4/11/20, 6:10 AM  

I’m glad you are able to have your mothers things close by.
I find the lack of flour the most irritating of all food shortages, I can’t do any of the normal baking I do to save us money.

rhapsodyinbooks 4/11/20, 6:20 AM  

It's frustrating to read all these great recipes in the papers along the lines of "what to cook while you're stuck at home" when you can't run out and get what you need to make them! But they are still fun to read and stack up for when things are better! And you are right on the money with it being a time for "foodie books" at the moment. Thanks for the recommendations!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 4/11/20, 7:20 AM  

Closing up a parent's house is a stressful and time consuming undertaking.Glad you were able to get there safely. We are not accustomed to have limited cooking supplies. Many of us are becoming very innovative with our meals. Stay safe

Marg 4/11/20, 7:39 AM  

I'd be curious about the second one, although I suspect that you might have already known that!

jama 4/11/20, 8:06 AM  

Thanks for featuring these two books. Hadn't heard of Louis Bromfield. Glad you're safely back home. Take care and be well.

Mae Travels 4/11/20, 8:10 AM  

Your ordeal with the house and bereavement seems to be ending, at least in terms of obligations to do things. I hope you will be comforted, somehow.

Yes to food books! I read two this week, and linked.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Tina 4/11/20, 8:33 AM  

The Bromfield book will be a definite purchase, I like the sound of that one.
Happy to hear you made it to Ohio and back with minimal contact during these trying times. You e had some stresses tossed at you this year, hugs for you long distance!

Gretchen 4/11/20, 8:59 AM  

Both of the books you shared sound interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Even though it is difficult to get the ingredients needed right now, I am so thankful for what we are able to get and the normalcy of preparing meals. I find preparing food a peaceful activity in the midst of the uncertainty.

Have a good weekend!

bermudaonion 4/11/20, 9:08 AM  

I'm sure cleaning out your mother's house was tough, especially during these strange times.

I saw something about Everyone Can Bake the other day and was intrigued because I'd rather bake than cook. I'm glad to see it's well done.

Jackie McGuinness 4/11/20, 10:20 AM  

Luckily, we have not encountered many shortages. Many bakeries are now offering order online with curbside pickup. Even the Bulk Barn will pick up your bulk items for you and you can pick it up.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 4/11/20, 10:52 AM  

Enjoy your Mother's thing around you, it is always nice to remember the good times with our loved ones. When my grandmother passed, I requested some of her pots and pans because I had learned so much from her. I didn't keep them long, they were really past use when they arrived, but I used each one to cook a dish that we had shared at one time or another through the years. I still think back to those recipes.
That baking book seems like a great choice as a gift as well as for one's self. Have a great week.

sherry fundin 4/11/20, 11:43 AM  

i am glad to see your trip went without any hitches. thanks for sharing the cookbooks and take care
sherry @ fundinmental

Deb in Hawaii 4/11/20, 12:38 PM  

I'm glad you got through going through your mom's things safely. I know that isn't easy. Both books sound interesting, especially the Bromfield one. Take care.

Ilse Berg (SnowshineCottage.com) 4/11/20, 8:30 PM  

I was happy to find that my library is purchasing both of these books and immediately placed a reserve. Thanks!

Laurie C 4/12/20, 11:27 AM  

I'm glad you are able to keep things to remember your mother by. I just started reading Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher, and it's making me think of my mother and mother-in-law and myself, and how we're all dealing with aging in our own ways.
I've been cooking from my cookbooks while I've been home so much now; that's really been a silver lining for me in all this. I love going back to old favorites and also trying new recipes that I've meant to try for years! Today for Weekend Cooking, I posted about two cookbooks that I wish I owned, but because of the libraries' closing down, I've been able to keep and enjoy for many weeks longer than a normal library loan. Another silver lining! ;)

Debra Eliotseats 4/14/20, 8:37 AM  

Long-distance travel is so stressful. I have a loved one trying to get home after a four-week trip to take care of family. Scary stuff. Thanks for the book recs. Heyman's book might be a possibility for CTB. Stay safe!

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