Friday, July 29, 2016

Masters of American Cookery as a speed bump

So I have this website....

On this website, I'm supposed to be talking about things I have collected over the years. And I'm supposed to do it regularly.  This requires a bit of focus and organization, and I'm...SQUIRREL!  Um...yeah, I'm not the most focused and organized person in the world.  But it shouldn't be too hard.  Pick a book off the shelf, come up with a couple of paragraphs about it, piece of cake!


Those darned, insidious public libraries!  The first one's free...heck, all of them are free!  And now I get distracted by books NOT IN MY HOUSE.  And library books take up reading time!  And then I think about buying them (or, occasionally, flinging them across the room)!

I come before you today to complain about Betty Fussell's Masters of American Cookery.  I stumbled across the title while looking around for information on Mrs. Rasmussen's Book of One-Armed Cookery.  Google said it was mentioned a few times in the text, so I thought I'd take a look at it.  The library obliged me by finding a copy, and from the cover, I thought it was just a four part biography on Fisher, Beard, Claiborne and Child, but it's not.  Oh, it is so much more!  Yes, she starts out by giving each of the four their own chapter.  This takes up less than one-fourth of the book. Then she goes on and tackles American Cookery itself, over 300 pages of classic (more or less) recipes and discussion on each one of them, talking about the history of the recipes, the variants that have been done (frequently accompanied by quotes from one or more of our four "masters"), and finishes by giving her preferred recipe.  For me this is not a fast read, but a slow, delicious one.  I think I'm going to have to make space on my shelf for this one.

Masters of American Cookery on Amazon

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