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An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace [Kindle Edition]

Tamar Adler , Alice Waters
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Reviving the inspiring message of M. F. K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf— written in 1942 during wartime shortages—An Everlasting Meal shows that cooking is the path to better eating.

Through the insightful essays in An Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler issues a rallying cry to home cooks.

In chapters about boiling water, cooking eggs and beans, and summoning respectable meals from empty cupboards, Tamar weaves philosophy and instruction into approachable lessons on instinctive cooking. Tamar shows how to make the most of everything you buy, demonstrating what the world’s great chefs know: that great meals rely on the bones and peels and ends of meals before them.

She explains how to smarten up simple food and gives advice for fixing dishes gone awry. She recommends turning to neglected onions, celery, and potatoes for inexpensive meals that taste full of fresh vegetables, and cooking meat and fish resourcefully.

By wresting cooking from doctrine and doldrums, Tamar encourages readers to begin from wherever they are, with whatever they have. An Everlasting Meal is elegant testimony to the value of cooking and an empowering, indispensable tool for eaters today.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


Amazon Exclusive: Michael Ruhlman Reviews An Everlasting Meal

Michael Ruhlman is the author of The French Laundry Cookbook and The Making of a Chef.

I'm sent countless advanced proofs of books asking for "blurbs," words of praise that the publisher can use to entice book buyers. I get so many, in fact, that they can feel more a burden than a pleasure. An Everlasting Meal by a writer I didn't know was one such book, so it was all but accidental that it came with me on a July trip to the beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where I opened it, reclined on a towel on a gorgeous stretch of sand. By the time I was half finished, I'd already contacted the editor to say I'd happily write something on behalf of this book, because I love it. It's smart, graceful and strangely, beautifully reassuring.

Tamar Adler, a writer and cook who has logged serious time behind the line in actual restaurants, sets out to model her book on How to Cook a Wolf by the doyenne of literary food writing, M.F.K. Fisher--an audacious, incredibly presumptuous intent. Adler does neither Fisher nor herself a disservice in the comparison. The essays in this book are truly fine, formed from both thought-provoking ideas and practical advice about food, cooking and eating. I've read few books that ask us to think about food with this kind of elegance, whether discoursing on how to cook an egg or how to set a table. I always looked forward to picking this book up, and I always felt an ease and comfort while reading. It's hard to imagine a more elegant book of essays on the subject.

A worthy companion to Fisher, highly recommended. --Michael Ruhlman


Review

An Everlasting Meal is beautifully intimate, approaching cooking as a narrative that begins not with a list of ingredients or a tutorial on cutting an onion, but with a way of thinking…. Tamar is one of the great writers I know—her prose is exquisitely crafted, beautiful and clear-eyed and open, in the thoughtful spirit of M.F.K. Fisher. This is a book to sink into and read deeply.” —Alice Waters, from the Foreword

"It can be tricky, in this age of ethically charged supermarket choices, to remember that eating is an act of celebration. Tamar Adler's terrific book wisely presents itself as a series of how to’sHow To Boil Water, How to Have Balance, How to Live Well—with the suggestion that it's not only possible to do all these things, but in fact a pleasure. An Everlasting Meal provides the very best kind of lesson (reminding us we enjoy being taught), that there is real joy to be had in eating, and eating well." --Dan Barber, Chef/Co-Owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

“Tamar Adler understands a simple truth that seems to evade a lot of cookbook writers and self-proclaimed ‘foodies’: cooking well isn't about special equipment or exotic condiments or over-tested recipes (and it sure isn't about ‘quickfire challenges’ or kicking it up a notch). It's about learning some basics, respecting the ingredients, and developing a little culinary intuition, or maybe just plain common sense. A book can’t necessarily teach you how to do that, but An Everlasting Meal will almost certainly inspire you to teach yourself.” --Colman Andrews, author of The Country Cooking of Italy and Editorial Director of TheDailyMeal.com

“In this beautiful book, Tamar Adler explores the difference between frugal and resourceful cooking. Few people can turn the act of boiling water into poetry. Adler does. By the time you savor the last page, your kitchen will have transformed into a playground, a boudoir and a wide open field. An Everlasting Meal deserves to be an instant and everlasting culinary classic.” –Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved

"An Everlasting Meal is a great thrill to read. Anyone who cooks is engaged in a re-creation of the Enlightenment Age--beginning with alchemy and mystery, always grasping towards chemistry and a tasty supper. With this book, Tamar Adler has chronicled our epic. Her tone manages to make the reader almost feel like he is thinking out loud. A marvelous accomplishment." –Jack Hitt, contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine

“Lessons so right and so eloquent that I think of them as homilies." --Corby Kummer, The New York Times Book Review

“Reads less like a cookbook than like a recipe for a delicious life.” --New York Magazine

"Reading [An Everlasting Meal] is like having a cooking teacher whispering suggestions in your ear.... Mindfulness, I’m discovering through this terrific book, can be delicious."

--Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City

“Tamar Adler has written the best book on ‘cooking with economy and grace’ that I have read since MFK Fisher.”

--Michael Pollan

"What it really is is a book about how to live a good life: take the long view, give to others, learn from everything you do, and always, always, always mindfully enjoy what you are doing and what you’ve done. The fact you’ll learn to be a great cook is just a bonus." --Forbes.com


Product Details

  • File Size: 657 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1439181888
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (October 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004T4KX9Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
221 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a new way of thinking. . . January 8, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read a lot but don't often write reviews for books, much less cookbooks. However, I really must write a review for An Everlasting Meal because it literally changed my life (in a week!). I am the child of the typical baby-boomer working mother who was too busy to cook, yet too poor to buy anything good -- my childhood was all economy, no grace. After marrying, I became a self-taught cook, learning from those Food Network shows and glossy paged celebrity chef cookbooks. While I am grateful for the techniques I have learned, I have felt the past few years my cooking has suffered from all grace and no economy. This has led to the problem of cooking burnout, and spoiled (lovely, organic) groceries, and way too much Thai takeout. With 3 growing kids, less time to grocery shop, and huge food bills, I needed a change of thinking AND doing. This book has provided that!

Tonight I had a few (lovely, organic) chicken breasts in the fridge that were getting perilously close to the date. As it is the end of the weekend, I haven't shopped in days and I don't have the ingredients to make any of my glossy paged cookbook recipes. There was some stuff in the fridge, yet I would have thought "nothing to make". Thanks to Tamar Adler, I pulled out my trusty pot, boiled some very salty water and starting by boiling the chicken (who does that???) with a handful of Tuscan spice blend. Then I sauteed a diced onion with some leftover mushrooms (that also would have gone bad), chopped celery ends my kids didn't eat from their Ants on a Log, then made a little roux. I created a sauce with a couple of cups of the broth from the chicken breasts and a cup of milk and random cheese bits. Then I tossed some random leftover cooked veggies and the diced chicken breasts in my lovely mushroom sauce.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one book which got me cooking. October 27, 2011
By bln
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Tamar Adler's book. The tone of it, and how she is so kind to all involved - eggs, beans, or us poor helpless things lost in the kitchen. I felt like she was taking me by the hand to show me that cooking is not daunting, that it is just part of everyday life. I only need to start water boiling, or pick up where I left off, and follow the thread of continuity.

I have a collection of unread cookbooks for kitchen-challenged people. I tried to use them but I could just not get into them, as if they were trying to fix a problem I didn't have. But this book is a beautiful read in itself, a true book, not only a collection of recipes. It shows how to look at things differently, as if she were just whispering to us, "you've known it all along". I don't need to learn from these cookbooks, I can cook already, enough to get started. And the idea of always using ends to feed beginnings, nuts roasted in the cooling oven or pasta turned into a frittata, is very appealing to me, almost poetic.

This book flows with wonderful ease and a sense of elegant clarity all along; and it finally got me cooking regularly where all the others had failed!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Inspiring December 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you love food and are looking for something a little different than the typical cook book, check out Tamar Adler's "An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace." I'll admit up-front that I was predisposed to like this book since Tamar started as a cook at Chez Panisse the same week I started my culinary school internship in Chez's kitchen. But the book has received strong reviews from the likes of The New York Times and Forbes - so this positive review isn't just personal bias. Fans of M.F.K. Fisher will feel right at home - inspired by Fisher's "How to Cook a Wolf" (1942), "An Everlasting Meal" is more about cooking well (and therefore living well) than it is a collection of recipes. Recipes in standard format are scattered throughout, and they follow traditional methods - no molecular gastronomy here. In chapter 19, I was ecstatic to discover Tamar's version of Maiale al Latte - pork braised in milk with garlic, sage and lemon - which I was first introduced to at Chez and has since become one of my all-time favorite dishes. But beyond the "formal" recipes, Tamar's prose and its underlying message of cooking (and living) well will inspire novice and experienced cooks alike.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to cook! October 29, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a real beauty.

It accomplishes two rare things: it's poetry, first of all -- the prose is gorgeous, each sentence its own little haiku-like balancing act. Which isn't to say that it's tough to read -- it flows -- but it's rare to encounter this level of writing, especially in a book about food.

And, second of all, it does this magic thing: it really, really, makes you want to cook. Adler makes it seem like such an obvious thing -- she puts cooking firmly where it should be, a daily & central activity in our lives.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes to put food in their mouth and cares ever so slightly about what it is.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the pleasure and practicality of food usage and cooking October 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover
"An Everlasting Meal", by Tamar Adler, is an impressive, informed, invaluable inside look at the pleasure and practicality of food usage and cooking in a sustainable manner. Making the most of the flavors found in almost every part and particle of foods both common and exotic is not a new theory, nor is it one lacking in culinary satisfaction. On the contrary, learning to incorporate natural flavors and cooking essences into savory seasonings and sauces is a true treat for the taste buds. This is a carry-it-forward food plan that takes some skill in the kitchen, an organized mind, and a commitment to not letting valuable resources go to waste. Why throw it out and then have to go buy it again? Why not accept it, embrace it, and enjoy it? My favorite chapter in the book is "How to Live Well", and it glorifies one of the most humble, and most essential of all foods: the dried bean. Being from the South, I have an innate love for a bowl of brown beans with some boiled potatoes and a hunk of cornbread on the side. Add some sliced onions and slices of juicy home-grown tomatoes, and you have a peasant's meal fit for royalty! There are wonderful recipes and cooking tips throughout "An Everlasting Meal", but there is also a gentle reminder of how simple and soothing it can be to just cook and enjoy food with your family and friends.

Review Copy Gratis Simon & Schuster
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars it is beautifully written but it just didn't keep my interest
i can't read 60 pages about the art of boiling water, if you can, then this is your book. it is beautifully written but it just didn't keep my interest.
Published 2 days ago by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Different
This book is written like a conversation. It has recipes but they are not the focal point. The focal point is how you think about and approach what and how you cook. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Toni Vicalvi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a great book. It has helped me to see cooking from a different angle and define meals in a different way. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tara Schiller
5.0 out of 5 stars If you ever cook, you probably want to have read this book first.
I downloaded the Kindle version of this and loved it so much that I promptly bought the paperback for my sister, and it's not even her birthday. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SamMadHands
3.0 out of 5 stars Not life changing
I bought this book after hearing how much Tracy and Joy from the Joy the Baker podcast loved it. It 'changed their lives'. But I didn't get it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful "foodie" book
This is a wonderful "foodie" book. I love reading not only how to be smart and economical with food, but creative, too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathy S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the non cook or someone who always leans on recipes
Makes cooking much more a creative venture. Very companionable writing style and tends to inspire one to stop reading and start fixing some wonderful food.
Published 2 months ago by Lee B. Jolliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome food philosophy
Simple, clear, and elegant. I love this book. It embodies the spirit of a true cook. You don't need elaborate recipes and complicated ingredients to make lovely food.
Published 2 months ago by Ghost Ponies
5.0 out of 5 stars nonchalant cooking and fun reading
This book seriously makes you adopt her methods to cooking. So wonderful and carefree. I love how Adler encourages you to test and make mistakes while cooking. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Desirea Falt
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book is wonderful. It's like a mixture of a cookbook and a well written, well thought philosophy book. I couldn't put it down.
Published 3 months ago by Marina Alexandra Handwerk
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