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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising edition of a great series --- and it comes with a big lesson about life
A few years ago, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton --- professional foodies --- decided to devote themselves to "good work and good ideas relating to the world of food." They set up a studio near New Hope, Pennsylvania and began to self-publish exquisite seasonal cookbooks for the home cook. They shop at farm stands. They cook on ordinary stoves. And, best of...
Published on October 19, 2010 by Jesse Kornbluth

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars canall house cooking 5
It was interesting but too short to warrant purchasing it or any of the other volumes for more than a dollar.
Published 11 months ago by Kathleen Troyer Coady


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising edition of a great series --- and it comes with a big lesson about life, October 19, 2010
This review is from: Canal House Cooking Volume No. 5: The Good Life (Flexibound)
A few years ago, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton --- professional foodies --- decided to devote themselves to "good work and good ideas relating to the world of food." They set up a studio near New Hope, Pennsylvania and began to self-publish exquisite seasonal cookbooks for the home cook. They shop at farm stands. They cook on ordinary stoves. And, best of all, their books are ruthlessly edited. Curated, really --- each book presents fewer than 70 recipes.

So it was quite the surprise to open Volume 5 and see two pages of photos of tins of caviar. And the recipes! Fried oysters. Escargots. Four kinds of goose liver. Scrambled eggs with truffles. Lobster with browned cream. Truffled lobster with gnocci.

Yes, there are many "practical" and "affordable" recipes. And I do grasp that this is a "holiday" cookbook. Still, this was so unlike anything I have seen in a Canal House book that I wondered if Hirsheimer and Hamilton had abandoned home cooking and were now appealing to people with cooks at home. Or was this, I wondered, the same message Bob Dylan delivered in "Nothing Was Delivered" --- "Take care of yourself and get plenty of rest."

Christopher Hirsheimer replied:

Take care of yourself and your family and friends. Just cooking some of these more involved (not difficult) recipes is better and cheaper than going to a movie! As I say in my note to our readers, "The good life surrounds us. You find it in everyday rituals, but often it comes through the unexpected, and we gratefully embrace it."

We are working women who will take an experience (breakfast, lunch and dinner) over an object every time. Make sausages together! Teach yourself and your children to make gnocchi. Float delicate poached meringues on a pool of Creme Anglaise. Make sugar cookies to give as gifts.

High on the hog (fresh ham with madeira sauce) or low (broiled pig's feet crepes) --- we want everyone to cook and eat together.

When you're shopping for food, even "window shopping" can be a turn-on. Going to Russ and Daughters and just seeing all those beautifully prepared fish is an experience. You take a trip all over the world, from the Holland herrings (like the finest sushi) to golden trout roe (as delicious as its fancy cousin, caviar) and plump Spanish sardines. This store happens to be in New York, but there are places everywhere that specialize in gorgeous traditional foods. And when you taste them, it helps you understand the human experience in a way that you may not have before --- these are rich experiences but not necessarily expensive ones.

The luxury is really having the time to spend together. Everyone is working. Indulge in the communal table.

"We've got ours, so we don't care about you" isn't in our repertoire. We want to give you ours --- that's why we do this.

And when it comes right down to it, we are cooks who love to cook. We've been cooking our whole lives, we've been exposed to all kinds of food and that's what we are sharing. It isn't about fabulosity, clothes, candelabras, or Dutch tulips in December.

May I say that this e-mail schooled me? Reminded me that generosity begins --- must begin --- at home, with the people you love most. That you can do your bit to help solve the world's problems, but you'd better address your own as well. That dining is a ritual, a spiritual act. And that luxury --- that lure and irritant --- reminds us of the rich variety of experience available to us, in the kitchen and so many other rooms.

Christopher Hirsheimer's explanation of Volume 5 humbled and thrilled me. And, most to the point, it made me want to try these recipes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love all Canal House Cookbooks, May 26, 2014
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This review is from: Canal House Cooking Volume No. 5: The Good Life (Flexibound)
I wait anxiously for the next volumes to be published. These two ladies, Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer create recipes based on what is seasonal and fresh, and come up with the most common sense, down to earth approaches to food. Always delicious. The love they have for food shines forth in all of their cooking and the working camaraderie they have sharing a small cooking space makes you love them even more. This volume happens to be a collection of their favorite recipes, and are recipes you'd want to cook starting in the fall all the way through the holiday seasons. The recipes are not complicated, but "gourmet" enough to impress your family and friends. I love these little volumes of deliciousness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They are wonderful books for the home cook because the directions are ..., December 15, 2014
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This review is from: Canal House Cooking Volume No. 5: The Good Life (Flexibound)
I have become a fan Canal House Cooking and I can't wait to collect every one of their books. They are wonderful books for the home cook because the directions are accessible and conversational...no one is looking down your nose in these pages...even though the recipes will make you look like a gourmet to your family and friends!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars canall house cooking 5, January 3, 2014
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It was interesting but too short to warrant purchasing it or any of the other volumes for more than a dollar.
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Canal House Cooking Volume No. 5: The Good Life
Canal House Cooking Volume No. 5: The Good Life by Melissa Hamilton (Flexibound - October 25, 2011)
$19.95 $4.66
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