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Friends at My Table: Recipes for a Year of Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry Hardcover – April 9, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ALICE HART is an energetic, authoritative, new food voice who loves to share her culinary knowledge . . . and meals with friends. For her, food is about fun. She is a food stylist, food editor, and the author of three cookbooks. She was a columnist for the New York Times Dining & Wine section and also writes for the Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine. She was the youngest ever food editor at Waitrose Food Illustrated. She has styled food for Condé Nast, the BBC, Fortnum & Mason, the Observer, the Times, and Green & Black's Chocolate. Her food is inspired by her travels around the world, and she always cooks with fresh, seasonal produce.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Roost Books (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611800609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611800609
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C M Cotton on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have reviewed a great many cookbooks for the Vine Programme. Some have been poor and others have been very good. This book sits in the poor category because of the pomposity of the author and the impractical recipes she offers.

The format of the book is quite complex to read although it appears to be a nicely produced book. On each page there are differing font sizes, quirky designs and differing text sizes which does lend itself to easy reading. Also the author assumes the reader is from a certain economic background and so many of the recipes use expensive ingredients and are impracticable for ordinary mortals. There are also a lot of superfluous pictures that have nothing to do with food nor the recipes. Quite frankly the book is written by an author whose head seems to be up in the clouds and has written a book for her snobby friends to show off how much money they can splash on ingredients.

There are a few recipes that are worth using and so much of this book is impractical and aimed at a certain socioeconomic group. The practical recipes are hard to find and frankly not worth bothering about. In short, if you are looking for good practical recipes to feed a family or for special occasions this book is not really for you. There are simply better recipe books on the market that will give you more practical easy to cook food.

Not Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. Darren on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Cooking for a large group is not the same as making a meal for your family - it is an art, particularly if you don't want to be stressing before and possibly during the meal. You might even want to take part in the celebrations instead of being locked in the kitchen.

A book like this can possibly ride to the rescue. In essence twelve complete menus are presented, with something for every season, whether it be a wedding, holiday celebration, a special party or just a lazy summer picnic. Consideration is given to budgetary and dietary restrictions and even what the guests could possibly do when they are not eating and drinking!

This is a beautifully illustrated and designed book. The content is also engaging and informative so it is not a case of "style over substance". Nothing seems to be assumed, whether it is a mini overview of equipment and techniques necessary when cooking for a larger group, food safety or how to structure your preparations. Typical "party food" that seems to be a variation of "rubber chicken", salad and maybe salmon this book certainly isn't! One wonders if it would be considered rude to send a book like this to friends who have indicated that they plan to have a party in the future? One key tip - make sure you look through this book sequentially at least once, otherwise you stand to miss a lot of good information and advice. One might make the mistake of looking at the summary of a menu plan, deciding that you won't try it yet and then skip to the next one. Big mistake!

Fancy a menu suggestion? Here's one: Vegetarian Garden Brunch For 8 (Eggs En Cocotte with Goat Cheese, Tarragon & Tomato; Herb Fougasse & Fig & Mozzarella Pizzas; Toasted Muesli Bowls; Spring Juice Bar; Lemon & Rosemary Tart. Another one?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Friends at My Table is geared towards catering for groups of people. Twelve occasions are covered, three for each season of the year. The recipes vary in the degree of difficulty, some being relatively straight forward whilst others are going be quite demanding even for a fairly experienced chef. Some of the ingredients are also a little obscure so the advice as to where to get them is appreciated.

The book also contains alternative recipes for the various occasions covered and goes on to remind you that no recipe needs to be sacrosanct to a particular event. It also offers helpful suggestions for delightful table decorations, getting friends and family to lend a hand with the preparations and even games to play as appropriate.

The section on hedgerow foraging was so enticingly written it almost had me rushing for the door with a gathering basket. The holiday weekend away had useful list for light items to take with you for a couple of simple meals you might prepare yourself in your holiday cottage. Alice Hart's version of camping Glamping or glamorous camping is much more appealing than the usual kind and again the survival kit suggested and the simple recipes offered are very apt. The Beach cricket barbecue includes such mouth waterers as Brown butter Dabs and Blueberry, Almond and Vanilla Choux Buns. Enough to get even the couch potatoes of my family heading for the beach. The idea of using a bonfire as a firepit to cook stuffed venison is ingenious.

Alice Hart is clearly a wonderful hostess herself and following her carefully laid out plans could turn you into one too.
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