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Talking with My Mouth Full: Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes, and Other Kitchen Stories Paperback – October 2, 2007

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this charming, lighthearted collection of essays, Wolf, a commentator on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday, explores the foods we eat and the ways they bind us to one another. Much of the book is devoted to regional foods: a Minnesota native of Eastern European Jewish descent, Wolf has an abiding love of kugel as well as wild rice and state fair food on sticks. More than two decades living in the Washington, D.C., area has brought other edible joys, like products from the Eastern Market and a ritual shad roe dinner with friends. While not breaking any new journalistic ground, Wolf reports on popovers and pickled antipasto with enthusiasm, melding personal and culinary history, narrative and instruction. Her how-to pieces delve the difficulties that many home cooks struggle with, such as how to make the perfect roast chicken or rescue a dinner party disaster. Interspersed throughout these ruminations are the recipes she's collected from friends and family. It's clear that Wolf's sophisticated, well-traveled palate coexists peacefully with a predilection for the fuss-free, traditional foods that have never gone out of favor—ice cream with chocolate sauce and meatloaf. Readers will find both her writing and the cooking refreshingly accessible. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Listeners to National Public Radio will recognize Bonny Wolf from her weekly food commentaries. Here she assembles essays that cover a host of culinary subjects. Each essay has a recipe or two attached, ranging in complexity from a simple slice of toast to a grand aioli, an intricate creation from southern France that dresses fish, meats, and vegetables with an intense, garlicky mayonnaise. Essays reflect on Wolf's encounters with midwestern and eastern foods, celebrating state fairs and potlucks. She isn't too proud to include even a few Jell-O molds. But seemingly everyday shepherd's pie undergoes transformation from East Indian seasonings of turmeric and curry. A smattering of Ashkenazic Jewish favorites such as noodle pudding adds more variety. Most of her recipes feed large groups, in harmony with Wolf's aspiration to let food serve as the center of all sorts of events that bring people together. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312373856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312373856
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,150,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ace VINE VOICE on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What a delightful book!! A mouthwatering book with great "conversation", traveling tidbits, and recipes.

I will definitely make the Gas Company Candy -- too bad today's utility bills aren't "sweetened" with such welcomed inserts.

Since I live in the DC area, I really resonated with (and enjoyed) all the descriptions of the Lexington market, Eastern Market, the delightful La Cuisine, and of course, the inimitable Bawlmor - what great memories (culinary and otherwise) this evoked!!

My only disappointment came when the book ended -- it felt like I was in the middle of eating a GREAT meal and suddenly all the food was taken away from the table! Oh please, if you re-issue this book -- put a picture (in color) of one of those sweet creations you wrote about, like maybe Smith Island Cake, on the last page, so we do not feel such a let-down!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a relaxing, satisfying book to read. It's full of nice stories about good people and fun times, and it goes a long way in covering the culinary variety America has to offer. Bonny Wolf seems like such a nice person, and she's written a book that's somehow part Charles Kuralt's road trips, and part family gathered in a warm Midwestern kitchen. I liked Talking With My Mouth Full, as you might guess.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Michael Frank on December 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For years I've enjoyed Bonny Wolf's food commentary on NPR (which, by the way, is much better than the SNL parody). Her new book captures the wit and personal touch of her radio pieces along with recipies and more in-depth background of the foods we eat. By examining how various people throughout the country enjoy and value the cultural act of eating, Wolf manages to show us the diversity of the nation through the unique foods we consume. It's a fascinating story and well worth reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Costa on March 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Talking with my Mouth Full" had me laughing with my mouth full of Bonny Wolf's comfy recipes.
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Format: Paperback
TALKING WITH MY MOUTH FULL is a collection of winsome essays with recipes attached by Bonny Wolf, journalist and NPR correspondent. It seems as if today's food journalists come from one of two diametrically different backgrounds: either they were raised by parents who nearly poisoned them (think Ruth Reichl) or they were raised by parents who passed along their delight in food. Wolf belongs to the latter group, having grown up a baby boomer in Minneapolis reveling in particularly middle-class American institutions which she celebrates and has elaborated on as an adult. Just when you think America has gone to the food dogs with the endlessly vacant discussion of green bean casserole at holiday time, along comes Wolf to say, really, we're eating some good stuff here and we should just enjoy it. Much of it is comfort food and none of it is more difficult and elitist than what a family might serve at a dinner party for friends and family.

Her joie de vivre is contagious as she explores everything from the history and revival of Bundt cakes, regional foods, aprons, dinner party disasters, state fair fare, pot luck suppers, DC's (pre-fire) Eastern Market, Baltimore's crab cuisine, etc. Food as she talks about it is inseparable from place, friends, family, memory and living. Before I knew it, I was marking recipes to try and jotting down titles of old cookbooks to seek out. I doubt I'll overcome my aversion to Jell-o and do the retro thing and make a molded salad, and I'm not going to use lard or suet in the pastie pastry, but Wolf otherwise has me hooked.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Levy on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wolf has written an amazing book that blends the comforts of food with the frenzy of family and friends. It is chock full of recipes and antidotes that will make for a great dinner party, and even better dinner conversation. Through the lens of food Bonny makes sense out of the American experience.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who loves to cook and enjoys the stories of how and why we cook the way we do will find this immensely enjoyable. Bonny Wolf is a gifted writer who invites us into her kitchen through various phases of her life and in the various places she has lived -- all reflected in the stories of food. A fun book.
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