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Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – March 23, 2010
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“Celebrates a life devoted to food, with chapters on how to cook a meal for several hundred people, how to prepare a gourmet dinner with eggplant in your bathtub, and how to make the best fried chicken in the world.” —Santa Fe New Mexican
“As much memoir as cookbook and as much about eating as cooking.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The one true kitchen friend." —The Washington Post
“Laurie Colwin's food thoughts are like phone calls from a dear friend.” —The New York Times
“A delightful tribute to food, friends and kitchen memories.... This charmer is as irresistible as homemade shortbread.” —San Diego Union-Tribune
“A very funny book. Funny enough to make you giggle out loud.” —Newsday
“[Laurie Colwin] is a home cook, like you and me, whose charm and lack of pretension make her wonderfully human and a welcome companion.” —Chicago Tribune
“I decided to lean back and trust Ms. Colwin when she revealed that ‘I am never on a diet regime I cannot be talked out of.’” —Ann Banks, The New York Times Book Review
“Delightful. . . . [Colwin] is funny, and for some reason funny stories about food are as funny as things can get.” —St. Petersburg Times
“Cozy, unpretentious good sense . . . characterizes all her food writing.” —The New York Times
“I have in my kitchen a book called Home Cooking. And, in between following the recipes for Extremely Easy Beef Stew, or Estelle Colwin Snellenberg’s Potato Pancakes, I would frequently sit down on a little stool in my kitchen and read through one of the essays in that book. I never read through The Joy of Cooking, and I can read the Silver Palate Cookbook standing up, but I always sat down to read these.” —Anna Quindlen
“Laurie Colwin is both sensible and sensitive when writing about food, and [her] prose makes me laugh, cry and feel hungry all at the same time.” —The Baltimore Sun
“Reading the essays of Laurie Colwin is a bit like eating comfort food: warm, familiar and good for the soul.” —Hartford Courant
“A warm, personal remembrance of the foods Colwin ate as a child and later served to friends and family.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“[Colwin] is a beacon of hope. For beginning cooks, Home Cooking is a grand consciousness and/or confidence-raiser.” —The Oregonian
“Like a classic dish, [Colwin’s] writing is magic in its simplicity.” —Charlotte Observer
“Wry and funny.” —Dallas Morning News
“Charming and humorous.” —USA Today
“Enthralling, but all too short. The only thing to do [is] reread it. And then turn to her novels.” —Buffalo News
About the Author
Laurie Colwin is the author of five novels—Happy All the Time; Family Happiness; Goodbye Without Leaving; A Big Storm Knocked It Over; and Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object—three collections of short stories—Passion and Affect; The Lone Pilgrim; and Another Marvelous Thing—and two collections of essays, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. Colwin died in 1992.
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Top customer reviews
At the beginning, Colwin says that she reads cookbooks like novels. This is perhaps why she's written this book the way she has... it reads like a sort of series of short stories, anecdotal short stories, but it's also a cookbook. She manages to pull off jumping around from subject to subject, from story to story, and from recipe to recipe, in a way that makes the reader want to read more, know more, eat more, and COOK more!
Some review I read said that this book is like having a telephone conversation with your best friend. I would agree with that. The way Colwin approaches not only her stories, but also the recipes, is familiar, close, intimate.
Overall, this was a lovely book that I intend to re-index (because there already IS a useful index at the end!) for my own purposes so I can use and re-use and hopefully impress dinner parties full of people...
Highly recommended for people who want to cook, who are good at cooking, who are bad at cooking, or who just like food. or who just like to eat. ;)
Food was a continuous exploration to Colwin. Her approach to cooking was to experiment with what ingredients were available and to spend time analyzing why some things worked and some didn't. While many of her recipes were not keepers in my household, her spirit of adventure in the kitchen was and still is and has led me to develop recipes and menus that have become treasured staples. And, if nothing else, the recipe for Tomato Pie with the biscuit crust is sublime and well worth the cover price of the book. Since I can't remember if it's in this one or the other one, you'll have to investigate both.
Colwin's stories about her own kitchen failures; the brownies that came out like firebrick, the rosti that turned black, and the lemon pudding that no one would eat are timeless delights and show us that cooking is an art as well as a science and should always be considered in context. First and foremost though, Colwin was a gifted and skillful writer. The infamous starry gazey pie incident would not be as hilarious nor as memorable without descriptions of the other guests, the elegant house where it was served, and the woefully inadequate other components of the meal. Human and honest, Colwin appeals even to readers who live far from sources of goat's milk yogurt or Latvian bread.
The real juice of these two books is in their ability to inspire the reader to go on his or her own voyage of culinary exploration. They will inspire one to seek out Jane Grigson, MFK Fisher and Elizabeth David; purchase an unfamiliar vegetable and throw a handful of cheese into the polenta. Experiment and find things you like, is the message, and don't be afraid of stove and market. Generous in spirit, funny, smart and creative, Home Cooking is a must have for any foodie's collection.
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