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Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings Hardcover – October 14, 2014
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“Karen Mordechai offers a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy preparing simple meals to share with loved ones. You won't find trendy, complicated recipes in Sunday Suppers—her focus is on gathering around a communal table where good food leads to good conversation. From brunch to picnics to birthdays, Karen provides wholesome recipes that will nourish body and soul.”
—Nathan Williams, founding editor of Kinfolk
“Sitting down to a meal with others is always an opportunity to learn, explore, ask questions, and expand one’s worldview. It might mean meeting someone unexpected, or deepening existing friendships. Sunday Suppers celebrates the act of connecting over a shared meal. The recipes are gorgeous, and the photography sublime. That said, the thing I love most is how Karen makes it all feel doable, and done beautifully, without a lot of fuss. Her menus are inspiring, the recipes accessible, seasonal, and crowd-pleasing—now it’s time to daydream about the guest list.”
—Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day
“Sunday Suppers is a beautiful meditation on the satisfaction of gathering—good food, friends and family, community—and sharing in the powerful experience of cooking and eating together.”
—Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, authors of Canal House Cooking
“Mordechai offers a chic and stylish cookbook of 100 recipes with a focus on get-togethers and intimate gatherings. Mordechai’s style is casual, simple yet sophisticated... Complete soup-to-nuts, predesigned menus inspire a breakfast-in-bed menu of rich cream biscuits, perfect scrambled eggs, and fresh greens or a hearty winter brunch of homemade bagels, tea and ginger-cured sea bass, warm citrus salad, and fig tart with honey... Mordechai’s light-filled photographs mirror her calm, peaceful mood as well as her belief in a slow-paced approach to sharing food with friends and family through recipes that are informal, fun, and consistently elegant.”
About the Author
KAREN MORDECHAI, a photographer and stylist, is the founder of Sunday Suppers, a Brooklyn-based food community and blog that has won many accolades, including a 2013 Food and Wine Digital Award, top food blog by Saveur, and #6 in Babble.com’s Top 50 Design Blogs. Karen’s work is regularly featured in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Remodelista, New York magazine, and more. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.
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However, because 11 reviews were written by people who received free copies in exchange for writing a review and another 20 consisted of one or two lines of text (e.g., "Love love love this book", "First class", "Beautiful book") - that's over 75% of the reviews! - I was not completely convinced.
So, I checked it out for myself - by checking out a copy from our public library. And, I would agree the book is lovely coffee-book material (linen cover, aspirational photographs), and the concept is noble (communal dining and building community), and I did find a couple of interesting recipes (Beet Pickled Eggs, Fennel Slaw and Winter Slaw).
However, I also found a few recipes that made me start to wonder about the "cookability" of the rest of the recipes in the book.
For example: .
- Apple Olive Oil Cake that serves 8-10 with 5 cups of sugar, 3 cups of olive oil, 3 cups of whole milk and 6 eggs?!?! Yikes! I'm afraid to make that even for a special occasion splurge!
- Ice Cream recipes that are heavy on the egg yolks. For example, 1 qt of David Lebovitz ice cream generally uses 3 cups of dairy liquids (milk, cream) and 4-5 egg yolks. Sunday Suppers uses 6 cups of dairy and 12-15 egg yolks. Also, Sunday Suppers' recipes only provide servings ("serves 6-8") rather than quantity. The standard qty for most ice cream recipes is 1 qt (see Lebovitz, Jeni's, Bi-Rite, Ciao Bella). The Sunday Suppers' recipes are probably closer to 2 qts, no doubt because this is for communal dining, but it would've been very helpful if they made that clear since not everyone owns a 2qt capacity ice cream maker.
Lack of specifics hurts a couple more recipes . For example, the Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe doesn't provide a weight for the amount of challah bread. Only "12 cups 1-inch cubes (about 2 regular loaves or 3 small loaves)". Same for the Wild Mushroom and Brioche Stuffing.
If the recipe said "1 lb of bread cut into 1 inch cubes" that would've been a lot more helpful.
Another disconnect for me was including a Fig Tart recipe in the Winter Brunch menu. Where the heck are you gonna find fresh figs in the middle of winter? And if you do, how much are they gonna cost?
So in conclusion, I think this book would appeal most to aspirational cooks. Experienced cooks will likely find they already have a favorite recipe for many of the dishes (e.g., Fish Tacos, Black Beans and Rice, Perfectly Scrambled Eggs, Granola, Fried Chicken, Guacamole). And if you do cook from the book, I would try to stick with the sandwich, salad, veggie recipes that don't require precise quantities and are lower in sugar and butter.
My advice: this is a great inspirational book but proceed with caution when trying recipes that are new to you. I would not assume that these recipes have been well-tested. Perhaps the rest of them are great and I got the one bad egg - but I honestly don't feel that there is any excuse for an underdeveloped recipe in an edited cookbook.
there are some nice choices but spotty at best for me.