- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books (October 12, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605293385
- ISBN-13: 978-1605293387
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tyler Florence Family Meal: Bringing People Together Never Tasted Better Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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About the Author
TYLER FLORENCE is the author of five best-selling cookbooks and the host of the Food Network show Tyler's Ultimate. His first restaurant is scheduled to open in San Francisco this year. He lives in Mill Valley, CA.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Eating at Home: Me and My Family
Like many people of my generation and those that followed, I was a latchkey kid. My parents didn't leave me at home because they didn't care, nor because they didn't want to be with me. They had to work to give me a place to come home to and to keep that food in the fridge. In hindsight, who knows if I would ever even have found my calling if I hadn't been left alone to figure out how to put food on the table.
As a latchkey kid, I like to think that I have a good perspective, both as a chef and a father, on what it means to sit around a table and eat a daily meal with your family. Now, more than ever, families need to stick together. And it has been proven that there's a direct relationship between the well-being of your kids and how often you have regularly scheduled family meals. I'm as busy as anyone, but unless I'm out of town, I always find a way to sit down to dinner with my kids. When I prepare dinner for my family and we sit around the table, a sharing process goes on between us that transcends the food. My daughter, Dorothy, only knows a few words, but the smile on her face and the way she communicates at the table tell me loud and clear where she is at that moment, for that day, and in her young life in general. And I know that she can sense the same in me. That's what eating together is about: communicating with your loved ones and providing a constant support system that can be counted upon.
A couple of years ago, the National Center on Addiction at Columbia University released a decade-long study on this very subject, and what they found out is pretty staggering. The study indicated that teens who have dinner with their families fewer than three times per week are twice as likely to use tobacco or marijuana than teens who have frequent family dinners. Infrequent family dinners also greatly increase teen use of alcohol as well as add to the risk of depression and eating disorders. With younger kids, the effects are even more profound. So, together, we need to make an effort to make sure our families get some solid dinnertime.
It isn't always easy to get your kids (especially teens) to sit down for dinner without a TV front and center, a PlayStation at hand or an iPod hard- wired into their ears; but if you don't make the effort, I think the negatives are pretty apparent. And let's not forget that this concept goes beyond just kids and teens. Think about your partner. Or your parents. Or whoever. Go old-school and sit down with those that you care about and share a meal. Talk. Hug it out. Whatever it takes to keep that vital human connection alive and buzzing.
The recipes in this chapter are designed to make it as easy as possible to enjoy your own family meals, whether you're making a quick, kid-friendly meal of chicken strips or meat loaf, or pulling out the stops for a holiday or weekend meal. I'm no Dr. Phil and certainly am not qualified to walk you and your family through your problems, but I do know that if I can do one thing to encourage this process of keeping families healthy, it's helping you put good food on your table. At the very least, nobody can use a burnt casserole or an ill-conceived stew as an excuse for staying away. So, please enjoy these recipes that I love to serve the Florence family when it comes time to gather around the table.
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The book, physically, is not a nice, glossy, jacket-wearing cookbook. The book is bigger than his other books and the cover has this odd, ribbing to it. (think of one of those moving, image pictures) Also, the cover art is really more subdued than his other books - so, I think there is a lack of excitement when people get a hold of the book. It is different.
Also, I think some people are thrown by the format of the book too. It is not just a regular cookbook, with a tiny little narrative, if any, over each recipe and full of nothing but recipes. This book is more personal. It is more casual. I think he was going for the FEELING of a comfortable, casual family dinner here. There are more stories. The recipes are more casual. Even the narrator's voice is more familiar and friendly. This isn't a cookbook, it is a book about his personal relationship with cooking for the people he cares about and his favorite recipes to do that with. So, WAY different than the other offerings he has. Once I realized that, this was less like his show and more like being in the kitchen with him, rummaging through his recipe card file - I got it.
And boy am I glad I did. The turkey meatloaf is amazing, as another reviewer said. The recipes are not overly fussy or complicated, though some do require a little more time than others. In his typical fashion, he made me eager to cook from the book - if I could just get off the couch from reading it like a novel.
So, here is the scoop of the poop - if you are looking for a regular, Tyler cookbook - then this might not work for you. You would do better to get another one of his books. If you are looking for a friendly experience that brings home what cooking really means - not impressing or astounding people - but bringing people together to enjoy each other's company and making your family and friends feel at home...this is a good book to start with.