Today marks the first installment of what I hope will become a regular feature: book reviews. Full disclosure, The Practical Cook is a book-loving, English-teacher-mom-having, cookbook-collecting, English-majoring, former-publishing junkie. I heart words, and you’ll find me at the intersection of eating and reading. So reading about eating or cooking naturally follows.
Today’s book on the table is Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families, edited by John Donohue, with contributions from such luminaries as Stephen King, Mario Batali, Mark Bittman (my food crush), Mark Kurlansky (my food-writing crush), and many more. For those of you who like brevity—this book rocks. I love a collection of short pieces, because you can pick it up and put it down. There are so many voices here, each unique around the theme.
The focus is men cooking, for or with family, and the impact on their lives. Would make a great Father’s Day gift (don’t worry ladies, tomorrow I blog for our team), but this is not a boys only book. In one of my favorite pieces, the author addresses this head on:
I came from a family of cooks. Is it odd I didn’t cook? No, because it was the women who did the cooking. What did the men do? The men carved what the women cooked (a remarkable piece of last-minute scene stealing), as though sharp knives were too dangerous for women outside the kitchen.
—Wesley Stace, “Patience Rewarded Versus Instant Korma”
There are a number of recipes I’ve marked to try, recommended cookbooks I now have on my wishlist, and the requisite sex scene. It involves a roast chicken, and I shall reveal nothing more.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be married to a professional chef?
My wife never makes anything, because when we come home from the grocery store, by the time the groceries are out of the bag, I’m halfway done making dinner.
—Mario Batali, “If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Cardoons”
Dreamy. Oh sorry, did I type that out loud?
Put this one on your list, it’s a great read, to be nibbled or devoured, depending on your current reading hunger. Check out John’s blog, Stay at Stove Dad. Great stuff.
What are some of your fave food books? Email me at practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook (The Practical Cook Blog: Thanks to all who have liked, I need 25 “likes” to get the official page name. Please “like” on Facebook today!)
Coming up next, 3 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day.