i’ve taken a little break from reading more boring scholarly works (though not very long, I just got a whole stack of turn of the century french gardening book reprints to start reading on soon), to read some books that are just a joy to read.
the first is julia child’s my life in france. if you have seen the film julie and julia, this is the book that half of that film is based on. if you have not seen the film, at least half of the film is amazing (hint it an’t the part with amy adams) it tells the story of julia learning to cook in france, making her first books, and television show. while this might seem to be the focus of the book, it’s also a beautiful love story, between her and her husband paul. the way in which they complement and help each other grow is an inspiration, as is the fact that julia was in her late 30’s when she started cooking seriously. i was truly touched by this book and sorry to have to close its cover when i was finished.
the second is the unprejudiced palate by angelo pellegrini. while i’m told this book is a classic, because it’s says so in the subheading of the title, i’m still left wondering how i’ve not heard of this book nor have too many other folks i know.
pellegrini might be unprejudiced, but he certainly is not without opinion. he has strong beliefs on almost everything, but most of it comes down to simple food prepared in simple ways. as a child pellegrini moves from italy to washington state, trying to bring the traditions of his motherland to this strange and bountiful place.
it’s not really a cookbook, but it does have some vague recipes in it. it’s not really a gardening book but it does have some recommendation on how to garden. it’s not really a hunting guide but it does talk about how to catch wild game. it’s not a wine makers manual but it does expand in-depth on wine making. and it’s not really a guide to entertaining, but certainly has judgements on the proper way to present a meal.
what is this book about? i’d say it’s more of a guide on how to live the good life. and i’m completely amazed that it’s not recommended by more folks that are interested in creating new indigenous food ways. building on the past, and looking forward to the future. it was a quick fun read, great vacation reading.
on one other note is where i picked up the unprejudiced palate; new york’s kitchen arts & letters. it’s a book store dedicated to nothing but books on food writing and cookbooks. i expected to be overwhelmed and happy, but i didn’t expect such helpful and friendly staff. the clerk spent a solid five minutes giving me a tour of the store and was happy to help me find selections and genuinely helpful. i highly recommend checking them out if you have a chance.
question! – do folks actually care about what books i find helpful? or are these sort of blog post just a waste of your time.