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miss maggie ([personal profile] bossymarmalade) wrote2012-01-03 12:30 pm
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So! After a year's worth of draggy, confused disappointment and frustration and self-doubt piled on top of another, I am finally feeling like freshness and light and change are upon me. I know enough about myself at this point to realize that I experience this in cycles, and I'm on an upswing right now and want to keep it going -- some major life changes are going to help with that as well -- and so, I think, will a return to DW journalling. I missed y'all!

And to begin, I am wondering if any of you have read this book:

. An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar E. Adler

-- and have recs/anti-recs to make? I love love LOVE the food writing genre, but I'm wary of books written by wealthy privileged people that condescendingly exhort the reader to "live simply" and "buy only fresh produce" and "go to market" oh la dee dah darling. If you know what I mean. *g*
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[personal profile] jcalanthe 2012-01-03 08:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back! I hope the upswing lasts & lasts & lasts!
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[personal profile] feuervogel 2012-01-03 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know if this is the sort of thing you're interested in, but the cocoa powder brownies in here are my favorite things. If you eat them straight out of the oven, they're practically fudge sauce.

I haven't read this, but I follow the author's blog. I don't know if she adopts the condescending tone. It isn't in her blog that I've seen.
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[personal profile] rhivolution 2012-01-03 09:06 pm (UTC)(link)
You were missed!

Food writing, hmm. I agree it's quite touch and go all.the.time. with regards to privilege. I'll have to have a think about what I've read recently that doesn't do that, which...isn't much. Fuchsia Dunlop's memoir about learning how to eat and cook in China (well, actually, it's more about learning to ease up on privilege) as a white Briton was quite good, but I read that first aaaages ago.

I do recommend the Spilled Milk podcast, if you ever listen to that sorta thing; it's enjoyable, and while it's white and middle-class and Seattle yuppie a bit (Molly from Orangette and Matthew from Roots and Grubs team up), they are unafraid to sit down and eat trash in multiple episodes. (It's the best indie food podcast out there, in that it's the only one that isn't bro-tastic--in fact, save for the BBC Food Programme and Splendid Table, it's probably one of the best full stop.)
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[personal profile] gloss 2012-01-03 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Huzzah for an upswing! Couldn't happen to a better lady. ♥

The only food book I've read recently is Patel's Stuffed & Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System which is great, but not exactly feel-good.
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[personal profile] northern 2012-01-03 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)

Welcome back! :D
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[personal profile] akilanajmah 2012-01-03 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I liked both of Pollan's books The Omnivore's dilemma and In Defense of Food but they're more of a sociological survey than 'how to eat' although he comes down hard on the side of "stop eating processed stuff. It is a vast conspiracy by nutritionists who are all quacks". But there is also a great deal of "eat as your grandmothers ate" which ignores my (and many others) third world origin na'mean?

I also read Candyfreak which is sort of about food, if you call candy food (I do. It's a food group unto its own.) It is by Stephen Almond. He is a bit self-obsessed and manages to plunk down a lot of his personal childhood neurosis into a journey about candy.

Also, Let me eat Cake was okay. Wasn't hot enough for me to finish though.

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[personal profile] akilanajmah 2012-01-03 09:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh! Also in the more a sociological survey than not is An edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage... which is really what it says, but more in a socio/political way.

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[personal profile] feuervogel - 2012-01-03 21:24 (UTC) - Expand
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[personal profile] duraflame 2012-01-03 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so happy to see you on my flist! I don't have any recs but yay!
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[personal profile] schemingreader 2012-01-03 10:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay! So nice to see you!

I don't know the Tamar Adler book. I think it sounds worth taking out of the library.

I don't think it's possible to write a book about good food without having some kind of privilege. Good food is a reflection of having the money and the location and the time to acquire and prepare it. Even How to Cook a Wolf, which the site you linked says was Adler's inspiration for her book, has a little of that, and it's supposed to be about cooking in the face of shortages.

But on the other hand, there's never a shortage of imagination, and that's what I think when I read MFK Fisher, because I'm not going to eat all the unkosher things she loved anyway, and reading is my reason for reading.

I really liked Bryant Terry's last cookbook. He's cut from the same cloth as the Diet for a Small Planet people but for our generation--really political, and the food is vegan and spicy. I got the book a couple of years ago and was in love with it--all those nice things made with greens.

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[personal profile] muccamukk 2012-01-03 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow. You're alive! It's really good to see you online again. I hope you're having a fantastic 2012 (as of three days in).

I don't have any cookbook recs. I just got Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty for my dad, but have not recieved feed back as yet.

[personal profile] sajia_kabir 2012-01-03 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I've started looking at Cooking Traditional Foods -; the author has food sensitivities and is living on a limited income. It can be sometimes heartbreaking to read.

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[personal profile] giglet 2012-01-03 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back! Dreamwidth and fandom were poorer without you.
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[personal profile] littlebutfierce 2012-01-03 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yeah, a lot of food writing just makes me so angry!

I really liked The Taste of Sweet: Our Complicated Love Affair with Our Favorite Treats... & not a food book per se, but a memoir w/lots of food in it: Stealing Buddha's Dinner, also another one I loved!

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[personal profile] inkstone 2012-01-03 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back!
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[personal profile] woldy 2012-01-03 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a fan of the World Food Cafe cookbooks. They're basically vegetarian recipes from all over the world accompanied by nice photography.
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[personal profile] loveflyfree 2012-01-04 01:22 am (UTC)(link)

I am not savvy enough to converse with people on tumblr so there has been a lot of my reading posts and thinking 'yes I totally agree' and then moving on without saying anything. I feel like I should be shaking my cane at the kids on my lawn.
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[personal profile] jjhunter 2012-01-04 02:59 am (UTC)(link)

So glad you're back.
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[personal profile] rural_juror 2012-01-04 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
HELLO! (this is geewhiz/itsbeenvery formerly of LJ) <333333333333333

Unfortunately I do not have any recs for non-self absorbed/oblivious food writing. :(

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[personal profile] frausorge 2012-01-04 03:55 am (UTC)(link)
Happy new year!
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[personal profile] pineapplechild 2012-01-04 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
It's so nice to see you around again!

Are you looking for foodie books with recipes, or cookbooks? I think it's the former, so I am less of use, but if it's the latter I may have some recs. Although, I gotta say, I have the Cook's Illustrated Years Best Cookbook, and although I rarely cook anything exactly how they do (money, time, and some dietary restrictions being issues for me), I find it fascinating just to read all of the cooking science. They're very upfront about their goals: to make the tastiest version possible of whatever they're making, and finding out what makes things tastier (technique, why you do x instead of y, etc., and where spending more money on ingredients actually makes the most difference) is valuable information I've walked away with and applied to things I do all the time, like making bread. I used to get it out of the library semi-regularly, until my family bought me it one year.
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[personal profile] iceinyourmusic 2012-01-04 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, hi! hi! So nice to see you here again! \o/
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[personal profile] monanotlisa 2012-01-04 11:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Man, I'm always so helplessly a White German that it's hard to tell, but I really adored Climbing the Mango Tree -- cheerfully gifted it to friends of mine (although it's not the cooking book you want, I think, to say the least). :)
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[personal profile] topaz119 2012-01-05 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
hello, hello! It is good to see you!

I have a book to offer up to you, though... I don't know. I have it because it is about the food from the region of Italy my mother's family is from, and thus has actual written-down recipes for things that none of my mother or her cousins ever thought to learn how to cook, because they are all "poor people" food, and they (my mother's generation) were running like hell from that descriptor. It is right on that edge of rich people enthusing about the "simple life" which I can overlook for the pepper fritters and fig jam that no other cookbook ever, ever had (because Calabria is so not a chic part of Italy, though it is becoming that now, which *really* freaks my mom & her cousins out.)

Anyway! My Calabria - maybe it will be interesting to you?
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[personal profile] longleggedgit 2012-01-06 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Old news, but I love Michael Pollan--The Omnivore's Dilemma is like, my personal eating anthem, and he's just so smart. I've heard In Defense of Food is even better!