Written by S. Meenakshi Ammal sometime around 1968, Samaithu Par (or Cook & See: Part 1), is a classic of Tamil cookery books. It was possibly theWritten by S. Meenakshi Ammal sometime around 1968, Samaithu Par (or Cook & See: Part 1), is a classic of Tamil cookery books. It was possibly the first widely available cookery book written in Tamil, and brings to mind Fannie Farmer's The Boston School Cookbook in form and simplicity of presentation.
The series spans three volumes covering a range of South Indian classics and variations from the simplest rice and dal to more elaborate tiffin, pickle, savory and sweet making. Part 1 is also indispensable for non-Tamil speakers as it is the only volume to include a glossary of food terms and depictions of cooking pots. Though it took me a while to figure out that vitis/pirandai is a tropical relative of the grape plant, as neither term was familiar.
On the sentimental side, Samaithu Par holds a special place of nostalgia for some mid-20th century immigrants. My father-in-law remembers packing and using it to survive as a young bachelor and graduate student in the U.K. and United States. And while the recipes couldn't convey all the nuances of a South Indian kitchen, having this as a guide provided him with enough know-how to passably survive the long years abroad. Now the pages act as both introduction and constant puzzle for myself finding a way to incorporate the rich traditions of my husband's parents into our busy lives. ...more
It's difficult to assess these sorts of Pan Asian cookbooks since you end up comparing apples to oranges from recipe to recipe. But even upon reading,It's difficult to assess these sorts of Pan Asian cookbooks since you end up comparing apples to oranges from recipe to recipe. But even upon reading, Greeley's efforts are legitimately authentic. She hails from northern Virginia and I can feel the connection to the various immigrant, refugee and expat communities in the region.
The recipes largely adhere to formulations and suggestions you could find in more specific Asian regional cookbooks (see Fuschia Dunlop and Andy Ricker). Though I do find Ricker and even David Thompson's Thai recipes to be more satisfying, the reasons stem from the mix of substitutions and accommodations to constraints in American produce Asian cooks encounter. And yet, some sublime recipes shine through. ...more
A good starting point for planning any trip to the National Parks, or a miniature coffee table book. National Geographic's edge is always in the photoA good starting point for planning any trip to the National Parks, or a miniature coffee table book. National Geographic's edge is always in the photography, so smaller or lesser known parks receive a good boost. That's with the exception of the park of American Samoa. It's clearly an afterthought. After all, who'll bother going to American Samoa? (My cousin and her family and anyone in Hawaii, that's who.)
The parks are listed alphabetically by region, though I wonder as to the value of some of these regions. Example: the Colorado Plateau encompasses a goodly number of parks, however it splits the standard Southwest region by placing all of ARizona in the Colorado Plateau. Only New Mexico and Texas comprise the Southwest. Clearly, the editor was ok with employing nonstandard definitions. The only perceived benefit, is that the Colorado Plateau parks could conceivably be toured in a single (though looong) road trip. ...more
I love Chicago. Living there for a summer opened my eyes to what a city could be in all its beauty and terror. Despite having experienced incredible wI love Chicago. Living there for a summer opened my eyes to what a city could be in all its beauty and terror. Despite having experienced incredible walkabouts during that summer, having a copy of this book would have bumped that experience up more than a few notches. Best of all, this walking guide actually takes you to parts of Chicago outside Northside and the Loop. OMG, you might enjoy Southside. Heh. I remember friends and acquaintances balking at my living in Southside near Hyde Park (HYDE PARK!?!). As if that neighborhood were the projects ... There was a Starbucks on the corner and Skip Gates was a regular at the time. How was THAT the hood?
Back to the book ... The walks chosen are fantastic. The hubby and I visited during winter and took a few rounds near Wrigley and Boystown. I've walked several of the other locations. Anyone looking for an experience outside the Loop will definitely appreciate this....more
The hubby and I have fallen in love. Ouef cocotte, hazelnut and thyme matchsticks, apple and broccoli quiche, tomato tarte tatin, the beouf bourgingonThe hubby and I have fallen in love. Ouef cocotte, hazelnut and thyme matchsticks, apple and broccoli quiche, tomato tarte tatin, the beouf bourgingon with chocolate? All wonderful. Only one dish fell flat, the zucchini and cocoa nib pasta. There's plenty more to discover, but we've gained loads of keepers from this slim volume.
Update: I attempted the apple cake. It's delicious, but barely holds together. I'm thinking there's a difference in the flour that's not conveyed in the conversions for an American kitchen....more
This cookbook has received little attention from me over the last few years. But this summer/fall I've given it another look. Not everything requiresThis cookbook has received little attention from me over the last few years. But this summer/fall I've given it another look. Not everything requires jamon serrano and there are certainly locavore substitutes available. (Thank you, Virginia Ham!)
Anyway, here's what I've dabbled with: Bell pepper coca, Spring ragout of artichokes, fava beans and ham; Rosemary scented apple tart (yummmm! but eat quickly); Grandma's of Sils apple yogurt cake (divine!); Cherry and beet gazpacho; Strawberry and fennel gazpacho; Classic gazpacho; Salmorejo ... There's more, but I'll have to pull the book out to list the recipes....more
If you're looking to enliven a geographically uninterested palate, seek out this text. Batmanglij's experience with Persian cooking proves that the MiIf you're looking to enliven a geographically uninterested palate, seek out this text. Batmanglij's experience with Persian cooking proves that the Middle East and Central Asia has far more to offer than the usual rice and kebab. The foodways presented here demonstrate a culture lost to most Western palates since industrialization and the mass production of food. Elements reminiscent of the high Victorian period abound with the use of herbs most cooks have never heard of let alone can recognize by sight or smell. Yet these ingredients were prominent in American and European kitchens just over a century ago, amongst them angelica, unripened grapes, rose water and quince.
Pomegranate gelatin (a fantastic combination of textures!)
Kuku or Persian omelettes
Khoresh of rhubarb, peach, green beans, etc.
Must-o-kheyar (a lovely yogurt salad similar to Indian raita)
Warnings: take care to cook rice and khoresh dishes at shorter times than recommended. Some of the cooking times soften the vegetables well beyond my preference....more
Great suggestions for hiking in all of Arizona's regions. This book in combination with the Moon series travel guide for Arizona makes for a wonderfulGreat suggestions for hiking in all of Arizona's regions. This book in combination with the Moon series travel guide for Arizona makes for a wonderful trip. And I want to go back just to hike some more of those trails....more
I've sampled from this text since the early- to mid-90s. And not once has it failed to make me appreciate how home cooks the world over feed their famI've sampled from this text since the early- to mid-90s. And not once has it failed to make me appreciate how home cooks the world over feed their families using meager ingredients. Undoubtedly, the least complicated dishes in this book tend to shine brightest. For example, the idea to combine milk and grapefruit juice offers up a sublime refreshment that I patiently wait for every January/February when ruby red grapefruit come into season. I have to stop myself from drinking gallons upon gallons of this Dominican treat.
If nothing else, the recipes in this book can aid in the process of emptying an overstocked pantry. What to do with leftover couscous or cornmeal? Why, mix them with cooked greens or make a simple vegetable sauce to eat them with. I might not have survived graduate school without this book. It enabled me to live on a meager $20/week for groceries. In DC, that's quite a feat. But, it's possible, and healthy given the right mindset and appreciation for non-animal proteins. ...more
If you love to experiment with fresh produce, this is a cookbook for you. Same goes for anyone frustrated with too many tomatoes or zucchini in theirIf you love to experiment with fresh produce, this is a cookbook for you. Same goes for anyone frustrated with too many tomatoes or zucchini in their garden. And even though it's not strictly vegetarian, this book contains far more interesting vegetarian fare than every other vegetarian cookbook I've come across. Plus the carrot cake and papaya bread will knock your socks off!
Too many cook books de-emphasize vegetables, but this one places them on reverent display. It also runs the gamut from simplistic to several day complicated headache type recipes. It also contains plenty of catch all recipes so you can never wonder what to do with all those leftover bits.
The margins are another part of this book which shines. Look to them to answer any sort of selection, preparation or growing tips.
Favorites: Apple pie with cheddar cheese crust (best apple pie crust ever!); Chocolate zucchini cake with sour cream frosting; Papaya tea bread; Baby zucchini and squash blossom fritatta; ...more