Excessive punctuation and a bizarre infatuation with Omega-3s helped rather than hurt Pollan's cause (though that doesn't mean I will eat less real fo...moreExcessive punctuation and a bizarre infatuation with Omega-3s helped rather than hurt Pollan's cause (though that doesn't mean I will eat less real food).(less)
More than anything I was unconvinced by the casual style of this book. This might be partially due to subject matter. The beauty of the Elements of St...moreMore than anything I was unconvinced by the casual style of this book. This might be partially due to subject matter. The beauty of the Elements of Style is that the authors use the book as an example of exactly what they are talking about. "Finesse," one of the main themes of The Elements of Cooking, can't really be given concrete example in written form.
One thing the book did do: it reminded me that I want to got to French Laundry. The date I can call for reservations is now marked on my calendar!
Good Reads is becoming the place I write what I thought what a book was going to be about and then either come back disappointed or pleasantly surpris...moreGood Reads is becoming the place I write what I thought what a book was going to be about and then either come back disappointed or pleasantly surprised.
In this case, it's mild disappointment. When I heard about this book and read the review, I thought it would be more like a diary. A multi-person diary about difficulties, triumphs, and oddities of a family living as "locavores" for a year.
Kingsolver and family move to their Virginia farm with the intention of eating local for a full year. They have to stretch the definition in some places, make a few concessions to personal additions (coffee, for example), and off they go.
They plant a huge garden, buy mail-order baby chicks and turkeys, begin to haunt the local farmer's market, and, from the sounds of it, buy freezers, food dehydrators, and other food-storage materials.
This seems like it would be ripe for funny stories about eating nothing but dehydrated tomatoes in January and being overwhelmed with zucchini in July (which they are and the story is mildly funny).
The book ends up being more diatribe than diary, however. Every page casts judgment on those who buy bananas, don't go to the farmer's market, and eat meat from unknown sources.
It's not that I don't applaud the effort of making your own cheese and bread and breeding your own turkeys (and slaughtering them), it's just that I didn't want this book to be all judgment and no fun.
Having said all of that, I did spend a good portion of my time in the grocery store on Sunday determining where my foods came from and am redoubling my efforts to use all the vegetables from my own personal CSA (my in-laws). I'm even planning on making a recipe from the book. I just don't really want to move to the country and start farming!