A pretty mediocre cookbook all around. Although the introduction stresses the importance of reducing all animal products in one's diet, not just meat,A pretty mediocre cookbook all around. Although the introduction stresses the importance of reducing all animal products in one's diet, not just meat, most of the recipes here require eggs, cheese, or some other dairy--which, depending on several factors, are potentially almost as inhumane and carbon-heavy as meat, which defeats some of the the ecological ethical reasons for going vegetarian.
The recipes themselves are okay. I tried four main courses, and the results ranged from my family actually saying "This is terrible" to my face (which, to be fair, may have been due in part to technical failures on my part) to "You could make this again, but you should change a bunch of stuff to make it better." The two desserts I made were more reliably received, but were nothing worth writing home about.
Although the layout is beautiful, it's not very practical. I have the feeling many recipes were simplified to fit better on the page: the ones I tried were pretty bland, as if a longer list of seasonings was omitted for lack of space. Directions, too, are pretty sparse, which is fine for the more experienced cook but a challenge for the less experienced one. For example, the instructions for blind baking, included with several recipes, are deceptively minimalistic--complete enough that a newbie cook might not feel the need to look up blind baking in a really good cookbook/the internet, but incomplete enough that her crust will probably not come out quite right if she doesn't.
Most of the recipes here sound really good, but I would use them more as inspiration rather than expect them to come out right on the first try. I could not, in good conscience, recommend it to anyone....more
Don't let the photo on the inside cover fool you: Linda Przybyszewski is not the smiling, well-dressed woman pictured there, but rather a crotchety olDon't let the photo on the inside cover fool you: Linda Przybyszewski is not the smiling, well-dressed woman pictured there, but rather a crotchety old man, of the sort that frequently describes how things were better "back in my day," and complains often of "kids these days." Przybyszewski has a strong bias and a clear axe to grind, but she grinds it well and she grinds is persuasively, and that's what makes this book work.
Although I enjoyed The Lost Art, I did not agree with all of Przybyszewski's points--far from it. I found myself disagreeing frequently, or feeling that she was overlooking important downfalls of older fashion, or strengths of newer fashion. She showed herself capable of recognizing sexism and double standard in fashion, and notes them several times, but at other times seems oblivious to the sexism inherent in her own arguments.
Regardless, Przybyszewski does an excellent job of chronicling not just the changing fashions of the twentieth century, but the change in who set fashion and how people viewed fashion and the important of fashion in the lives of everyday women. She offers a persuasive argument for a return to commonsense in fashion, and also for a revival of the subjects taught by the "Dress Doctors." Ad excellent book not only for those interested in fashion, but for those interested in women's studies as well....more