Kirsten's Reviews > The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
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's review
May 02, 12

bookshelves: cookbook, food, nonfiction, united-states, memoir
Read in May, 2012

Flinn bridges the divide in American food culture between heavy consumption of processed food (a topic I recently read about in Fed Up with Lunch: The School Lunch Project: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches --And How We Can Change Them!) and the elitism of those in the "foodie bubble." She points out how both the processed food industry and the elitist foodies send out the same message, that cooking food at home for yourself from real ingredients is difficult, expensive and time-consuming. The book offers basic recipes and techniques with the overall message that the key to success as a home cook is more about your attitude towards food than about slavishly following complex recipes. You can easily pick up a few basic techniques and then learn by experience what you like and what works for you. The best way to save money on food is not by stocking up on bulk cheap purchases, but by planning simple meals with quality ingredients, and learning by trial and error how to improvise with leftovers. The stories of the the nine people Flinn taught to cook show how even small changes in a person's approach to food can have a large effect on health and happiness. Robin Mather's The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locallyis similar in demystifying good food; I enjoyed Mather's writing and the telling of her story, but I found Flinn's book more relevant and encouraging.
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