Essays

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Alpine Cooking

Alpine Cooking

Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountaintops: A Cookbook
edition:Hardcover
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Kosher Style

Kosher Style

Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

From the Introduction
Kosher Style is for those who love delicious modern food, travel writing or both. It’s a cookbook with food writing that respects the traditions born in eastern European kitchens, while traveling beyond. Jewish readers will love it for the taste memories they can recreate, while others will be won over by the gorgeous full-color photography.

So why is it called Kosher Style? Excellent question. While dozens of countries host at least a small Jewish population, the global community is concentrated in two areas. Israel and the United States account for 83 percent of the global Jewish population, with about seven million in each. Canada is home to about 500,000 Jews. A chunk of this global population of Jews is kosher, but even more of them are what we call “kosher style.”

“Kosher style” is how many Jews eat today. This can mean dining on a smoked meat sandwich at a non-kosher deli, or eating a slice of sour cream coffee cake after you’ve had steak for dinner. It can mean Chinese food on paper plates in your home, or a lobster dinner eaten out while on vacation. For many, being Jewish tends to be more about culture than kashrut (the practice of keeping kosher), and it can be confusing at the best of times. I’ll get into the rules of kashrut on page 4. But first, let it be known that this book isn’t just for Jews. It’s also for the other 99 percent of the population.

Recent market research studies peg the kosher-food industry as being worth over $17 billion, and the kosher label’s popularity is growing. In 2009, 27 percent of packaged foods had the kosher denotation, but by 2015, it appeared on over 41 percent of packages. It’s not that the world has suddenly gone meshugenah for kosher food. The reasons behind the dramatic uptick are completely nonreligious. Some people buy kosher food because of perceived cleanliness, others owing to dietary restrictions (such as vegetarians) and still others to avoid certain allergens such as shellfish.

In this book are all the recipes you need for successful shellfish- and pork-free home entertaining, be it for a Jewish holiday or a workaday dinner. From crave-worthy snacks to family-size salads, soulful mains to show-stopping desserts, all of the recipes in this book are doable in the home kitchen and are clearly marked as either a meat dish, dairy dish or pareve (neutral). Think: latkes, knishes, General Tso’s chicken and Toblerone-chunk hamantaschen your family will plotz over.

Kosher Style is for anyone who likes to cook and loves to eat, and it’s especially for those yearning to create new shared memories around a table brimming with history, loved ones and maple-soy brisket.

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Chop Suey Nation

Chop Suey Nation

The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada's Chinese Restaurants
edition:Paperback
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Freshly Picked

Freshly Picked

A Locavore's Love Affair with BC's Bounty
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian, essays
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The Measure of My Powers

The Measure of My Powers

A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

From "Farmers' Market, Vancouver"

Markets flooded me with life. Their colorful produce, the growth in each season on display, vendors selling flowers relaxed in full bloom, little pots of demi-glace, imported cheeses, and pecan shortbread that melted in my mouth. Around Easter, the local charcuterie would post fluorescent reminders to preorder hams, and I fantasized about baking them with honey and grainy mustard or brushing the top with a sticky, sweet pineapple-soy glaze, allowing the crust to caramelize and crys­tallize into a meaty lacquer box.

I would walk past each brightly colored stall, dawdling under the pretense of “grocery shopping” but secretly playing hooky from work, concocting imaginary meals with cans of smoky peppers in adobo sauce, white onions, cilantro, and masa flour, or sniffing varieties of Italian oregano like little green pearls still on their stems or bright green olive oils, and tasting the slow pro­gression of a tomato sauce in my mind.

I watched old movies about food, like Big Night and Mostly Martha, while I scoured blogs and websites in different languages for obscure recipes. I took on one recipe and then the next, madly working my way through countless books. My shelves were full of Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Martha Stewart, Maida Heatter, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Julia Child, Pierre Hermé, Dorie Greenspan, and Patricia Wells. I took books out from the library like when I was a child. I cooked from Deborah Madison’s vegetarian tome, got an Italian education from Marcella Hazan, and read books on canning, making jam, and growing food, poring over every­thing I could about those topics. I carried in my purse books by Michael Pollan and Margaret Visser, biographies on Jacques Pépin, and The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis. But most importantly, it was M. F. K. Fisher who fed me stories that made me laugh, dream, wonder, and remember again what it felt like to be alive.

I searched for the perfect everything, from pound cakes to roasts, sour cherries to pork bellies. I was insatiable, and when I had consumed every bit of information that books and the internet could provide, I saved for weekend courses at local cooking schools. With textbooks in hand, I was both challenged and lulled to sleep as I read, cradling their weight in my lap before bedtime.

In the quiet church of my own kitchen, I cooked with the intensity of prayer as G looked on, uninterested. He didn’t care much about food, but that didn’t stop me. And when I shared what my hands had made, I saw that my friends and family tasted joy in my pies and passion in the glazes on my cakes. Although their hungers were different than mine, I understood them all the same and it gave me much pleasure to satisfy them too.

I knew, though, that they didn’t fully understand how urgently I was tied to food, and I was always aware of that strange separa­tion. It was faint, and if you didn’t know it was there, you might not think to ask. But I noticed it when I spoke of chocolate and the fine nuances in it: fruity, smoky, red or green. They could taste the flavors, but we did not taste the same thing. I would look longingly into their faces, searching their expressions and hoping to recognize myself in them, but I never did. I accepted that I never would, but I wasn’t sad; it was enough for me just to know I’d had a hand in feeding them in any way at all.

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Sustenance

Sustenance

Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food
edited by Rachel Rose
edition:Paperback
tagged : essays
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Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homestead

Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homestead

Recipes and Recollections from a Syrian Pioneer
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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