Hey, Good-Lookin,’ Whatcha Got Cookin’?

’Tis the season for cookbooks


Compiled by Brian Lampkin

Country Living magazine published a study a few years ago that tried to measure which country does the most home cooking. At the top of the list with over 13 hours a week were India and Ukraine. (It’s so good for Ukraine to have some positive publicity every once in a while.) The United States wound up just below the average of 6.5 hours with a total of 5.9 hours each week. Perhaps the books below will help you find your way to more time in the kitchen. It’s cheaper, healthier, and, with the right amount of wine, probably more fun than eating out every night. And the tips are better. November provides a bounty of new cooking books:

November 5: Lateral Cooking: One Dish Leads to Another, by Niki Segnit (with an introduction by Yotam Ottolenghi) (Bloomsbury, $40). Niki Segnit used to follow recipes to the letter, even when she’d made a dish a dozen times. But as she tested the combinations that informed her previous work, The Flavor Thesaurus, she detected the basic rubrics that underpinned most recipes. Lateral Cooking offers these formulas, which, once readers are familiar with them, will prove infinitely adaptable.

November 5: Pastry Love: A Baker’s Journal of Favorite Recipes, by Joanne Chang (Houghton Mifflin, $40). James Beard awardwinning baker Joanne Chang is best known around the country for her eight acclaimed Flour bakeries in Boston. Chang has published two books based on the offerings at Flour, such as her famous sticky buns, but Pastry Love is her most personal and comprehensive book yet. Nothing makes Chang happier than baking and sharing treats with others, and that passion comes through in every recipe, such as Strawberry Slab Pie, Mocha Chip Cookies and Malted Chocolate Cake. The recipes start off easy such as Lemon Sugar Cookies and build up to showstoppers like Passion Fruit Crepe Cake. The book also includes master lessons and essential techniques for making pastry cream, lemon curd, puff pastry, and more, all of which make this book a must-have for beginners and expert home bakers alike.

November 5: The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook: Salmon, Crab, Oysters, and More, by Naomi Tomky (Countryman Press, $27.95). For thousands of years, the abundance of fish and shellfish in the Pacific Northwest created a seafood paradise for the indigenous peoples hunting and gathering along the region’s pristine waterways, and, later, for the Chinese, Scandinavian, Filipino and Japanese immigrants (along with many others), who have made this region home. Drawing on these diverse influences, the region fostered a cuisine that is as varied as its people, yet which remains specifically Northwestern.

November 5: Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking: A Cookbook, by Toni Tipton-Martin (Clarkson Potter, $35). Toni Tipton-Martin, the first African-American food editor of a daily American newspaper, is the author of the James Beard Award–winning The Jemima Code, a history of African-American cooking found in the lines of three centuries’ worth of African-American cookbooks. Tipton-Martin builds on that research in Jubilee, adapting recipes from those historic texts for the modern kitchen. What we find is a world of African-American cuisine — made by enslaved master chefs, free caterers, and black entrepreneurs and culinary stars — that goes far beyond soul food. It’s a cuisine that was developed in the homes of the elite and middle class; that takes inspiration from around the globe; that is a diverse, varied style of cooking that has created much of what we know of as American cuisine.

November 12: Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated, by Irma Rombauer, et al. (Scribner, $40). I know, I know: AGAIN! The 75th Anniversary edition came out in 2006, and this new edition promises “an expansive revision based on the celebrated 1975 edition, restoring the voice of the original authors and returning the focus to home-style American cooking.” I was recently at an estate sale at which the deceased collector had over 30 Joy of Cooking editions, so I know there’s no stopping you. You’ll get the new one.

November 26: An Unofficial Harry Potter Fan’s Cookbook: Spellbinding Recipes for Famished Witches and Wizards, by Aurélia Beaupommier (Racehorse, $19.99). From cauldron cakes and chocolate frogs to everyday meals in the Weasley household, one of the most spectacular aspects of Harry Potter is the food. Now with this fantastical cookbook, you can create breakfast, entrees, desserts and drinks inspired by some of your favorite aspects of the Harry Potter universe. And then bring your creations to the Scuppernong Yule Ball Harry Potter Party on Saturday, December 14 at 7 p.m.!  OH

Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books.

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