Book List # 7 - Food, Food and Food!

This one’s all about food. I’m pretty excited!

I'm off to the market to get ingredients for tonight's dinner. I love weekend cooking!


Stephanie Dickison
Food Editor and Publisher - the knack

Cooking Without Fuss
Jonny Haughton

How can you not love a book with a title like this? It’s just what we need in this modern world, dontcha think?

And unlike most books of the “simplify” nature, this one’s got fantastic, mouth-watering recipes!

I mean, there’s:

Crab, Tomato and Saffron Tart
Vietnamese Chicken Patties with Lime Dipping Sauce
Sea Trout with Beetroot, Bacon, Sorrel and Horseradish
Lamb, Fig and Mint Tangine
White Onion and Cider Soup
Smoked Chicken and Sweetcorn Broth
Butternut and Goat’s Cheese Lasagne

Need I say more?

Okay, one more.


The Pantry: Its History and Modern Uses
Catherine Seiberling Pond

A rich, visual history of pantries from Early American Pantries to Pantries Open to the Public.

This little book has wonderful photos and historical facts and text to take you back to earlier, simpler times like the Farmhouse and Victorian pantries to the modern pantry where everything old is new again.

A wonderful hostess gift or for the foodie in your life.

Just a quick warning – you’re going to want to take your kitchen apart and redo it from scratch after reading this.

The Food of Spain & Portugal: A Regional Celebration
Elisabeth Luard

I looooove Spanish and Portuguese food – the colours, the flavours, the spices. I find them incredibly romantic.

And so is this book. You not only get stories and recipes from what Time Out magazine called “one of the best writers on Spanish food in the English language,” but the pictures are ravishing. There are photos not just of the food but boats docked, cathedrals and stretches of beach that elicit the roar of waves.

My lovely friend Jen just went to both Spain and Portugal a couple of months ago and swooned the entire time she talked about the scenery and the food and the wine.

These two places are high on my list of places to go. And this book is like my dreambook of regions to visit and dishes to try.

In the meantime, I will try Spinach with Shepherd’s Breadcrumbs, Vegetable Hot Pot, Turkey with Almonds and Saffron and Pumpkin, Orange and Cinnamon Pancakes.

Let the dreaming and planning begin!

Death in the Pot: The Impact of Food Poisoning on History
Morton Satin

I know. It seems rather dark, doesn’t it?

But aren’t you even the least bit curious?

Morton covers the Ancient World, whether there was food poisoning in the Bible, the Middle Ages (check out “There’s Fungus Among Us”), Early Modern Times , the Modern Era (“Voyage of the Damned – From Cans to Cannibals!”) and Present Day – Typhoid Mary, Fugu and Bioterrorism.

Now come on – don’t you want to know more?

Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen
Darren McGrady, Private Chef to Princess Diana

Want to know the inside life of Windsor Castle? How someone cooks for hundreds and sometimes a thousand important people? Wanna know what the Princess ate?

This book is not so much a tell-all as a description of Darren’s life as Diana’s private chef. It also has a wonderful look at how it all works inside the doors of the castle – how is the food paid for, the medals visiting heads of government receive and the menus for occasions in which we will never be invited.

It’s neat to learn that he makes Croques Monsieur at Buckingham Palace. They eat simple food like this? I was kind of surprised.

And such British things like Earl Grey Tea Cake, Isle of Wight Pusdding and English Pancakes (they’re thinner than the North American kind and have no leavening)! What a treat!

And one of the Queen Mother’s favourite dishes? Eggs Drumkilbo, which has mayonnaise, ketchup, gelatin, sherry, eggs and shrimp. Eck.

I love the chapter on Darren’s summer on the HMY Brittania and the things he had to do in order to get an exquisite meal on the table.

There is much more, but I’ll leave you to it to read the rest.

For once there’s a book about the Palace and Diana that doesn’t feel like someone’s cashing in on the celebrity of it.

To me, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Feast: Why Humans Share Food
Martin Jones

Okay, so the title is a bit weird, but just think about it – we all eat together. What about the history of that?

Here’s a short description from the Oxford University Press about the book:

“By studying the activities of our closest relatives, chimpanzees, and unearthing ancient hearths, some over 30,000 years old, scientists have been able to piece together a picture of how our ancient ancestors found, killed, cooked, and divided food supplies. They have also created a timeline showing the introduction of increasingly advanced tools and sophisticated social customs. In sites uncovered all over the world, fragments of bone, remnants of charred food, pieces of stone or clay serving vessels, and the outlines of ancient halls tell the story of how we slowly developed the complex traditions of eating we recognize in our own societies today. Jones takes on a tour of the most fascinating sites and artifacts that have been discovered, and shows us how archaeologists are able to make their fascination conclusions. In addition, he traces the rise of such recent phenomena as biscuits, "going out to eat," and the Thanksgiving-themed TV dinner.

From the earliest evidence of human consumption around half a million years ago to the era of the drive-through diner, this fascinating account unfolds the history of the human meal and its huge impact on human society."

Now aren’t you curious?

Stephanie Dickison

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