Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bringing the gastropub back home

It's laborious. It's inconvenient. It's extraordinarily rewarding and worth bragging about. It's time to take back the kitchen and break free from the shackles of ready-made, industrial food. It's time to cook supper.

THE LOST ART OF REAL COOKING: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food One Recipe at a Time by Ken Albala and Rosana Nafziger (Perigee Hardcover; $18.95; July 6, 2010) heralds a new (and yet old-fashioned) approach to food.

* Breads breads breads: sourdough, wholemeal, pizza dough
* Beef jerky, roast piggie, braised game, rabbit pie
* Wine and beer
* Doughnuts, pies and truffles
* Cultured butter, yoghurt, creme fraiche and ghee
* Pickles and sauerkraut
* Preserves, jam, marmelade

These foods were once made by the family, in the home, rather than a factory. And they can still be made in the smallest kitchens without expensive equipment, capturing flavors which speak of place and personality.

Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger arm readers with the knowledge and skills that lets them connect on a deeper level with what goes into their bodies.

Ken Albala is professor of history at the University of the Pacific and author of Eating Right in the Renaissance, The Banquet, Beans: A History. He blogs here: http://www.kenalbala.blogspotcom/

Rosanna Nafziger spent her girlhood working in the orchard and selling pies at market. Now she writes about old-fashioned cookery on her blog:

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