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Stanley

Rainy days & Mondays

We may actually see sunshine today but it doesn’t matter. I have the day off and that means a trip to the laundromat with a couple of books to keep me company. Honestly, I’m not just saying this. I never leave the house without at least TWO books. I try to bring something new and something that I’m savoring. I love it when a book captivates me. And now I have two new books to keep me enthralled. I am a slave to a good book.

Heat
Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany (1400041201) by Bill Buford

I LOVE this book! I can’t say that enough. I LOVE THIS BOOK! We call this kind of book Food Porn at the store. Well, it’s not really true food porn, which must include the requisite photos of sumptuous feasts, but at least a first cousin. This story captivates me. Buford’s writing style pleases me. When I read it I feel like I’ve had a world class meal. How does he do it? Well, let’s start by mentioning that Bill Buford is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He used to be their
fiction editor. He also was, according to the jacket blurb, a founding editor of Granta magazine and founding editor of Granta Books.

This guy knows about writing. But not all editors can write. Buford, however, pulls me in with each shift he works at Babbo’s (Mario Batali’s NYC restaurant). He gets pulled into the world of professional cooking. Oh, not the kind of thing I think I pull off at home, but something deeper, richer and darker. Monotonous food chopping, frying,
prep work. And somehow he manages to keep himself transparent so that I, as reader, feel like I’ve done the work myself. (And let me tell
you, this book has cured me of my fantasy of opening a diner!) I have no doubt the a guy like Buford has a certain amount of ego, but he doesn’t let that come through in this book. For Buford, it’s the story that matters, and the characters who count: 1) Mario Batali and all the kitchen denizens, 2) the craft of cooking and 3) the food.

As I write this I’m keenly aware of all the books I’ve read that have to do with food and cooking. So, maybe it’s time for me to run down the list of titles that I enjoyed that have to do with food and cooking. But not today. Today the laundry pile is beckoning and there’s a book waiting for me.

Keep reading.

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