Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Book Review: An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler

Cooking with Economy and Grace

That's the subtitle. Economy and Grace are two words which don't always go together in this world. And the word Economy combined with Cooking can make some people turn up their noses, and shudder with visions of beans and rice. I don't turn up my nose at the thought of cooking with economy, but I used to shudder every time I had to try to turn leftovers into a brand new meal.

Whenever I get a new cookbook, I try to read it like a novel. I look at the pictures, start forming ideas in my mind of what they will taste like, then read over the ingredients and directions with as much focus as if I were reading the final epic rescue in an Outlander book! I'm not sure if I would technically classify this book as a cookbook. There are recipes printed in standard format, but there's so much more than that. Most of the recipes are just ideas mentioned in a brief passing sentence - yet somehow the instructions are perfectly clear. I love that after reading this book I don't have to remember the recipes that are in it - the way the ingredients are written about in such detail, anytime I come across a bit of leftover whatever a trigger is set off reminding me that I don't need to throw this away, there are plenty of things I could do with it that may even be better than the original dish!

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace
Photo from

 For anyone who wants to learn to feel natural and at ease in the kitchen - for those newer cooks who are nervous about cooking without recipes or measurements but want to break free, and also for those who want to eat really well but spend less, I recommend this book. I recommend it like crazy! (I know that doesn't make sense). One of the reviews on the back says this, and I really like the description, "A book can't necessarily teach you how to [cook with culinary intuition], but An Everlasting Meal will almost certainly inspire you to teach yourself." I don't completely agree though - I think this book goes a long way to teaching culinary intuition.

This is a book for the new cook, the novice foodie, and anyone stuck in a rut needing to lose the frills and remember what food actually tastes like.

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