by Abigail Johnson Dodge
My daughter brought this great wire-bound book home from her school library. She even renewed it last week but we still haven't had a chance to make anything from it. We have had several important house guests though and they have all perused this cookbook. My mother-in-law and my mother both think it would make a fantastic Christmas gift for their various granchildren. My mother-in-law wants to have a copy of it for herself to use when grandchildren are there.
My friend V copied down a brussell sprout recipe from it and generally liked the cookbook but was taken aback how Africa (the Continent) is lumped together with The Middle East and the Mediterranean. We could understand this mixture if just North Africa's cuisine was part of this group but the entire African continent is too diverse to add entirely to one group. Oh, and Africa only has one recipe including in this entire section and it is one brought by the Dutch Settlers-as if the African people never made anything themselves before, during or after the Dutch invaded. Note to publisher: Give Africa a little more space next time because as V said "It's like people of color (from Africa) don't really cook or matter!" It is always a startling experience to view a piece of art from another's eyes. Other than this faux pas we like the cookbook.
Inside the book there are pages of kitchen rules, ingredients lists, kitchen tools and vocabulary. Each section begins with a photo and information about the country, Asia starts the book off and has it's own large section with such delicious recipes miso soup, bok choy stir-fry and Vietnamese lettuce rolls. I was impressed with how many meatless selections there were throughout the book. Besides the already mentioned countries, others included are India, Indonesia and Australia and Rusia and Northern Europe, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean and U.S. and Canada. There are also sections on finger food, cheeses and flatbreads from around the world. I have to say there are several recipes in each section that I want to try.
Overall a solid A rating.
Today as we drive across part of Iowa to a regional Cross Country meet she plans to pick several recipes that she and I can make tomorrow. I have my heart set on a few, like the Canadian Butter Tarts with maple butter! Oh, Canada!
Click for Abby Dodge's website. This post is part of Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Happy Cooking!!
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