Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Review

I've been so excited to review this book! One of my friends showed it to me a few months ago and I just recently got my hands on a copy - Andrew gave it to me for my birthday! How to Cook Without a Book, by: Pam Anderson is a thoughtful, helpful cookbook that every cook should have.

To summarize this book in one word: EMPOWERING! It is an amazingly complete book that I can't seem to put down. It's full of wonderful techniques and great formulas. Each chapter deals with a different topic but builds into a cohesive book about cooking - how-tos, what to buy, substitutions, recipes etc.

It starts with a list of suggested things to keep stocked in your pantry - a list that makes good food accessible and quick any night of the week. The author includes basic foods like salads & dressings and then progresses to Asian food, sauteing (all kinds of meats!), ravioli, appetizers, vegetables, desserts, etc. The beginning of every chapter starts with a rhyme - a rhyme introducing the technique. And for those of you that prefer written recipes, she includes those in every chapter as well. I just love that you have a basic formula to customize according to your taste.

This book makes me feel like anything is possible. I feel empowered to try new techniques, to make even more from scratch, and to attempt food that I never dreamed was so easy. It's definitely going to be a book I come back to again and again - well, hopefully I'll be able to memorize many of the formulas and not have to even use the book (as the title inspires!). I found her style easy to read and the information at the opening of each chapter to be invaluable. I really just devoured this book - it was hard to put down! Some of it was not necessarily new, some of it was a good refresher course, and a lot of it was a new way of thinking.

I highly recommend this book for any amateur or seasoned cook. It makes a perfect shower gift or a wonderful addition to your own cookbook library.


Kevin & Amy said...

I also love that book. Our pastor's wife gave it to me when we first got married. The author I think is the former editor of Cook's Illustrated. Great book!

My World (. . . as it happens) said...

I think I need a copy! Great review - thanks.

Katrina said...

Ooo... I shall definitely have to check this out. I cannot cook without a book .. at all. But this gives me hoep! :)

liz said...

i'm thinking i want this book...:)

Monica said...

I'm going to check this book out. I love to watch people cook without a book, but time doesn't allow for that as much as I'd like.