How I Taught My Brother to Cook
by John Barrows and Patrick Barrows
John and Patrick Barrows have done something that few cookbooks come close to doing - they have written a book about food that is also food for thought. Usually I will flip through a cookbook looking for recipes of interest, but I found myself engaged in the discussion between John and Patrick and their opinions about cooking and food. Their often opposite views teach us that in much of cooking there isn't an exact answer - it is about trusting your instinct and your tastebuds while respecting your ingredients and ditching so-called "convienence". Cooking does not have to be complicated and it doesn't have to take a lot of time and it can be fun. I also enjoyed reflecting on my own cooking heritage and how I want my kids to see me as a "cook". What foods will they remember from their childhood? Hopefully, not something from a box!
Hilary Conway (Amazon.com)
Respect your food. Play with it too.
How many recipes do you have on your kitchen shelf, if you add up all your cookbooks? Ten thousand? Probably more! You like to cook, but searching for a recipe that matches your mood and your pantry has become a chore. It's time to leave rote instructions behind and unleash the confidence to improvise, and discover a style all your own. How I Taught My Brother To Cook is part family memoir, part cookbook and part raucous sibling rivalry. Most of all it's a story of two men's journey: to embrace their family roots in rural Italy and upstate New York, put good food on their family's tables, and avoid the anxiety over diet fad and fashion that afflicts most Americans. Weaving a dialogue in recipes and techniques, the brothers take a lowfalutin approach, though they rarely agree on whose approach is the more unpretentious. Bring your own opinion to the countertop conversation, and your memories of what your own grandparents and parents and favorite aunt fed you, and renew your joy in food.
About the Author
Brothers Patrick and John Barrows want you to think more about your food, but not to stress over it. Taking cues from the peasant cuisines of the North of Italy and the South of France, their approach is fresh, simple and honest. Local in-season vegetables, the kind of meat that s handed over the counter by an expert in an apron instead of shrink-wrapped, fresh eggs for hand-made pasta-- these home cooks show that the more you embrace a palette of basic high-quality ingredients, the more you and your family will enjoy what you re putting in your mouths, and realize that convenience foods aren't saving you time or money, and might be sapping your soul.