"Tender, wry, passionate, truthful. To read Hesser's prose is to hunger for more."Nigella Lawson
Life in the city, love, and unforgettable mealscan a food writer find happiness with a man who has an empty refrigerator? Amanda Hesser's irresistible book is the tale of a romance where food is the source of discovery, discord, and delighta story of universal desires: good food, great company, and a mate.
At each stage of her courtshipfrom her first date with "Mr. Latte" (a near-disaster) to her first uneasy dinner at his parents' home, from intimate suppers in her Upper West Side apartment to his first attempt at cooking for herAmanda supplies menus for the meals they share: more than one hundred well-balanced and well-seasoned recipes that will leave you satisfied yet wanting more.
With warmth and honesty, Amanda shares her feasts and foibles, triumphs and near-misses, tense encounters and good times in the kitchen and beyond. Her humorous, sensuous tale leads us date by date, recipe by recipe, to a jubilant conclusion.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO of Food52, is the author of the award-winning The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Cooking for Mr. Latte, and The Cook and the Gardener, as well as the editor of the essay collection Eat, Memory. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tad Friend, and their two children.
Table of Contents
|2||Mr. Latte Has a Trick Up His Sleeve||24|
|4||Cooking with Julia||38|
|6||The Art of Dining Alone||57|
|7||A Tough Act to Follow||64|
|8||The Rooftop Party||72|
|9||The Man Who Made Me Eat Everything||79|
|11||A Safe Place||91|
|12||About Town with the Bon Vivant||98|
|13||Show Me, Don't Tell Me||105|
|14||Dinner When No One Wanted to Be Alone||113|
|16||A Visitor from India||126|
|17||Peeling Away the Past||135|
|18||Hard Thoughts Soften over Dinner||143|
|19||When in Rome, Eat Oxtail Stew!||150|
|20||Heidi Saves the Day||157|
|21||A Reason to Cook||164|
|24||A Few or a Dozen Favorites||190|
|25||The Engagement Party||205|
|26||Fine Dining in the Sky||214|
|27||The Not-So-Secret Tapas Bar||221|
|28||Eastern Shore Interlude||229|
|33||Guests in Our Own Home||272|
|35||Cooking, on Schedule||294|
|36||The Tart that Took a Year to Bake||305|
|37||And So to Wed||314|
|Index to Recipes||330|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's ironic that Hesser is a professional writer, because the writing quality in this collection of essays is pretty poor. It is colloquial ('Mind you,..."), it is cloying, it is insipid and elitist. There is a difference between spoken language and written language that Hesser does not seem to grasp. I had to stifle the urge to roll my eyes for most of the book, especially reading about Hesser's proudly gluttonous escapades in Italy with her commoner grandmother. Unfortunately, I read the whole thing, because I like food, and I wondered how much worse it could get. It did not get too much worse, and I have to admit that some of the recipes look like they might be worth trying, though almost none are her own, having been borrowed from restaurants and cookbooks.
More a food diary with recipes than a proper memoir, I was reading this as I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner. It gave me a chuckle to realize just how horrified Hesser would be to have to eat at my house, what with the frozen blocks of squash pried out of their boxes and thawed, the boxes of dried corn torn open and rehydrated, the bag of processed stuffing cubes dumped into a bowl before being crammed into the turkey. While I might not be a gourmet cook, I do all right and we enjoy it. Hesser would, however, find the amount of real butter I used making that meal to be perfectly acceptable, I think. In any case, she did earn my respect by admiting that she has made the mistake of trying to speed up the mashed potatoes by using a mixer, at which point the potatoes turn into something with the consistency of silly putty (her description). I've done that too (only once). But this is not a book about her life in the kitchen per se, but more about her attitude towards food, eating, and how, as a published foodie, that permeates her entire life.Ostensibly arranged around first meeting her boyfriend and then forging a lasting relationship, this book is composed of short chapters finished off by recipes either inspired by the story in the chapter or fitting the theme in some way. There are interesting tidbits here but not a real narrative line, which is only a problem if the reader goes into the book looking for more memoir, fewer philosophical musings on food, its preparation, its consumption, and its importance beyond simple nurishment. As the pieces were mostly written as installments for the New York Times Magazine, the episodic feel to the book is understandable even if it might have been more appealing had it held together a bit more. It was a decent enough piece of writing but left me slightly disappointed that it hadn't turned out to be more--more of a memoir with a few recipes or more of a cooking narrative with only a few personal asides. That it tried to straddle these two things instead of committing to the depth of one or the other weakened it as a whole. I have yet to try any of the recipes (see Thanksgiving comments above) but I do have some flagged to try. Of course, given my obviously plebian tastes and Hesser's more sophisticated palate, we could have a misconnect food-wise but I'm hoping the recipes make up for the otherwise tepid reading.
I picked up a used copy at the Paramus. NJ B&N store. I collect cookbooks but to have a story to go with each of the recipies is just the best. The book is a collection of short stories, and I just loved it. The nice thing is when you are done with the book you can go back and try some of the recpies.
Courting a foodie is not always easy. However Hesser's self-depreciation in her food oriented world can give any single girl hope - that she will find a soul-mate who doesn't always share all her interests. At the same time there is enough for the food lover who enjoys well-written prose and insider musings on the food world. The characters are well-drawn and Hesser's love for her world shines through making this an up-lifting and easy read.
Amanda Hesser has been hailed as the next great American food writer since MFK Fisher. That's probably fair, because Fisher was boring too. I don't think I've ever read the story of an engagement that came off as flat as Hesser's does. It may be some sort of desire to be Hemingwayesque, but her writing just doesn't convey any of the pizazz of cooking that keeps so many of us going back to the kitchen. The recipes aren't terribly interesting, either-- it's lemon zest and creme fraiche over and over again. Trendy, yes. Cookable, no.
This is one of those books that I hated putting down, but would force myself to do so anyway because I truly didn't want the book to end. I'd read some of the recipes aloud to my husband and we'd both start to drool. I also found myself completely involved in the story of their relationship, their struggles, and their ultimate happy ending.
This is an excellent read, but the recipes haven't turned out as delicious as I had hoped. Of course, Ms. Hesser/Friend would probably blame it on me or my ingredients. The choclote dump-it cake wasn't as great as I expected. I found her to be quite irritating towards the end of the book. Not just a food snob, but a snob snob. I didn't think they would ever get marry because Mr. Latte could't wash the dishes the way she liked.
Am glad I read this book before reading the somewhat negative reviews. Comments quoted from Publishers Weekly etc. seem so off base, ignoring Hesser's light touch and sense of humor. Each chapter is fun, and just long enough to inspire a trip to the kitchen to try a new receipe (carefully written to inspire confidence in a novice while providing helpful hints for the most experienced cook). She is a fabulous writer!
I loved reading this diary/ recipe book and have tried a few recipes from it. The oven fried chicken was fabulous and there are many more recipes I cannot wait to try, like the dump it chocolate cake. This book is perfect, and is a combination of my favourite types of books: recipes with stories.