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Share the unsurpassed pleasures of discovering, cooking, and eating good, simple food with this beloved book. Equal parts cookbook and memoir, Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" combines her insightful, good-humored writing style with her lifelong passion for wonderful cuisine in essays such as "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant," "Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir," and "Stuffe Share the unsurpassed pleasures of discovering, cooking, and eating good, simple food with this beloved book. Equal parts cookbook and memoir, Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" combines her insightful, good-humored writing style with her lifelong passion for wonderful cuisine in essays such as "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant," "Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir," and "Stuffed Breast of Veal: A Bad Idea." "Home Cooking" is truly a feast for body and soul.


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Share the unsurpassed pleasures of discovering, cooking, and eating good, simple food with this beloved book. Equal parts cookbook and memoir, Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" combines her insightful, good-humored writing style with her lifelong passion for wonderful cuisine in essays such as "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant," "Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir," and "Stuffe Share the unsurpassed pleasures of discovering, cooking, and eating good, simple food with this beloved book. Equal parts cookbook and memoir, Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" combines her insightful, good-humored writing style with her lifelong passion for wonderful cuisine in essays such as "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant," "Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir," and "Stuffed Breast of Veal: A Bad Idea." "Home Cooking" is truly a feast for body and soul.

30 review for Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    My good friend Rachel B and her mom have read Laurie Colwin for years. I always noticed a row of her novels in their home outside Cambridge, MA. Never before my visits had I seen her books, but I happened upon Clothilde (sp) from Chocolate and Zucchini mentioning Laurie Colwin's exquisite food writing. So when it came time for me to buy Rachel some presents as a "thank you for hosting me in San Francisco" gift, I knew that one item had to be the collected food writing of Laurie Colwin. And that My good friend Rachel B and her mom have read Laurie Colwin for years. I always noticed a row of her novels in their home outside Cambridge, MA. Never before my visits had I seen her books, but I happened upon Clothilde (sp) from Chocolate and Zucchini mentioning Laurie Colwin's exquisite food writing. So when it came time for me to buy Rachel some presents as a "thank you for hosting me in San Francisco" gift, I knew that one item had to be the collected food writing of Laurie Colwin. And that I needed this gift, too. Interestingly, I've been very sparing with these essays. For a number of days, I read just one a night before going to sleep. Then two. And tonight I read the last 75 pages in one sitting. It's almost 1 am and I'm like a kid who desperately needed to eat every last crumb from the brownie pan. I need to go get the other collection of food essays, read her novels and also use her recipe for gingerbread sometime very soon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    First Second Books

    I gave my mom a copy of Lucy Knisley's RELISH, and in turn she pointed me to Laurie Colwin, who pioneered the food-and-recipe-driven essay style that Lucy so deftly reinvented in the graphic novel format. I read most of this book on my iphone, in the dark, between the hours of 2 and 5am, awake with a 3-week-old baby. It was exactly what I needed then - comforting and funny and nostalgic, sending me on a pleasant, hazy, remembrance of my own early childhood in Boulder in the 1980s when arugula wa I gave my mom a copy of Lucy Knisley's RELISH, and in turn she pointed me to Laurie Colwin, who pioneered the food-and-recipe-driven essay style that Lucy so deftly reinvented in the graphic novel format. I read most of this book on my iphone, in the dark, between the hours of 2 and 5am, awake with a 3-week-old baby. It was exactly what I needed then - comforting and funny and nostalgic, sending me on a pleasant, hazy, remembrance of my own early childhood in Boulder in the 1980s when arugula was an exotic delicacy and many of the staples of today's kitchens could only be found in crunchy-granola health food stores like the Pearl Street Market.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    I haven't read this author at all -- I just happened to see the cover online and want to track down the book and find out who painted it. I haven't read this author at all -- I just happened to see the cover online and want to track down the book and find out who painted it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    I haven't run across much food writing that can make me laugh out loud, but this book did just that. These are chatty, revelatory, often humorous essays on cooking, entertaining, and domestic life in general. Colwin's approach is warm and accessible. You need not be a cook to enjoy the book, but it might make you want to start using your kitchen for more than just the microwave oven. There are informal recipes scattered throughout the book, and some more formal ones at the end of most of the ess I haven't run across much food writing that can make me laugh out loud, but this book did just that. These are chatty, revelatory, often humorous essays on cooking, entertaining, and domestic life in general. Colwin's approach is warm and accessible. You need not be a cook to enjoy the book, but it might make you want to start using your kitchen for more than just the microwave oven. There are informal recipes scattered throughout the book, and some more formal ones at the end of most of the essays. She demystifies daunting tasks such as baking bread, and encourages the reader to "always try everything, even if it turns out to be a dud. We learn by doing." If you've had your share of kitchen disasters, Colwin is here to commiserate. She shares some of her worst mistakes, as well as a few of the disgusting foods other people have tried to feed her. There's her attempt at Dundee Cake, where her guests were served "a ring of buttered sawdust in which was embedded a series of jujubes." And then there was the peculiarly crunchy tortellini she served to some guests who had been smoking a lot of marijuana, after which one of them said, "Hey, wouldn't it be groovy if we could dump this whatever it is in the garbage and go out for dinner?" The 33 essays range from basics like fried chicken and potato salad to special cases such as How to Avoid Grilling, How to Disguise Vegetables, and Kitchen Horrors. The variety of topics makes the book especially useful and much more enjoyable to read. I'll be keeping it on hand for kitchen reference, and just for laughs.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This was my second read on this book. While I enjoyed it, I also felt like perhaps me, as a cook, has changed. Or me as a reader has changed. Maybe I've read too many incredible food memoirs in the meantime, or my skills have improved. This time I sort of felt like I was getting advice from a 1970s earth mother in a room with a spider plant. This is not to say I didn't identify with her ("Because I am always hungry, I myself eschew hors d'oeuvres. When they come my way, I eat too many and then I This was my second read on this book. While I enjoyed it, I also felt like perhaps me, as a cook, has changed. Or me as a reader has changed. Maybe I've read too many incredible food memoirs in the meantime, or my skills have improved. This time I sort of felt like I was getting advice from a 1970s earth mother in a room with a spider plant. This is not to say I didn't identify with her ("Because I am always hungry, I myself eschew hors d'oeuvres. When they come my way, I eat too many and then I am full by the time I reach the table. This does not, however, prevent me from cleaning my plate and then I am angry at myself for eating too much.") Ah, this is me. This is also not to say I didn't take away nuggets of wisdom: "Always try everything even it turns out to be a dud. We learn by doing. If you never stuff a chicken with paté, you will never know that it is an unwise thing to do, and if you never buy zucchini flowers you will never know that you are missing one of the glories of life." Reading this was like having a friend in the kitchen, talking ever so quietly to you as you cook. Maybe I've been reading too much Melissa Clark, who is a "louder" talker to me in the kitchen, and who is fresh, young, daring, and adventurous. While I enjoyed reading this and didn't give one thought to putting it down, I was a little disappointed it didn't affect me like it did the first time I read it. Sometimes, you CAN'T go home again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Reading Laurie Colwin is like sitting in a friend's kitchen sharing a cup of tea. She shares favorite recipes, dining experiences and opinions on food along with stories of notable disasters. This book is the food writer's version of comfort food. The recipes are good and the cooking advice is sound. The creamed spinach with jalapenos is wonderful, the gingerbread delicious, and the potato salad very good. I enjoy rereading it every January while there is snow on the ground and think about it wh Reading Laurie Colwin is like sitting in a friend's kitchen sharing a cup of tea. She shares favorite recipes, dining experiences and opinions on food along with stories of notable disasters. This book is the food writer's version of comfort food. The recipes are good and the cooking advice is sound. The creamed spinach with jalapenos is wonderful, the gingerbread delicious, and the potato salad very good. I enjoy rereading it every January while there is snow on the ground and think about it when peppers and eggplant are in season. Like Laurie, I fry them in olive oil for myself when no one else is around.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christine PNW

    Laurie Colwin died very young. I discovered her when I was in law school - a friend of mine had picked up her last book A Big Storm Knocked It Over: A Novel and pressed it on me with the fervor of an evangelical, telling me that this book, this book was everything to her. I didn't know it then, but Laurie Colwin was already dead of a heart attack. I read A Big Storm Knocked It Over, and then went on to read Happy All the Time, a book that I still own, that I left out in the rain and has a cover t Laurie Colwin died very young. I discovered her when I was in law school - a friend of mine had picked up her last book A Big Storm Knocked It Over: A Novel and pressed it on me with the fervor of an evangelical, telling me that this book, this book was everything to her. I didn't know it then, but Laurie Colwin was already dead of a heart attack. I read A Big Storm Knocked It Over, and then went on to read Happy All the Time, a book that I still own, that I left out in the rain and has a cover that separated and then dried in wrinkles, and Family Happiness, and then I discovered Laurie Colwin's food writing, and I read this book, and More Home Cooking, both of which I checked out of the public library. And then I learned that she had died, a year before I had even discovered her and I felt grief because there would be no more books by Laurie Colwin and I hadn't even known it. Home Cooking is an oddly wonderful book, a collection of stories about food written by someone who told stories about food and friendship and how food is friendship, and sometimes friendship is food. She's funny and self-deprecating and would have been a lovely person to sit down and have a meal with, and I've always wanted to make her gingerbread. Maybe someday I will.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beth Bonini

    I was thinking about "comfort reading" (for #bookstagram purposes) and this is one of the first books that came to mind. It's impossible to even guess how many times I have read this dear, dear friend. In her foreword to this collection of essays on food, Colwin shares this oft-quoted philosophy: "One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends." I wo I was thinking about "comfort reading" (for #bookstagram purposes) and this is one of the first books that came to mind. It's impossible to even guess how many times I have read this dear, dear friend. In her foreword to this collection of essays on food, Colwin shares this oft-quoted philosophy: "One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends." I would add: one of the delights of my life is drinking tea and eating a thick slice of gingerbread cake whilst rereading this charming, humorous book for the umpteenth time. This is not a book that I actually cook from all that often, and I will admit that some of the recipes are a bit hinky, but for reading about food, and the pleasures of sharing it, I cannot think of a book that I would recommend more . . . except perhaps for its follow-up, More Home Cooking. Colwin's turn of phrase and delicious sense of humour is entirely to my taste. One of my favourite chapters is actually titled: Repulsive Dinners: A Memoir. I was going to quote some of my favourite lines from it, but then I realised (after rereading it) that they are all my favourites. Note: I was given my copy of Home Cooking by Martha Smith in 1990. Treasures: both the cookbook and the friend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol Bakker

    Laurie Colwin is plain winsome. Her (writing) voice is capable, soothing, wry, funny, unassuming. I moseyed my way through her comfort-filled chapters. I'm conflicted about the decision to keep or release this book. It's reassuring reading you could pick up, read a random chapter, and set down again. I do not believe you have to spend a lot of money to eat well: it is hard to beat a plain old baked potato. A long time ago it occurred to me that when people are tired and hungry, which in adult lif Laurie Colwin is plain winsome. Her (writing) voice is capable, soothing, wry, funny, unassuming. I moseyed my way through her comfort-filled chapters. I'm conflicted about the decision to keep or release this book. It's reassuring reading you could pick up, read a random chapter, and set down again. I do not believe you have to spend a lot of money to eat well: it is hard to beat a plain old baked potato. A long time ago it occurred to me that when people are tired and hungry, which in adult life is much of the time, they do not want to be confronted by an intellectually challenging meal: they want to be consoled. Dishes such as shepherd's pie and chicken soup are a kind of edible therapy. Vegetarians, for example, are enough to drive anyone crazy. Like Protestants, they come in a number of denominations. I flagged ten recipes to try. I'm intrigued by the Latvian Birthday Cake, one she calls a saffron-flavored coffee cake. I have precious saffron from the Istanbul Spice Bazaar waiting for worthy recipes! Really, there are so many things I appreciated, like this list of items worth spending money for: sweet butter, good olive oil, high-quality vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, fresh herbs, raw sugar. So sad: Laurie Colwin didn't wake up one morning when she was 48. I don't know who put this classic on my radar, but it's been on my TBR list at least ten years. I have her companion book, More Home Cooking on my nightstand.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly R W

    After reading so many accolades about Laurie Colwin and her book, "Home Cooking", I wanted to experience it for myself. She holds legendary status in the field of food writing. Sadly, she died in her early forties. Now I understand why her readers and fellow writers adored her. Colwin's writing is lively, opinionated and fun. Reading her is like talking with a good friend. As she writes of her food adventures, bits of her personal life are shared. I would call "Home Cooking" a food memoir rather After reading so many accolades about Laurie Colwin and her book, "Home Cooking", I wanted to experience it for myself. She holds legendary status in the field of food writing. Sadly, she died in her early forties. Now I understand why her readers and fellow writers adored her. Colwin's writing is lively, opinionated and fun. Reading her is like talking with a good friend. As she writes of her food adventures, bits of her personal life are shared. I would call "Home Cooking" a food memoir rather than a cook book, although she shares recipes too. Not every recipe sounds that appealing to me. Stand-out essays for me personally are: Red Peppers, English Food, and Without Salt. I was gratified to learn that my beef stew recipe is the same as Colwin's. I was also interested that she had translated author Isaac B. Singer's book "In My Father's Court" from Yiddish to English, a book I have also read. It's no wonder why Colwin's writing has so many fans.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie Durnell

    A treasure of both essay-type memoirs and recipes! I've not read any of Laurie Colwin before but this was a great one to start with. The "Kitchen Horrors" chapter is laugh out loud funny and there are many amusing moments-some aimed at her and some at others. Her recipes are down-home, tried and true with a hint of gourmet to shake it up! Can't wait to read the second book, More Home Cooking! A treasure of both essay-type memoirs and recipes! I've not read any of Laurie Colwin before but this was a great one to start with. The "Kitchen Horrors" chapter is laugh out loud funny and there are many amusing moments-some aimed at her and some at others. Her recipes are down-home, tried and true with a hint of gourmet to shake it up! Can't wait to read the second book, More Home Cooking!

  12. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    For two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I am obsessed with the meal... to brine or not to brine, twice baked or mashed, how many sides, will four pies suffice, etc. Never mind the logistics of fitting everyone around the table or what time dinner should be served. As I fussed with recipes, shopping, and planning, Laurie Colwin was like an old friend whose quiet presence reassured me it would all turn out just fine. During this time, I was too preoccupied to read much, but her short essays were For two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I am obsessed with the meal... to brine or not to brine, twice baked or mashed, how many sides, will four pies suffice, etc. Never mind the logistics of fitting everyone around the table or what time dinner should be served. As I fussed with recipes, shopping, and planning, Laurie Colwin was like an old friend whose quiet presence reassured me it would all turn out just fine. During this time, I was too preoccupied to read much, but her short essays were the perfect diversion. I made time to read a few every evening. By 21st century standards, the essays in Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen certainly feel dated, but Colwin's warmth and personality shine through, so I didn't mind one bit. And that's really the point, anyway. We no longer discuss whether stuffing belongs inside the bird, but our feelings behind the stuffing are timeless. Doesn't every family take pride in their special stuffing recipe? Colwin, a prolific writer of both fiction and nonfiction, died suddenly in 1992 when she was only 48 years old. Last month Open Road Media released her work in ebook format, making it possible for a new generation of digital readers to discover her talent. I hope they do. (I received a copy of this book from Open Road Media via NetGalley for review consideration.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    MargaretDH

    From the essay "The Same Old Things:" Many of my closest friends are sick of my baked chicken, and even when I point out that I know a million variations on this theme, they rightly point out that they have had them all, and more than once. But when the chips are down, the spirit is exhausted and the body hungry, the same old thing is a great consolation. When people who must provide meals are too tired to think of what to cook, those old standbys come to the rescue. These are things a person can From the essay "The Same Old Things:" Many of my closest friends are sick of my baked chicken, and even when I point out that I know a million variations on this theme, they rightly point out that they have had them all, and more than once. But when the chips are down, the spirit is exhausted and the body hungry, the same old thing is a great consolation. When people who must provide meals are too tired to think of what to cook, those old standbys come to the rescue. These are things a person can cook half asleep. This is a really lovely collection about cooking food and feeding it to yourself and others. It's practical, tender and often quite funny. If you are person who likes to cook, I'd very much recommend this book. There is something triumphant about a really disgusting meal. It lingers in the memory with a lurid glow, just as something exalted is remembered with a kind of mellow brilliance. I am not thinking of kitchen disasters - chewy pasta, burnt brownies, curdled sauces: these can happen to anyone. I am thinking about meals that are positively loathsome from soup to nuts, although one is not usually fortunate enough to get either soup or nuts. Colwin's language is insightful, self-deprecating and encouraging. This is just the thing when you're feeling discouraged in the kitchen or in life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tamsen

    For the first 120 pages, I really detested Colwin. Such smug superiority! I put this down a lot. This morning I picked her book of essays again in perhaps a more forgiving mood. I reasoned, that even though she comes off quite snobbish, at least she does share her screw-ups in the kitchen. Not many cooks own up to that fact - cooking is a learning process and one makes a few mistakes along the way. Colwin also shares that sometimes, recipes just do not turn out the way you expect. I liked that. T For the first 120 pages, I really detested Colwin. Such smug superiority! I put this down a lot. This morning I picked her book of essays again in perhaps a more forgiving mood. I reasoned, that even though she comes off quite snobbish, at least she does share her screw-ups in the kitchen. Not many cooks own up to that fact - cooking is a learning process and one makes a few mistakes along the way. Colwin also shares that sometimes, recipes just do not turn out the way you expect. I liked that. Three stars, although I would have given this two most of the way. I really skipped over most of the recipes, as I'm vegetarian (which Colwin puts down as pretentious and obnoxious). I would like to try the gingerbread cake though... I love ginger cookies and have never had a good gingerbread cake. Colwin says, "Its spicy, embracing taste is the perfect thing for a winter afternoon... Besides, gingerbread made from scratch takes very little time and gives back tenfold what you put into it. Baking gingerbread perfumes a house as nothing else. It is good eaten warm or cool, iced or plain." She suggests chocolate or lemon icing. Mmmm.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    Laurie Colwin, who passed away unexpectedly in 1992, was a cook for the rest of us. Although she could make gourmet meals, she typically didn't. She was interested in food, the tastes, the smells, the textures, even the visuals - not the plating like a chef would use, but how does it look when it comes together. She's not afraid of her failures and sees them for the amusement value they provide. In other words, she's not full of herself. She's full of life and joy and the pleasures of food. Ever Laurie Colwin, who passed away unexpectedly in 1992, was a cook for the rest of us. Although she could make gourmet meals, she typically didn't. She was interested in food, the tastes, the smells, the textures, even the visuals - not the plating like a chef would use, but how does it look when it comes together. She's not afraid of her failures and sees them for the amusement value they provide. In other words, she's not full of herself. She's full of life and joy and the pleasures of food. Everything else is incidental. She was a food columnist and a fiction writer. These essays took me into her home and made me feel like we were chatting over tea. I didn't have to dress up. I didn't have to worry about exotic ingredients. I just had to enjoy the moment. Although it is unlikely I will make many of the recipes, what I took away from this book, beyond the basic joy, was how much fun cooking can be even when it is a disaster. After all, there is always pizza.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    There's nothing like a Laurie Colwin book and this is one of the best. She's a lovely and wonderful friend in my head and reading her is just pure comfort and joy. Her outlook on life makes me so happy. Read this! Read everything by her and, when you're done, read it again. There's nothing like a Laurie Colwin book and this is one of the best. She's a lovely and wonderful friend in my head and reading her is just pure comfort and joy. Her outlook on life makes me so happy. Read this! Read everything by her and, when you're done, read it again.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melodie

    This isn't really a cookbook in the traditional sense. It is a collection of essays on food, dining,life experiences that happen to center around food. I tucked into this read with true relish. And I enjoyed every word. Before I knew it, I was done! What to do? Find more from this author right away! This isn't really a cookbook in the traditional sense. It is a collection of essays on food, dining,life experiences that happen to center around food. I tucked into this read with true relish. And I enjoyed every word. Before I knew it, I was done! What to do? Find more from this author right away!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caroline O'Donoghue

    This is a three star cookbook, and five star collection of essays. A friend gave this to me in 2015 with the inscription "Caroline– you don't cook, but when you do, start here". At first I thought this was bad advice, because the recipes are extremely American, the measurements are vague, the ingredients not very easy to find. Some the recipes are dated. There's a heavy preoccupation with stews and casseroles, which – even now, that i can cook – I don't ever make. The reason you read this book b This is a three star cookbook, and five star collection of essays. A friend gave this to me in 2015 with the inscription "Caroline– you don't cook, but when you do, start here". At first I thought this was bad advice, because the recipes are extremely American, the measurements are vague, the ingredients not very easy to find. Some the recipes are dated. There's a heavy preoccupation with stews and casseroles, which – even now, that i can cook – I don't ever make. The reason you read this book before you start cooking is because it psychically places you within the world of food, where meals go wrong, where disasters are frequent, but where the rewards are great. This very slim and chatty book isn't so much about how to cook but how to live a life well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mona Nomura

    'Home Cooking' was published in 1988* so I assumed I would not be able to relate. Boy was I wrong: I was smiling through most of the book. Colwin's writing style is so charming, engaging, honest, and witty, her stories are timeless. This was the most delightful book I've read in a long time. How Laurie Colwin managed to escape my bookshelves for so long is beyond me. I carry either 'Home Cooking' or 'More Home Cooking' (the follow-up) with me everywhere I go. *it was originally published by Knop 'Home Cooking' was published in 1988* so I assumed I would not be able to relate. Boy was I wrong: I was smiling through most of the book. Colwin's writing style is so charming, engaging, honest, and witty, her stories are timeless. This was the most delightful book I've read in a long time. How Laurie Colwin managed to escape my bookshelves for so long is beyond me. I carry either 'Home Cooking' or 'More Home Cooking' (the follow-up) with me everywhere I go. *it was originally published by Knopf Doubleday

  20. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    I just revisited this book as an audio edition, and was as delighted with it as I was with my first reading of the book years ago. Now I am hoping that there is an audio edition of the follow up book, More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, in the offing! I just revisited this book as an audio edition, and was as delighted with it as I was with my first reading of the book years ago. Now I am hoping that there is an audio edition of the follow up book, More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, in the offing!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen is a delightful, albeit slightly dated (published in 1988), collection of essays on home cooking and entertaining. Colwin is at her funniest when describing dinner parties and dishes gone horribly awry, but the tone of the whole is engaging and personal. Her voice is both self-deprecating and assured. If you like to cook, this is definitely worth the read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I ADORE this book. This is the most accessible and enjoyable food writing I have ever read. She maintains a down-to-earth tone and made me actually giggle with her honest reflections on cooking and eating. Love, love, love.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel B

    4.5 stars This is essentially comfort reading. It's not fluffy, but not too taxing on the brain, either. Colwin is funny and relatable; she loves to cook, but doesn't do so professionally, so that reading her book is like listening to a friend - an average cook with her share of food blunders. Like a friend, the author expresses some strong opinions that I disagree with, but it didn't bother me in this book the way it might in others. Since it was published in 1988, there are a few outdated nutrit 4.5 stars This is essentially comfort reading. It's not fluffy, but not too taxing on the brain, either. Colwin is funny and relatable; she loves to cook, but doesn't do so professionally, so that reading her book is like listening to a friend - an average cook with her share of food blunders. Like a friend, the author expresses some strong opinions that I disagree with, but it didn't bother me in this book the way it might in others. Since it was published in 1988, there are a few outdated nutritional comments. There are recipes shared throughout, and some of these do not include amounts for ingredients, which is frustrating for people like me, who aren't experienced enough to know what ratios should be used. There aren't many books that I desire to own after reading, but this is one that I'd like in my personal library - both to reread the essays and to attempt the recipes. "Vegetarians, for example, are enough to drive anyone crazy. Like Protestants, they come in a variety of denominations…. And some people say they are vegetarians when they mean they don't eat red meat, leading you to realize that for some people, chicken is a vegetable." pp 39-40

  24. 4 out of 5

    reading is my hustle

    The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift. -Laurie Colwin    sunday supper is my favorite meal of the week. it's always felt like an ideal day to try new recipes or cook more complicated ones. Laurie Colwin's collection of food essays read like sunday supper. most of the essays are about food, friendship, & the pleasure of sharing both. her re The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift. -Laurie Colwin    sunday supper is my favorite meal of the week. it's always felt like an ideal day to try new recipes or cook more complicated ones. Laurie Colwin's collection of food essays read like sunday supper. most of the essays are about food, friendship, & the pleasure of sharing both. her recipes are meant to nurture & her language matches her delightful opinions: chicken salad is stylish and ladylike. sadly, she passed of a heart attack at 48 years old & though i plan to read her other books i can’t help being a bit sad knowing she is gone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Most of these essays made me laugh out loud at some point or another. The author has some strong opinions about food, cooking and pretty much most things but I’d happily accept an invitation to dinner at her home.

  26. 5 out of 5

    layla :)

    Laurie Colwins writing is engaging,witty,and hilarious in this collection of essays ranging from making a good salad to "kitchen horrors". I especially loved "English Food" and "Alone in the Kitchen with An Eggplant." Laurie Colwins writing is engaging,witty,and hilarious in this collection of essays ranging from making a good salad to "kitchen horrors". I especially loved "English Food" and "Alone in the Kitchen with An Eggplant."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anca

    I adore Laurie Colwin and want to read all of her work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colette

    This is such a lovely book. I had never even heard of this author so was not at all sure what to expect, but I was quickly charmed by her writing: alternately witty, gritty, hilarious, or poignant; always a joy and always with something of value to take away. I will be watching for a copy of my own. A few favorite quotes: “I was once romantically aligned with a young man who I now realize was crazy, but at the time he seemed...romantic.” (This is the first time the book made me laugh, but certainly This is such a lovely book. I had never even heard of this author so was not at all sure what to expect, but I was quickly charmed by her writing: alternately witty, gritty, hilarious, or poignant; always a joy and always with something of value to take away. I will be watching for a copy of my own. A few favorite quotes: “I was once romantically aligned with a young man who I now realize was crazy, but at the time he seemed...romantic.” (This is the first time the book made me laugh, but certainly not the last!) “You do not, of course, want to be responsible for the death of your guests, but sometimes it seems that they will be the death of you.” “A four-star meal is the right thing when a human is well-rested and feeling rich, but it is not much help to the sore in spirit who would be much better off with a big bowl of homemade soup.” “To feel safe and warm on a cold, wet night, all you really need is soup.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike Coleman

    With apologies to Irma Rombauer, THIS is the book that should have been titled "The Joy of Cooking." It's clear in Laurie Colwin's novels that she loved the romantic side of life, and clear in this lovely collection of essays about cooking and casual entertaining that she loved her romance with food, too--not just eating it, but preparing it, talking about it, writing about it. Some cooks can be downright imperious about food, its sourcing and preparation, but Colwin believes it is a medium to un With apologies to Irma Rombauer, THIS is the book that should have been titled "The Joy of Cooking." It's clear in Laurie Colwin's novels that she loved the romantic side of life, and clear in this lovely collection of essays about cooking and casual entertaining that she loved her romance with food, too--not just eating it, but preparing it, talking about it, writing about it. Some cooks can be downright imperious about food, its sourcing and preparation, but Colwin believes it is a medium to unite rather than separate us. She happily describes her failures in the kitchen as well as her successes, of which there were many. Wonderful recipes abound here--creamed spinach with jalapenos and bread crumbs, an exotic West Indian Black Cake, a beef stew with clove-studded onions that makes me yearn for cold weather so I can prepare it, and fried chicken "so good it makes people want to stand up and sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'" And how can you not love a writer who writes: "Invention is the necessity of mothers?" (This in an essay on how she cleverly stretches a green salad to accommodate a friend and her daughter who unexpectedly drop by for lunch.) The book is often hilarious. The essay, "Repulsive Meals: A Memoir," is a personal fave. And another essay has led me to contemplate whether it is possible to fall in love with someone over the way she describes her gingerbread recipe. Originally published in 1988, "Home Cooking" contains some homey comments underscoring how things have changed since those days. Colwin admits, for example, that she doesn't use a microwave because she is afraid of it, and isn't impressed with food processors, either, or anything else that smacks of snobbery about food. Still, her approach to cooking is as refreshing today as it was three decades ago when she wrote a column for Gourmet magazine that won a big following for its non-fussy approach to the culinary arts. Fortunately, there is a bit of a Laurie Colwin renaissance going on today, and I'm officially on the bandwagon. Read more about this delightful writer, who left us far too early in 1992 at the age of 48, and her work in a recent New York Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/din....

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    The only thing worse than reading a book and loving it and then finding out that it's the only book a writer has produced so far … is reading a book and loving it and then finding out that the author passed away hideously young. Reading the biography at the end of the book – and I'm glad it was at the end and not the beginning – came like a bolt from the blue: never saw it coming. Suddenly all the loving stories of her daughter made me want to cry. Such is, I'm afraid, the case with Laurie Colwin The only thing worse than reading a book and loving it and then finding out that it's the only book a writer has produced so far … is reading a book and loving it and then finding out that the author passed away hideously young. Reading the biography at the end of the book – and I'm glad it was at the end and not the beginning – came like a bolt from the blue: never saw it coming. Suddenly all the loving stories of her daughter made me want to cry. Such is, I'm afraid, the case with Laurie Colwin. I enjoyed these essays immensely – and yay for the ability to highlight swathes of text on my Kindle, because I now have a cookbook gleaned from these essays. Funny, poignant, resonant, and – in terms of I'm making a grocery list as I read - inspiring… I can only hope her fiction "feels" the same. (Ooh! There's a "More Home Cooking"! Excellent.) The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review. Many thanks!

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