DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

foodies

Aug 6 2010

ShareReads: YUM!

by ShareReads

ShareReads appears on the DCPLive blog on Fridays. Each week, a different person will share a little about what they’re currently reading, and why they like or don’t like it. The heart of ShareReads will be responses from blog readers, and the window of opportunity here is wide. Feel free to respond and discuss the book or author being mentioned, ask or answer a question, or even take the conversation in a different direction: mention what you are currently reading, and how you feel about it. The point of ShareReads is to have an ongoing discussion about books and reading. Remember: posting a response also counts as an activity for the Summer Reading for Adults program.

My passion for books and my passion for food and cooking may seem disparate on the surface, but there are many similarities.  The layers and textures found in an expertly prepared meal are as enjoyable to consume as a triumphant work of fiction.  I appreciate the artistry of a well-constructed menu or dish in the same way that I recognize quality in literature.  Julia Child’s My Life in France combined these two loves for me in one perfect reading experience.  Her memoir, written with her husband’s grand-nephew, Alex Prud’homme, reflects on a life lived to the full.  She writes about France from the fresh perspective of a woman who had never been to Europe, didn’t know the language, and was amazed and entranced by the warmth and humanity of the French people.  She and her husband Paul moved to Paris, where he was assigned to work at the American Embassy, in 1948.  Shortly after arriving, they enjoyed what she considered to be a perfect meal at a small restaurant in Rouen, and this was the start of her love for French cuisine, culture, and people.  This passion led to enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu, and from there, the cookbooks, TV show, and life as a beloved food celebrity.

This book is worth reading for Child’s evocative descriptions of the culture and spirit of Paris, Marseille (where they moved after a few years), and the French countryside.  She introduces the shopkeepers, greengrocers, wine merchants, culinary instructors, and restaurant owners as dear friends and sources of inspiration.  Such a large part of her life in France and later was consumed by work on her masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and reading about the trials and successes surrounding that process is like gaining access to a quintessential culinary event with a backstage pass.  Most of all, Julia Child’s meals—what she cooked, what she ate—are described in such loving detail, you must read for yourself to fully appreciate.

Julia Child savored life, lived it with passion, and conveys that passion in My Life in France. Enjoy, and Bon Appetit!

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Jun 10 2010

Local, Organic, and Slow

by Jimmy L

Do you know where your food comes from?  Neither did I, until a couple of months ago; I used to buy food from the big supermarkets.  But, partially fueled by books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and movies like Food, Inc., there has been a recent surge of interest in this question of where our food comes from, and what chemicals have been put into it.  I’ve not read or seen these books or documentaries myself, as I have a huge fear of finding out all the horribly true facts that I’m totally happy ignoring.  However, I’ve started going to local organic farmers markets, which are cropping up all over the place.  Even if you didn’t care where your food comes from, it’s still a refreshing experience attending these markets.  Each farmer sells you his or her veggies, fruit, meat, milk, eggs, pastries and/or cheeses themselves.  I find it especially reassuring that each of my dozen eggs is of a different size and shape, which is the way it should be!  And they taste much better than grocery store bought eggs.  Also, I know that my vegetables are freshly harvested from Georgia clay often within the last 24 hours, instead of being trucked across the country from who knows where.  Here are some of the local organic farmers markets that I’m aware of.  If you know of any others in or around DeKalb County, please share with us in the comments section…

  • Decatur Farmers Market – there is one every Wednesday at the corner of Church and Commerce from 4pm to 7pm (Winter hours are 3pm to 6pm).  There’s also one run by the same people on Saturdays, from 9am to Noon across the street from Chic-Fil-A on N. McDonough.
  • East Lake Farmers Market – Saturdays from 9am to 1pm at the corner of Hosea L. Williams Dr SE & 2nd Ave SE.
  • East Atlanta Village Farmers Market – Thursdays 4pm to 8pm May thru November at 1231 Glenwood Ave (Village Hardware)

More books and movies about eating locally grown organic food that I haven’t read:

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Apr 21 2010

My Favorite Foodies

by Jnai W

I love Food. I’ll be the first to own the fact that my love of Food has expanded my waist line and made my butt bigger but who cares? It’s not Food’s fault.  Today I’d like to take a moment to recognize some of my favorite fellow foodies, whether they be esteemed chefs or just really good people who like to eat.  Please consider the following food appreciators:

Jamie Oliver: I’ve just gotten hooked on his new ABC show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  Jamie Oliver, a.k.a “The Naked Chef” (yum!), is on a mission to save America from poor eating habits and overly-processed rubbish disguised as food. So far, based on the premiere episode, he has been met with stiff opposition from defensive locals, red-tape bound cafeteria ladies and school children who prefer breakfast pizza and strawberry-flavored milk over anything nutritious and normal colored. You’d have to watch the show to see if he can soften the cholesterol-caked hearts of the masses and start a food revolution. But you can trek down to The Library to check out books by The Naked Chef.

Nigella Lawson:  She is one of my favorite foodies and her story is rather remarkable to me. Not a trained chef or cook, Lawson is instead a journalist and food writer who began her career as a food critic.  She has long since become an icon in cookery and food appreciation in the U.K and the U.S. I like the fact that she takes a relaxed and loving approach to the culinary arts. She’s also gorgeous and sultry; truly a food romantic.

Justin Wilson: I remember as a kid watching cooking shows on PBS with my mother. Among such notable chefs as Martin Yan, Jacques Pepin and, of course, Julia Child is another favorite of mine, Justin Wilson. I remember being struck by the visage of a large man in a bow-tie and a thick, drawling Cajun accent. My siblings and I would mimic his catchphrase (“I gerr-own-tee!”) and mispronouncing Worcestershire sauce (“Whats-dis-here sauce?”). I was pleased when I noticed that the Library has several of his cookbooks, chock full of recipes for great Cajun cooking.

Top Chef:  As Bravo Television’s best reality show since Project Runway, Top Chef brings together contestants from around the country to compete for coveted prizes and the prestige of being crowned “Top Chef”.  My only gripe about this show has been the fact that, unlike standard cooking shows, recipes aren’t provided during the episode. Luckily, there are now at least 2 Top Chef cookbooks available, allowing fans to partake of some of the tasty-looking dishes.

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Jul 13 2009

Paula Deen would be so proud!

by Amanda L

If you know anything about Paula Deen, you know she likes butter.  I have to confess that I like to have butter on a variety of dishes too.  Butter has been around forever. In fact, it is said to have been around two thousand years before Christ. As all good things, it was discovered by mistake when people were collecting a variety of milks and kept stirring the liquids which turned into what we know today as butter.

I discovered a great website devoted to butter. The website is interestingly enough called Butter through the Ages. The site is part of WebExhibits an interactive online non-profit museum.

Butter was the only food that the United States Congress defined before the creation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 . Did you know that it takes 21 pounds of cows milk to make a pound of butter? The site includes a lot of interesting facts including the history, how it’s made, how to cook with it, and the composition of it .

The library of course has books on butter and a variety of Paula Deen’s cookbooks. Here is a sampling of books we have on butter:

butter

The Great Big Butter Cookbook: because everything is better with butter

Butter

einstein

What Einstein told his Cook

on-food

On Food and Cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen

paula

Paula Deen’s books

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