Have You Read?: Cooking (with) the books
There is something to be said for cooking at home and sharing food with good friends and family. The following cookbooks are just a sample of what is available at the Lake Tahoe branch of the Douglas County Library in Zephyr Cove.
“The Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You’ll Make Over and Over Again,” by Ina Garten, celebrates the idea of cooking, eating and entertaining at home. With elegant dishes like portobello mushroom lasagna, the author uses simple recipes with the best fresh ingredients. The chapters in this book are arranged by meals, i.e., breakfast and dinner, with other chapters on vegetables and dessert. The final chapter of sample menus refers to recipes in the book. The book is well-written and easy to follow, with many color pictures.
As it proclaims on the cover, the 75th anniversary edition of the “Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker is one of America’s best-loved cookbooks. “Joy of Cooking” contains a comprehensive list of recipes that generations of cooks have used. Returning to the quaint writing style of the original 1931 book, this updated edition includes many of Irma’s helpful hints. When discussing how to cook an omelet, the reader is told that, “The rhythm of the pan and the stirring is like a child’s trick of patting the head while rubbing the stomach.” Your mother was right: This cookbook will show you how to cook just about anything.
Kids need time in the kitchen, too. With her usual high-energy style, Rachael Ray’s “Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids” is a good choice for children and parents. A chapter titled “Kitchen Basics” introduces kids to cooking techniques and kitchen safety. Other chapters are grouped by age-appropriate recipes. Fun, attractive meal ideas, such as barbecue chicken pizzas and Absolutely Fabulous 5-Minute Fudge, will appeal to any aspiring chef.
The library also stocks a number of older, well-known cookbooks. For example, “Beard on Bread” by James Beard is a classic American cookbook. Breadmaking was Beard’s favorite subject, and it shows in this book. The writing is well-done, and his observations on breadmaking techniques and ingredients are thorough. This book is for any person wanting to know more about making bread.
These books and many more on food and cooking can be found at the Zephyr Cove Library, located at 233 Warrior Way. For more information, call the library at (775) 588-6411.
– Dan Doyle is senior library technician at the Douglas County Public Library.