Monday, November 16, 2009

An Ad Hoc Gift List for Foodies This Holiday Season!

I thought the season would pass without a new cookbook that would awake the desire to rejoice in food and to sample the joy of cooking a perfect roasted chicken or other splendid winter fare, but then Thomas Keller's new cookbook Ad Hoc at Home appeared, just in time. Keller is a genius of a chef and now he has turned his attention to the family table. He is concerned with making you a better and more creative cook with many tips and suggestions for variations.

Also, this season:

Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Generally, I don't recommend specialty cookbooks as gifts but there must be an exception for this new offering by the author of The Cake Bible.

Don't forget that Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros.

Blue Eggs & Yellow Tomatoes
by Jeanne Kelley will be new to those folks who peek in the cookbook section once a year. I have found the recipes in Blue Eggs to be amazingly good and not all that complicated.

For the books that aren't all that new, but will sell like hotcakes if not crepes, think of pairings:

Mastering the Art of French Cooking seems to call for a copy of My Life in France.

The Gourmet Today Cookbook ("newly" published, but not so different from The Gourmet Cookbook) should do well since the demise of the magazine, but don't forget to pair with one of the fine books of essays by Ruth Reichl, such as Tender at the Bone.

The Joy of Cooking, a perennial favorite gift book, can be all the more welcome with a copy of Ken Zraly's Windows on The World Complete Wine Course, a well-written introduction to wine (which bears quiet testimony to the restaurant lost in the 9/11 attacks).

Bon Appetit, friends of Julia everywhere.