As a former editor in a bustling New York City accounting firm, Ive come to tackle the task of reviewing cookbooks as I always did each document put upon my desk. Singularly and thoroughly. Im glad that I took the time to enjoy this cookbook, as it deserved every moment of my attention. As a neophyte collector of dusty old cookbooks, I cant help but note here how far weve come in the cookbook genre. My old books start at the basics, assuming their audience to be mainly female, mostly young, and basically inexperienced as to the art of cooking. John Thorne makes different
assumptions in writing his cooking chronicles. In sharing elementary information with his readers, he minimalizes the effort that he applied in reaching his ends, and instead focuses on the means.
This is a cookbook that forces you to relax, sit back, and take pleasure in his lifelong love affair with cooking.
Recipes are tucked serendipitously into chapters filled with musings about the choosing of a good pot, the science of making good toast, and (a gutsy move) The Best Cookies in the World. Yes, I made them, and my guests devoured them without speaking to one another. Granted, my guests were a group of 12-year old boys, but it was tempting not to make another batch later that day to see if we could duplicate the experience.
This book feels like a fascinating text book, without preaching, and has tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps you aware that this author/cook is truly enjoying himself while getting through the process of trial and error and reshaping that which builds a good cookbook.
My family oohed and aahed when I presented a sample platter of Thornes suggested potstickers. I hadnt made enough, and was reminded of that for the duration of the evening. Raos Lemon Chicken was a crowd pleaser, and
I watched with approval as my husband mopped up the remains of the sauce with the last bits of his crusty bread. I served the Silver Dollar Griddlecakes on a snowy Sunday morning. We all overate, and took a long walk to counteract having overdone it. They tasted so fine we couldnt stop.
Nothing new in this book. Nothing I havent seen before, but I like John Thornes style, and Im very happy to add his useful book to my collection.