An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace

An Everlasting Meal Cooking with Economy and Grace Reviving the inspiring message of M F K Fisher s How to Cook a Wolf written in during wartime shortages An Everlasting Meal shows that cooking is the path to better eating Through the insightful

  • Title: An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace
  • Author: Tamar Adler Alice Waters
  • ISBN: 9781439181874
  • Page: 416
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Reviving the inspiring message of M F K Fisher s How to Cook a Wolf written in 1942 during wartime shortages An Everlasting Meal shows that cooking is the path to better eating Through the insightful essays in An Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler issues a rallying cry to home cooks In chapters about boiling water, cooking eggs and beans, and summoning respectable meals fReviving the inspiring message of M F K Fisher s How to Cook a Wolf written in 1942 during wartime shortages An Everlasting Meal shows that cooking is the path to better eating Through the insightful essays in An Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler issues a rallying cry to home cooks In chapters about boiling water, cooking eggs and beans, and summoning respectable meals from empty cupboards, Tamar weaves philosophy and instruction into approachable lessons on instinctive cooking Tamar shows how to make the most of everything you buy, demonstrating what the world s great chefs know that great meals rely on the bones and peels and ends of meals before them She explains how to smarten up simple food and gives advice for fixing dishes gone awry She recommends turning to neglected onions, celery, and potatoes for inexpensive meals that taste full of fresh vegetables, and cooking meat and fish resourcefully By wresting cooking from doctrine and doldrums, Tamar encourages readers to begin from wherever they are, with whatever they have An Everlasting Meal is elegant testimony to the value of cooking and an empowering, indispensable tool for eaters today.

    329 Comment

    • Chris says:

      Adler's chapter titles (which are lovely) acknowledge her debt to MFK Fisher, and Fisher's style is clearly what Adler is shooting for. Unfortunately, she lacks Fisher's genius of finding the unexpectedly perfect word, and too often she misses and lands on twee, pretentious or just meaningless. There's nothing particularly solemn about cauliflower stalks; capers do not taste anything like pebbles; and I have never been bewildered by a breakfast of cold pasta, no matter how delicious.I'm being un [...]

    • Irena Smith says:

      This book changed my life. I'm not even kidding. I now make my own beans, and her dead simple (and incredible) parsley oil, and roast farmers market vegetables as soon as I get home, which fills the house with amazing aromas and the fridge with food for the week. Tamar Adler writes about parsley, and boiling water, and roasting vegetables with a grace and lyricism that elevates the act of cooking and eating to poetry. There are lines like this, for example, when she exhorts the reader to toast a [...]

    • Steven says:

      Interesting ideas about how to think about cooking, rather than recipes per se. The book is ridiculously and distractingly overwritten, though. Many of the sentences read like a bizarre parodies of contemporary food writing. The overly descriptive writing just doesn't jive with Adler's call for simple-yet-smart cooking. Helen Nearing's Simple Food for the Good Life or Tom Colicchio's supremely underrated Think Life a Chef both would have served as great templates/role models for this. Good food [...]

    • Kelly Bragg says:

      READISOK. When I began reading An Everlasting Meal, I was struck by how beautifully Tamar Adler described food she cooks - not just the usual how does it smell, how does it taste - but with glowing descriptions of the texture, feel, and appearance. When she describes a meal, you are right there with her! It wasn't far into the book that I decided that I simply MUST have a copy to call my very own. Not long after that, I realized that one of the reasons I loved this book so much is that it remind [...]

    • Ce Ce says:

      Remove the word "foodie". Forget the gadgets. Pull any old pot out. Fill it with water. Light a fire. Rummage around. Create. Let your senses take over. Taste, taste and taste once more. Food is sustenance. Grace. And a giftdy and soul ourselves and our friends. Waste not. Want not. Influenced by the first chapters, while I was making one meal I piled the vegetable scraps and skins I would generally toss into the compost into a big pot and covered them with water and the bit of beer I had leftov [...]

    • Kate says:

      If I could go back in time for just a couple of days, one of the things I'd like to do is sit down with my grandmothers and let them teach me all of those little secrets they knew about getting a meal to turn out just right. Born in the 1880's, both grandmother's knew how to cook before there were such things as degrees on oven dials. They used real ingredients, very few came from a box. What I remember of them cooking from when I was a little girl, their hands moved instinctively. Just a taste [...]

    • sharon says:

      In an age when every recipe seems to come with a list of ingredients as long as my arm, Tamar Adler's approach to food is disarmingly simple, refreshingly intuitive, and utterly sensible. I found her suggestions for what to do with the odds and ends of dishes particularly helpful. (I'll never stare at a giant bunch of parsley or a rind of Parmesan with bewilderment again!) The night I finished the book, I found myself confronted with rather bare cupboards and, armed with Adler's injunctions and [...]

    • Janet says:

      I heartily recommend this book to anybody who used to love to prepare good and sustaining meals but who's lost inspiration in the wake of so many cooking shows, food blogs and Pinterest. When I was growing up, my mom cooked every meal, every day, for years. While it was drudgery to her, the meals never reflected that. She grew up knowing true hunger and learned how to prepare food with economy, but not with parsimony. She used quality ingredients, fresh and in season, always prepared correctly - [...]

    • Nick Klagge says:

      As I'm writing this, I'm making something from this book, a recipe that Elise and I (affectionately) refer to as "butt pesto." (You'll have to ask me.)This is one of my favorite books about food I've ever read. It's patterned as a modern homage to MFK Fisher's book "How to Cook a Wolf." While I also enjoyed the MFKF book, TA's book has had much more of an actual impact on my life with food. What I think makes this book so special is that it is not about food in isolation ("here are a bunch of th [...]

    • Sarah says:

      I've heard a number of people saying they love this book and I see the appeal. But it wasn't for me. The writing was too precious and prescriptive for my taste and, having a lot of experience with using up every last bit of food by necessity, I didn't learn a lot from the content. (I also am wary of her advice. She made a number of claims that suggest that we have very different tastes- for example, that broccoli stems are delicious if you cook them long enough. Broccoli stems are in fact delici [...]

    • Nerdette Podcast says:

      I don't say things like this lightly, so listen up: This book changed my life. It is so simple and lovely and useful and delicious.

    • Janice says:

      Humorless, pretentious, preachy, and nearly every chapter starts with "M.F.K. Fisher says" Adler immediately states that Fisher is an influence, but in my opinion, she does not add anything new or unique to the dialogue about thoughtful, economical, and graceful cooking. Not being familiar with her any of previous work, her authoritarian tone (e.g "Children must help shell peas.") was off-putting. I would much rather read Nigel Slater, Simon Hopkinson, Fergus Henderson, Melissa Clark, Mark Bittm [...]

    • Marya Dumont says:

      This cookbook was inspirational not in the usual bookmark-to-later-try-a-recipe way, but in a soulful, lasting way. The author's simple yet clever descriptions and transparent adoration of good food warmed my heart and yes, changed how I think about cooking. Before moving house I finally cooked up that bag of beans and it became a warm soft mash beside a Fiorentina-style steak, then part of a breakfast fry-up with apple slices, then (best of all!) an improvised homemade bean with bacon soup. Las [...]

    • Vivian says:

      This book does for practical home cooking what Nina Planck's REAL FOOD does for the consumer by providing a delightful (and much needed) dose of common sense and assurance about the choices we make about what we eat and how we prepare it into a meal.How can a book about food that has no pictures and very few recipes earn four stars from me? She had me from the very first chapter--YES, a dozen pages on boiling water! Tamar is creative, frugal, daring, practical, sensible, skilled, and she assures [...]

    • Jimmy says:

      Tamar Adler's message and tone are somewhat at odds in this book. Her words are saying that cooking is for everyone and not just celebrity chefs and experts, that food does not have to be perfectly arranged on a plate, that it can be a messy daily thing full of mistakes and made on the spot with leftover ingredients that would have ended up in the trash anyway. I happen to hold all of these same beliefs, but her tone is contradicting her. Instead of opening us up to the possibilities of cooking, [...]

    • Laurie says:

      This is not so much a cookbook as a book about cooking, a philosophy of cooking. Adler’s premise is that simple meals are better than production numbers; that great meals can be had from bits and bobs of old meals; that you should save every little vegetable scrap or peel. Her theories are sound; onion peels and broccoli stems make great stock and everything tastes better cooked in stock. Stale bread is good for any number of things, from croutons to thickening sauce. But while the word ‘eco [...]

    • Trace says:

      Even though I'm trying to be stingy with my 5 stars - I would give this book a 6-star rating if I could. In reviewing all of the books I've read in 2012 - I think this is my very favoriteI found myself counting down the minutes during my day until it was ME time, and I could snuggle in with a cup of tea and a few pages of this poetic book. I was torn between not wanting to stop reading (its that good) and wanting to stop and slow down in order to really savor this first-reading and make it last. [...]

    • Sara says:

      You're a reasonably sincere person who believes that, for the sake of the planet and maybe your health, you should start cooking with actual ingredients instead of boxes of MSG. And you've trolled the farmer's markets and maybe tried your local CSA, and you've been game about all the strange vegetables and new cuts of meat, but, man -- you're not a cook by nature. You're always looking for recipes that will help you to use all of this stuff, but it still feels like you're just trying to keep a b [...]

    • Amelia says:

      I really enjoyed this book, but had some issues with it which detracted from my reading experience. First, is it a cookbook or an essay? I felt that it was primarily an essay-type book, and read it lying in bed at night, but there were many places where I wanted to jump up and try to cook things. I think if I'd read it in the kitchen, I might have had a hard time using it because it's not quite arranged as an instructional book. If I'd bought it as a printed, bound book I would probably stick it [...]

    • Louise says:

      I was first apprehensive about reading this book in ebook format because I thought it would be more of a cookbook. Luckily, it has more narrative and reads almost like a novel with handful of helpful recipes per chapter.It was like this book was written especially for me. Other than in the recipes, the amount of things are pretty hand-wavy. The author also emphasizes wise use of all parts of vegetables and how to stretch one dish into several to cut down on preparation time. I especially liked t [...]

    • Bmfoa says:

      I ordered this book in the mail. I cannot WAIT for it to arrive. Read a chapter on a plane. Crazy to love food so much that you even love to read about it! :)Okay, I'm now a couple of chapters in. I keep dog-earing the pages, but if I don't stop, I'm going to have to fold the whole book in half. Beautiful writing. I'm constantly cooking, in my mind!

    • Crystal says:

      Okay, this book was so good that I read it very, very slowly, just to savor it. And then I picked it up and started reading it again.Tamar Adler just GETS it. Her prose is beautiful, and her kitchen beliefs are so in line with my own. I got so many ideas from this book - I felt like I gained freedom in my kitchen just by reading it. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    • Kelley says:

      I gorged on food writing for a while and had to take a break. It all had started to taste the same. Tamar Adler's "Everlasting Meal" was the perfect book to bring me back to the table. It is inspiring, realistic, engaging and, perhaps best of all, poetic. Oh, and funny, too! I drove my husband nuts interrupting his work or his own reading to read aloud a sentence. But I also made him laugh. "All ingredients need salt. The noodle or tender spring pea would be narcissistic to imagine it already co [...]

    • Kelley Bodwell says:

      Beautiful commentary on cooking to waste less, spend less, and eat generously. These are my ideals in the kitchen, and I finished inspired to try new techniques and strategies for cooking better and with more joy.

    • Pam says:

      I used to give a lot of 5-star reviews, but decided I was being too generous, so now they are few and far between. I reserve them for transformational books, such as this. This is not a cookbook, but it is a book about cooking and it does contain some recipes. However, it is more a book about the philosophy, joy, and ecology of food. It is a love letter to simplicity, to savoring delicious things, and to esteeming decidedly "unsexy" foods and parts of food. I will never think about broccoli stal [...]

    • Antigone says:

      There's something so startling about the encounter with passion. A true, full-bodied passion that's been embraced and integrated into every aspect of life. Most days my choices extend only so far as hammer and nail, and I forget the force of joy. I forget the way bliss can trip into meaning, into vibrancy, into a stunningly pigmented existential composition. I forget. Tamar Adler reminds, in prose both crisp and seductive, that passion persists as an option; that there is a world beyond the fact [...]

    • Kristy says:

      I really enjoyed the chapters that focused on vegetables and pantry staples. She has some great ideas that I also incorporate in my kitchen, about finding intuitive ways to use up left overs and to utilize ingredients that would otherwise go to waste, like kitchen scraps, potato peels, parsley stems. Her laid back approach to cooking is refreshing and I love how she's not a food snob and enjoys cooking humble, simple, and sustaining meals in her kitchen. Gourmet food this isn't and that's just f [...]

    • Ariel Cummins says:

      So I just put this book on hold because it showed up in Wowbrary as a new purchase at my library (does your library have Wowbrary? It's amazing! If your library does offer it and you don't subscribe, you should! Right now!). And I put off reading it because, well, books about how to eat gracefully sometimes just don't seem as exciting as YA books about the end of the world.But! This book was a delight to read. Almost poetic in its language, it managed to avoid the pretentious-ness bug that lots [...]

    • Mallory says:

      I definitely found myself embracing a lot of her ideas about cooking! I especially liked her approach avoiding kitchen waste by dealing with vegetables right when you buy them and using the scraps. For a book that's about the joys of home cooking she was very frank about sometimes not being inspired to cook, or making something very simple (One of the dinner party dessert suggestions: put chunks of dark chocolate on a platter and give everyone a glass of scotch. Invite me.) Occasionally I found [...]

    • Sarah says:

      I was disappointed in this book. I think that's partly because everyone kept comparing it to MFK Fisher, and I've read MFK Fisher, and you, Tamar Adler, are no MFK Fisher. Or even Laurie Colwin. Adler has some good ideas, but there's no joy in the book. One of the great things about Fisher is that she never lets go of the social side of food, or the joy of cooking and eating. Adler either doesn't feel that, or doesn't have the writing skill to make it come across. The book feels more serious tha [...]

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