1998 GOOD+ HARDCOVER IN BRIGHT DJ, BOOK A LITTLE FADED AROUND EDGES [LUST, TERESA] AND OTHER WRITINGS FROM THE KITCHEN WITH RECIPES
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In The Tradition of M.F.K. Fisher and Laurie Colwin, Teresa Lust writes about the preparation of food and the breaking of bread with the exuberance of an impassioned cook and the clarity of a graceful writer. The author venerates old-fashioned simplicity -- from stove-top coffee in a rustic Italian cucina to antique varieties of apples in a New Hampshire orchard. She skewers passing food trends: "Polenta is family food. Mama feeds it to her baby when his teeth are coming in. Papa feeds it to his mama when her teeth have fallen out". And she offers a smorgasbord of food trivia: The artichoke "enjoyed a long reign as an aphrodisiac because of its alleged ability to heat the body ... Catherine de Medici could not contain her scandalous predilection for artichokes". A professional chef and skilled culinary historian, Lust has created a book that is part memoir, part cookbook, and part exploration into the origins of her favorite foods and dishes. It is a celebration of home cooking and of people who know how to make meals more than just thrice-daily opportunities to refuel.
Lusts chapters typically revolve around stories that include the preparation or consumption of a particular dish -- from chicken with figs and fresh thyme to spaghetti alla carbonara -- and Pass the Polenta contains an index of recipes that readers will come to treasure.