by Dean Tudor
Stocking stuffers are at the top of everybody’s gift list: something affordable (under $10, up to $20) that can also double as a host gift, something small and lightweight. Most of the books here are paperbacks.
And of course, they can stuff an adult stocking. Typical for food are:
Recipes Every Man Should Know (Quirk Books, 2010, 144 pages, $9.95 US hard covers) by Susan Russo and Brett Cohen. “This book is for hungry guys” – a little black book of primer data plus recipes categorized into breakfasts, snack, burgers, meat and potatoes, pasta, bar food, chocolate and cheesecake. Hardly any BBQ and no index!!
I Love Bacon! (Andrews McMeel, 2010, 136 pages, $22.99 CAN hard covers) has more than 50 preps from celebrity chefs in the US, including Cat Cora (Iron Chef). It begins with making your own bacon, moving through brunch, salads, sides, pasta, fish and meat, up through desserts (pig candy ice cream, maple-bacon ice cream). Nice layout, with metric conversion tables.
Apples I Have Eaten (Chronicle Books, 2010, unpaged, $14.95 US) is by Jonathan Gerken. All of the 47 varieties of apples photographed and mentioned in this book were gathered by Gerken during the autumn of a single year (2007?). They are local and heirloom varieties acquired from California farmers’ markets, out-of-the-way orchards, neighbours, and friends. As the book says, “After being photographed, the apples were eaten. They were really tasty.”
Easy Asian Noodles (Wiley, 2010, 128 pages, $17.95 US soft covers) is from Helen Chen, owner of Helen’s Asian Kitchen in the USA. As she says, “If you can cook pasta, you can cook Asian noodles.” Well, duh….Helen has a line of Asian cooking equipment, and her earlier books included Chinese Home Cooking, Peking Cuisine, and Easy Chinese Stir-Fries. With 60 recipes, Chen shows how to prepare noodles which are served cold, pan-fried (crunchy), or in soup, stir-fried, sauced, and in noodle salads. Most can be done in thirty minutes or less. Her range covers all South-East Asian countries.
Skinny Dips (Chronicle Books, 2010, 144 pages, $20 US paper covers) is by Diane Morgan. Here are 60 guilt-free recipes for light dips and the crispy dippers to eat them with. Veggie and herb dips, salsas, guac, bean and legume drips, crudités. Plus the elements of party planning.
Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes (Andrews McMeel, 2010, 136 pages, $19.99 CAD hard covers) has recipes from five other cookbooks put out by the Sur La Table stores. Heart breads, savoury thick soups, stews, big sandwiches, mains, sides, and desserts. For the hungry guy.
Canadian Cheese: A Pocket Guide (McArthur and Co., 2010, 232 pages, $19.95 CAD soft covers) is by Kathy Guidi, founder of the Cheese Education Guild and Artisan Cheese Marketing. She’s had a lot of experience in the cheese world, and this is her first commercial book, detailing 180 cheeses. She says that there are 450 Canadian cheeses, but space was limited, so some duplicative-style cheeses were omitted. Cheese are grouped alphabetically by category (fresh through hard and blue), with primer detail on storage and service and how to buy. It’s pocket-sized, so please take it with you to your cheese monger.
Dean Tudor is a Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus, The Treasurer of The Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada and creator of Canada’s award-winning wine satire site at fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. Visit Dean’s websites at deantudor.com and gothicepicures.blogspot.com. His motto: “Look it up and you’ll remember it; screw it up and you’ll never forget it.”