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Karla has commented on (3) products.

Leslie MacKie's Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook: Favorite Breads, Pastries, Sweets & Savories by Leslie Mackie
Leslie MacKie's Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook: Favorite Breads, Pastries, Sweets & Savories

Karla, May 18, 2010

Based on the cover when I picked up this book I expected it to be full of high-effort baking recipes. What I found instead were a lot of recipes with slight ingredient tweaks and a chance to push the boundaries on "the ordinary" that gave them delicious charm. A real plus were the recipes that were "go along with" additions, for example "Egg Salad Sandwich on Greek Olive bread with Roasted Tomatoes" which was divine!. None of the recipes were of the quick, throw-together category, but none were beyond the reach of the average baker/cook either. This is a keeper that I actually will use over and over again.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food--Before the National Highway System, Beforechain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When by Mark Kurlansky
The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food--Before the National Highway System, Beforechain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When

Karla, August 13, 2009

The book cover says...."A portrait of American food - before the national highway system, before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional". I was expecting a light read, with some humor thrown in - and I was blown away.

At the height of the Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was developed to put many of America's jobless to work doing things such as building parks (Dubuque, Iowa's Eagle Point Park with gorgeous Frank Lloyd inspired architectural pavilions and ponds)or painters such as Grant Wood (American Gothic) who has huge murals painted in the Iowa State Library, and many other creative projects to preserve America's rich history. One of the projects the WPA started was the Federal Writers' Project to help record and preserve for history the regional and ethnic foods that someone had the foresight to see were going to change, or disappear altogether with the increasingly easy transportation and influx of new ideas from different areas of the US and the world.

The book is broken down into regional areas and features short vignettes written about foods, food customs, recipes, and how they played a social role in a time now long past. Many of the short essays were written by authors who went on to become famous, others were written by average writers who simply had a tale to tell. What came out of it is a book that literally transports you back in time and enriches your sense of history in a very real way. Some of the foods talked about made my mouth water with anticipation, others made me cringe, but all showed just how much we've lost in the last century with the shift to frozen and shelf-ready standardized foods as well as the limited choices in drive-ins and chain restaurants. Many people have lost the knowledge and the eagerness of delayed gratification of biting into the first fruits and vegetables of a given season and the recipes that sprang from them, the delight of the special recipes that only a neighbor could make for the town festival, and the richness of choice and taste that came from each region's way of using what was produced close to home.

This book is a time transporter. Don't miss a chance to take the trip!

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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



The Gargoyle on the Roof by Jack Prelutsky
The Gargoyle on the Roof

Karla, December 9, 2007

This book is a treasure for the child who likes monsters! The poems are funny and give a good spin to being a monster and the illustrations are not overly ghoulish, though probably thought provoking in some instances. I do think though that age 4 is a little too young for this book - it really should be for a child who can distinguish real from fantasy as it introduces topics that might be scary to the child who still thinks monsters COULD be real. It was too much for my 5 year old nephew, the eight year old loved it.
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