Synopses & Reviews
Modeled on M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf
— written in 1942 during wartime rations to convince readers that good eating was always possible — An Everlasting Meal
teaches how to cook well regardless of circumstance, offering a practical, pleasurable path to the kitchen.
Tamar Adler shares what chefs instinctively know: each ingredient you buy, chop, and cook ought to be prepared with a keen eye toward future meals.
Having An Everlasting Meal means using yesterday’s roasted broccoli as the sauce for tonight’s pasta, which fills tomorrow’s vegetable omelet, which is made into a sandwich the next day. Adler explains that saving and using parsley stems, chicken bones, onion skins, orange peels, and pasta water is not only “green,” but the key to cooking well, adding depth of flavor to your plate. Adler offers fixes for dishes that have gone awry — what to do if you add too much salt, or burn the roast — and how to prepare a meal when you’re convinced all you have is a jar of olives. She reveals that the ubiquitous bunches of scallions at convenience stores are actually vegetables (and how to cook them), and gives as careful a treatment to the dried beans and the jar of sauerkraut on your shelf as she does to locally grown produce.
Adler describes how to use all of everything, so that you’re not spending more money, or working harder, than you need to. An Everlasting Meal will make life easier and more enjoyable by keeping your stove and refrigerator, and heart and table, full of nourishment and pleasure.
Reviving the inspiring message of M. F. K. Fishers 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 worlds 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.
About the Author
Alice Waters is the visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She is the author of four cookbooks, including Chez Panisse Vegetables and Fanny at Chez Panisse. Known as the Queen of Local Food, she founded the Edible schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. She lives in San Francisco.