Synopses & Reviews
Read Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger's blogs and view their pictures on the Penguin Community.
It's time to take back the kitchen. It's time to unlock the pantry and break free from the shackles of ready-made, industrial food. It's time to cook supper.
The Lost Art of Real Cooking heralds a new old- fashioned approach to food-laborious and inconvenient, yet extraordinarily rewarding and worth bragging about. From jam, yogurt, and fresh pasta to salami, smoked meat, and strudel, Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger arm you with the knowledge and skills that let you connect on a deeper level with what goes into your body.
Ken and Rosanna celebrate the patience it takes to make your own sauerkraut and pickles. They divulge the mysteries of capturing wild sourdoughs and culturing butter, the beauty of rendering lard, making cheese, and brewing beer, all without the fancy toys that take away from the adventure of truly experiencing your food.
These foods were once made by the family, in the home, rather than a factory. And they can still be made in the smallest kitchens without expensive equipment, capturing flavors that speak of place and personality. What you won't find here is a collection of rigid rules for the perfect meal. Ken and Rosanna offer a wealth of recipes, history, and techniques that start with the basics and evolve into dishes that are entirely your own.
"Albala and Henderson follow up their The Lost Art of Real Cooking with an utterly charming collection of recipes and how-tos for the 21st-century hipster homemaker. Like postmodern Elizabeth Davids, they augment their own recipes with obscure, intriguing ones from earlier centuries, such as Apicius's fourth-century Apricot Minutal, which stews up the fruit with spices and garum, an ancient fish sauce. The book consists mostly of recipes albeit for unusual, slow-food, and occasionally bizarre dishes such as injera (Ethiopian sourdough pancakes), liverwurst, thousand-year-old eggs ('among the scariest things I have ever tried at home'), kombucha, and butter sauce with ambergris (yes, the 'waxy glob that forms in the intestines of sperm whales, which they barf up') but, like a quirky updated 1896 Fannie Farmer cookbook, it also includes eccentric but usable household hints and instructions, from soap-making to pounding a ring out of an old silver quarter (using an expedited method invented by Henderson's father). A fun gift for any curious reader, the book is a must-have for makers and urban homesteaders." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Almost all the recipes on offer here, from pickles to pastry, are doable in the humblest of kitchens..."
-The Wall Street Journal
“If Irma S. Rombauer hadn't used the phrase more than 70 years ago, the ideal title for this engaging little volume—half cookbook, half culinary sermon—might have been The Joy of Cooking.”
—The Wall Street Journal
on The Lost Art of Real Cooking
“The Lost Art of Real Cooking is a reminder that inspiring cookbooks can be more useful kitchen tools than any appliance.”—LA Weekly on The Lost Art of Real Cooking
The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home
is not about extreme, off-the-grid living. It’s for city and suburban dwellers with day jobs: people who love to cook, love fresh natural ingredients, and old techniques for preservation; people who like doing things themselves with a needle and thread, garden hoe, or manual saw.
Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson spread the spirit of antiquated self-sufficiency throughout the household. They offer projects that are decidedly unplugged and a little daring, including:
* Home building projects like rooftop food dehydrators and wood-burning ovens
* Homemaking essentials, from sewing and quilting to rug braiding and soap making
* The wonders of grain: making croissants by hand, sprouting grains, and baking bread
* Adventures with meat: pickled pig’s feet, homemade liverwurst, and celery-cured salami
Intended for industrious cooks and crafters who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves, The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home will teach you the history and how-to on projects for every facet of your home, all without the electric toys that take away from the experience of making things by hand.
About the Author
Ken Albala is professor of history at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he teaches courses on the Renaissance and Reformation, Food History, and the History of Medicine. He is the author of many books on food, including Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250–1650, The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe, Beans: A History
(winner of the 2008 International Association of Culinary Professionals Jane Grigson Award), Pancake
, and the forthcoming World Cuisines
written with the Culinary Institute of America. He is also the editor of three food series for Greenwood Press with 27 volumes in print and is now editing a four-volume Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia
. Albala has been the book reviews editor of Food Culture and Society
for the past six years and is now co-editor of the journal. He is currently researching a history of theological controversies surrounding fasting in the Reformation Era and editing two collected volumes of essays, one on the Renaissance, the other on food and faith.
Rosanna Nafziger grew up on a mountain in West Virginia. She spent her girlhood working in the orchard, planting beans, and selling pies at the farmers' market. Now she translates the traditions of her Appalachian Mennonite upbringing to the urban kitchen on her blog, Paprikahead.com. A chef, nanny, and editor, she lives in San Francisco. This is her first book.