Archive for COOKBOOKS

a study in Victorian cookery

photos: m&j

When we purchased this 19th century antique recipe book from a dealer in the UK, we had no idea what an absolute treasure we were acquiring. We like to imagine this well-used guide to the cookery of the day as something often referred to and notated by the likes of Mrs. Patmore from the fictional Downton Abbey. And though its story may be somewhat less dramatic (though we did recently hear back from the antiques seller that it was a part of the estate of an artist who had belonged to The Bloomsbury Set), it’s impossible to imagine there isn’t a story – and, likely, quite a good one. From the study of highbrow to lowbrow penmanship in the plethora of entries to the almost perfect browning and spotting on the pages to the fanciful recipes (blancmange, anyone?) themselves, time has most certainly turned this once utilitarian handbook into a gastronomic work of art!

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Cooking in the kitchen with Wallis

photos: m&j

When we came across this vintage cookbook at an antiques shop, we just had to have it – Some Favorite Southern Recipes of The Duchess of Windsor is a collection of down home Southern American fare, culled by this now infamous non-Brit for her friends and others in the United Kingdom. As we scan the pages, we wonder how home cooks and entertainers in England were really enjoying her Smothered Chicken, Waffles & Syrup, Picked Watermelon Rind or Crab & Okra Gumbo. But it does, however, seem quite possible that her Frozen Tomato Salad and Tipsy Charlotte were quite popular in 1958 when it was first published. This one’s a real gem, not to mention what a fabulous hostess gift it will make if one is ever invited to the home of Madonna!

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Canal House Cooking Volume N°7 is finally here!!

photos: Christopher Hersheimer & illustrations: Melissa Hamilton

It seems like ages since Canal House Cooking Volume N°6 arrived and we’ve been waiting with bated breath. This time, Christopher and Melissa take us on a home cook’s tour of all their favorite Fall and Holiday foods, Italian style – La Dolce Vita – simple, rustic meals that can be prepared by those of us that don’t have the time, talent or wherewithal to be Julia Child (if it takes more than an hour, we are probably going to order it at a restaurant). The ladies offer a stunning array of recipes and photographs that are both mouth-watering and, as always, incredibly simple and beautiful. We only wish this precious volume would have arrived before the holidays!

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New York Times Magazine Food and Drink Issue

photos: Brad Swonetz for The New York Times, m&j, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1832) and Marcus Nilsson for The New York Times

This New York Times Magazine was read from cover to cover before either of our heads had even hit the pillows on Saturday night – such a great issue full of so many interesting tips, recipes, factoids and wonderful opinions by our favorite food writers. Some highlights; last supper wishes from a famous few, how breakfast has evolved through the ages, the party planning menu matrix, food in art, literature, cinema and the many musings of Michael Pollan, Amanda Hesser, Sam Sifton, Mark Bittman, Mimi Sheraton, Maud Newton, Bill Buford and Eric Asimov … seriously just too much to get into – plus an interview with Mad Men creator, Matthew Weiner, to boot! This one’s a keeper.

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homestseading in Silverlake …

photos: Laure Joliet for The New York Times

Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen are living off the land in their suburban Los Angeles home. And in a recent New York Times Home section interview, we got to read about their fascinating and definitely offbeat ideas about everything from raising their own chickens, baking their own bread, making homemade dog food, oil lamps out of oyster shells, their own household cleaning products and even … sewing washable sanitary napkins out of Mr. Knutzen’s old flannel shirts. Eeek! Living in a “sustainability lab” is not always a pretty picture. But some of the items these two are growing and making are quite romantic, even if the thought of sharing a “dry toilet” is not. For those of you who think you may want to jump on the bandwagon, the couple has a blog, entitled Root Simple. And for those of you who just like the idea of growing chamomile to make tea or of eyeing a loaf of freshly baked levian from afar, perhaps just checking out the Times slide show might be self-satisfying enough …

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The New Canal House Volume 6 is out!


With this new edition focusing on the grocery store and all it has to offer this Spring – we’ll be cooking up a storm at home – thank you once again, Christopher and Melissa, for your inspiring recipes, beautiful photography and wonderful laid back charm!

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La Cuisine Raisonnée

photos: m&j

What do you get as a birthday gift for the most fabulous Canadian former caterer and master chef who has everything, including an employee discount at Gucci? How about an obscure French Canadian cookbook published in 1959 – raclette anyone? Joyeux anniversaire, Monsieur LaVictoire!

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