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The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper

When I picked up Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s book The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, I didn’t realize that it was a cookbook based on a Public Radio show. All I cared about was the gorgeous spoonful of a bright golden yellow potato, onion and almond concoction (“Almond-Turmeric Potatoes” p. 289) pictured on the cover. I am a huge fan of Public Radio, though, so when I finally settled into a comfy chair at home and made this discovery, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve never heard a food show on the radio before (WBHM doesn’t carry it) but it makes me happy to know one is out there.

Everything about this book was a pleasant surprise. There are too many cookbooks that look pretty but don’t deliver the kind of easy and interesting recipes that I like. This one starts simple with “Dressing-in-a-Bowl Simple Salad” and works up to fancier dishes like “Rosemary Figs with Honeyed Fresh Cheese”, all the while educating the reader on tools, techniques, cooking science and food history and culture. There are frequent “Building the Library” sidebars highlighting new and classic cookbooks that are relevant to the nearby recipe or anecdote. The tips are really great. My favorite one suggests finding a nice smooth palm-sized rock and using it, instead of the potentially dangerous side of a large knife, to smash garlic bulbs for easier peeling.

I got a chance to catch the show while driving through Knoxville, TN a couple weeks ago. They rated the flavor and quality of veggie burgers and had an interview with a master cheesemonger. Even though it’s not available through our local NPR station, podcasts of each episode can be downloaded from the website

The book, of course, is available right here at the Hoover Public Library. Visit the Cooking section in the Nonfiction Department.

641.54 KAS. The Splendid Table's, How to Eat Supper : Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright 2008.

-Deni in Nonfiction

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