The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

September 21, 2007

Book review: Two titles that will indulge your love affair with food

This column began as a food-related column where I planned to review several books dealing with recipes, chefs and eating out. I am one of those people who like to read cookbooks; not just recipes but stories that go along with them, anecdotes, origins, etc.

I was NOT always so fascinated with cooking. In fact, as a teen I always said whomever I married had better know how to cook because I had no interest in the activity! Amazing what living on your own and having to feed yourself will teach you.

I still plan on talking about several books, but it looks like it’ll take place over two columns instead of one because this first book, “Talking With My Mouth Full: Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes, and Other Kitchen Stories,” just fascinated me. It does have all the stories and antidotes to go along with the recipes. This grabbed my attention enough that I read it in one sitting.

Author Bonny Wolf is the food commentator on NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” She has taken a number of topics and written essays on them. The chapters are fairly short and cover everything from kitchen gadgets to ice cream to jello (is jello a “retro food” or not?), to holiday cooking to dinner disasters (who hasn’t experienced one of these and it’s usually when you have company coming!) to “foreign food.” Wolf covers many aspects of our (her?) love affair with food.

For instance, the chapter dedicated to toast talks about how it should be cooked, at what temperature it needs to be for butter, what it should look like and how the smell of toast can conjure up all kinds of memories. One of the recipes included is actually how to make toast and includes variations like cinnamon and sugar toast. The other recipe is for French toast.

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