Which doesn’t mean I don’t have a stack o’ books on my floor, many of them having to do with food. The thinking is that if I can plow my way through these, I might have more of a bead on my ongoing attempts at culinary competence.
My Life in France, by Julia Child — Oh, to be a 6-foot American woman in France in the 50s. Maybe then I wouldn’t be so scared of the French. I keep trying to work my way through this book, but I keep coming up against the unpronounceable…
Fork it Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater, by Alan Richman. Funny stuff by GQ’s food critic, who, if I’m to believe the first few stories, is a neurotic mama’s boy who can’t boil water himself.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses, by Isabel Allende — Food, sex. Sex, food. Two of my favorite topics.
Third Helpings, by Calvin Trillin — The book’s about 20 years old, but anything this well-known, very funny New Yorker writer pens is worth digesting.
Letters to a Young Chef, by Daniel Bouloud — A delicious peek into what it would take to become a world-famous chef…and proof beyond doubt that I don’t have it. Still, I’m always one to live vicariously if I can.
Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, by Gael Greene — New York Magazine’s food critic takes a romp through her days covering the Foodie Revolution, whatever that is. As debauched as Richman is straight-laced. I wonder if they ever met?
Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as a Kitchen Slave…etc., by Bill Bufurd. Editor meets Mario Batali. Editor decides he wants to learn how to be a chef. Wacky hi-jinx ensue.
It must Have been Something I ate, by Jeffery Steingarten — Vogue’s food writer. Bodacious. Blue-blooded. And smarter than you. Fabulously bitchy essays on everything from gourmet salts to Toro sushi.
Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl — I read this years ago, but it’s one of those books I enjoyed so much I keep it around just to relive the pleasure of reading certain passages. One day I may even try her recipe for apple dumplings and hard sauce. And won’t that be a hoot?
The Art of Eating, by M.F.K. Fisher — The Bible of foodie books. The book I should have read years ago. But I keep having to return it to the library. With all the late fees I’ve paid on this one, I could have bought my own copy by now.
Another book I don’t have, but want, even though it’s not going to do me any good at all, is Michael Ruhlman’s The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef’s Craft for Every Kitchen.
I pick through all of these whenever I have a minute or two to spare. Something may rub off on me if I keep them piled on the floor long enough. What do you all think? Am I missing some essential foodie tome here?