An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler. Pub 2011
I don’t recall how I learned about this book, but it truly a treasure of food writing. While there are many recipes included, the prose is mostly about creative and – yes – everlasting ways to cook food. More than that, the language is lyrical – Adler truly loves her subject. Food is her muse:
“I challenge anyone to find me a situation that a good olive can’t fix.”
“A boiled egg stays secret until it’s cooked.”
“Most herbs retain their personalities from soil to pot.”
“…any vestigial associations between bean meals and deprivation should be erased by the very existence of cassoulet.”
The book is a bit like a very rich meal – not to be consumed quickly but savoured over a long time. The writing is dense with beauty and instruction, and the structure is a bit poetic (“How to catch your tail” is about soup) so it doesn’t flow like a meal from start to finish, and in fact can be quite soporific. But, it is truly inspirational. I have started on her philosophy of using most (or at least more) of my food in multiple ways, and the joy in creativity and being more minimal has been quite satisfying.
7. An author’s debut novel
8. A book written by a female author
24. A book written by someone younger than you (I have to infer this, based on her bio)
25. A book about food or cooking (not a cookbook, although it can include recipes).