Wednesday, April 25, 2012
It's What We're Reading Now Wednesday...Foodie Edition
Occasionally, the Chef reads a book. For fifteen years, he would alternate between The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin and Airborne by William F. Buckley. Both are memoirs of sailing voyages. Does this mean the Chef has some deep longing to go on a sailing voyage? Unless that sailboat has a bartender and some Carribean tunes, count me out.
When I started working part-time at our local library, I started picking out other books for the Chef. Oddly enough, he started reading them! I still do that for him, as he goes to the library only to pick up stuff for me, like my kids or something. I mostly stick to the two niche genres that I know he loves: non-fiction books, possibly memoirs, about major league baseball or chefs. Yep, baseball and chefs. That's what he likes to read about.
He's currently reading Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. He says that it's quite well-written, but that the author's life was ruined when her parents divorced when she was ten years old. The rest of the book is about her messed-up life.
I did better when I shared this book with him a few summers ago. Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food and Baseball is by chef and restaurant critic, Molly O'Neill, whose brother happened to play right field for the New York Yankees. Chef, memoir, and baseball. Home run.
I think A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle was the first chef/food oriented memoir the Chef ever read. First published in 1989, this book was one of the first of its kind, before Gourmet Cooking for Dummies changed our lives, and we became foodies in the late-nineties.
The Chef heard Anthony Bourdain talking about his book, Kitchen Confidential on the radio. He bought it, read it, loved it, and he's read or watched everything Anthony Bourdain has ever done since. I, too, enjoy his travel show, No Reservations. Who doesn't enjoy watching a grown man eat the still-beating heart of a cobra in while on vacation in Vietnam? Anthony Bourdain brings his wry sense of humor all around the world while tasting local cuisine.
I so want to do that someday, minus the beating cobra hearts. I royally screwed up my Rome semester by frequenting every European McDonald's plus a Chi-Chi's in Luxembourg. What was I thinking?!
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford is one of the Chef's favorites. Buford begins his book with a detailed description of one night of feasting and debauchery with his friend, Mario Batali, and then agrees to be Batali's kitchen slave to learn more about cooking. Buford ends up going to Italy to study the art of butchering from Batali's relatives. I think the Chef would love to live this adventure. The man has an obsession with meat.
Well, this post is long enough, and I've written about food so much, that I'm starving. I'll have to write about the baseball books read by the Chef another time.
By the way, in Sunday's homily, our Italian deacon mentioned the following foods:
and homemade bread.
And, I had not eaten yet. Don't they teach deacons not to preach about food at the early Masses? Seriously. I had to go straight to Dunkin' Donuts and buy all the vanilla long johns. Vanilla long johns are the bomb.