A delightful way of reaching back in time to discover what made the Greeks and Romans tick is to consider what it was they ate. Francine Segan's beautifully illustrated book, The Philosopher's Kitchen: Recipes From Ancient Greece and Rome for the Modern Cook (2004) is a culinary history lesson about the pleasures of the ancient table. And what epicurean treasures they were: figs stuffed with mascarpone cheese, seafood stew with almond pesto crostini, roast chicken with olive stuffing, lamb with pomegranate-glazed onions, to name just a few. Using wonderful snippets of culinary history, Segan shows an ephemeral side of everyday life in the classical world, while at the same time telling modern readers how to re-create the tastes and smells that wafted through the streets of Pompeii. – Pat Padden, Franklin, N.J.
One of my favorite cookbooks is How to Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson (2000). This book arms one with basic techniques in the kitchen. It also provides the confidence to adapt basic recipes without a fear of failure. I only wish I had this book my kitchen library 30 years ago! With it, cooking becomes more creative and fun. – Jan Hess, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
The Gourmet Gazelle Cookbook: Contemporary Cuisine for a Lifetime of Good Health by Ellen Brown (1989). Great range of simple recipes that are uncomplicated, unusual, complete with total time, cooking time, and nutrition information listed. I first heard a review of the cookbook on NPR in 1989 and have been using it since. Everything I have prepared has been a winner.Edmund J. FitzGerald, Rock Hill, S.C.
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