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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Have You Read? #14

When I was pregnant, Judy Rosenberg helped me through the long months of a strict diet. Author of Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book and Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Filled, Jam-Packed, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book, she had no idea how her humorous descriptions of the recipes made famous in her numerous Rosie's Bakery locations in Boston curbed my cravings for sweets at a time when I could have none. When I finally got to visit a Rosie's Bakery, I savored every item I selected!

Today I discovered another restaurant I want to visit: The Clinton St. Baking Company in New York City. Like Rosie's Bakery, I came upon this restaurant through a cookbook, aptly named Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond. From the introduction which details the authors'/owners' meeting, marriage, and ownership of the restaurant to the last recipe for Mimosas, I loved reading this book. Of course, I also thought of the things I wanted to cook and bake and for whom. Their stories of the recipes' origins, the blend of basics with a few challenges, and the tips for using certain ingredients combine to make this a book I need to have in my kitchen.

In some of my post-graduate work, I read everything written by Louise Rosenblatt about transactional theory of how we read text (The Reader, The Text, The Poem and Literature as Exploration being the most cited of her work). As I tried to help others understand the difference between efferent and aesthetic reading, I often used cookbooks as an example. For me, reading a cookbook is more than an efferent experience to gain and internalize information. It is aesthetic for me as I contemplate and ruminate on what I read. My husband, on the other hand, would not find cookbook reading to be an aesthetic experience but rather an efferent one.

Well-written cookbooks like Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond bring me closer to the creators, giving me confidence to try the same techniques and recipes in my own kitchen. Grilled Wild Mushroom Goat Cheese Pizzas. Brookies (brownie/cookie mix). Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake. What to try first?

7 comments:

  1. My mouth is watering!

    Here's another cookbook to add to your collection: The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. My sister, brother-in-law, and best friend Gary took a trip to NYC quite a few years ago and stumbled across a little bakery in Greenwich village. We fell in love with the baked goods (my sister even carried some home on the plane for her kids). Since then both my sister and Gary have gotten this book and baked some incredible cakes. I can't speak to the aesthetic readablity of the book, but it has resulted in some of our favorite desserts.

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  2. Though our library did not have this cookbook, I reserved others from Magnolia Bakery. Thanks for the recommendation, David!

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  4. If you ever have a few Brookies you want taken off your hands, let me know.

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  5. When I make Brookies, I will freeze some for my friends :)

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  6. One of my most treasured activities is reading cookbooks with my daughter, curled up in bed at the end of a good day. We read the ingredients, taste them in our imaginations, imagine how they'll combine, how we will stir and blend, and grate and chop. Often, after lingering over a page, we'll sigh in satisfaction from this meal of words.

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  7. What a fabulous descriptions, Brattcat! I can imagine you two doing that.

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