Reading cookbook reviews

Reading the Booklist and Library Journal cookbook reviews with greater interest lately.  After my effort writing a compendium of kitchen disasters for my sons, I'm interested in the idea of cookbooks as social history.  This find dates from 1922, before my father was born.  It was his mother's:

  Hot button topics include arranging a butler's pantry, and whether finger bowls are needed when fruit is served at breakfast.

Dad's mother knew to put a spoonful of duck fat in the holiday sauerkraut to make it shine.  Williams Sonoma's catalog offers gourmet duck fat for the discerning shopper.  I feel vindicated, empowered.  Across generations duck fat will prevail! 

The world's population can be divided into two groups--those who appreciate the culinary contributions of duck fat and those who do not.  Just before serving, a tablespoon of duck fat is added and a little sprinkling of flour to give the kraut a nice shine.

The first Christmas we were married, my spouse announced having a jar of duck fat in the refrigerator was disgusting, and he was not going to allow it. If I’d shot him then, I’d be out of prison now, but I wouldn’t have three wonderful sons who have learned to enjoy sauerkraut with roast turkey or pork roast. Should they need advice on arranging their butler's pantry, I'll be prepared.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

OMG, you are so funny! I recently discovered duck salad and am hoping the lettuce carries the duck fat right on out of me.

I handle many cookbook and cooking pamphlets at work (used bookstore) and I can attest to the social history and changing health trends, et cetera. A sweet young man came in yesterday and bought a huge stack of cookbooks for his sisters, who are just now taking an interest in cooking, though he has been doing it for some time, I gather. He is among the people I have met over the years who read cookbooks for fun, in bed at night, not just when they are cooking, which is when I desperately read them, trying not to produce yet another dubious meal.

I am very, very interested now in adding duck fat to just about anything.

Collagemama said...

I only know about duck fat in sauerkraut which was an essential element of holiday feasts. We just saved the fat when we roasted ducks. Williams Sonoma's duck fat is from Quebec. So, oui oui: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/roasted-duck-fat-potatoes.html The roasted potatoes look wonderful in the catalog.


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