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It’s a slightly different format this year: a one-book report on a selection from the list. I had a terrific time recording this piece at our local NPR affiliate (New England Public Radio) on the campus of U. Mass., and I got to put the phrase “bone-suckingly good” on the radio for possibly the first time ever.
You can hear the commentary and read the original story here.
You can also read my extended post with the complete 2012 cookbook shortlist here.
I have a little food commentary on New England Public Radio today–these run about once every couple of months (or when I get around to writing them). I really enjoy the whole process of doing these–drafting them in the quiet of the house, trying to write in radio-speak instead of my usual wrought style, editing them down with brilliant producer Jill Kaufman, recording them on the big mike while waving at John Montanari, who’s usually doing his show there on the other side of the glass studio window.
And I love the title Jill gave this one: Autumn Breeze Distracting for Commentator T. Susan Chang. Ain’t it just!
Hear the commentary here.
A little story on what cooks’ hands know how to do, aired this morning on Morning Edition Extra, at 88.5 FM (New England Public Radio). As cooks, we learn many things with our hands even more than our brains–but I haven’t forgot what it was like when my hands were young and unschooled in the kitchen.
I also learned a lot about studio recording on this one–for example, if I stand up, my voice is much clearer and freer than if I’m sitting down, I have better lung capacity, and it’s easier to see the paper I’m holding behind the mike. If I stand to the side of the mike instead of in front of it, my very poppy p‘s don’t pop so loudly.
Hear the commentary here.
My food commentary – on the unbearable tedium of knife sharpening – aired this morning on WFCR.
Missed it? Listen to the story here.
My fourth radio commentary for New England Public Radio / 88.5 WFCR: Many have asked me what it’s like for my kids, having a mom who reviews cookbooks for a job. Here’s the answer!
My third radio commentary for New England Public Radio (that’s WFCR to us oldtimers): a story about my underhanded relationship with Christmas gingerbread, circa age 8. This one’s a personal favorite.
TSC’s cookbook interview with Joy Cardin, downloadable here. (minutes 1:49 – 18:15 on the download)
I know I say it every year, but every year it’s true. The competition in cookbooks gets fiercer and fiercer, and the books get better and better. So it was with a whopping mix of trepidation, affection, and guilt that I made the NPR holiday cookbook roundup selections this month. (The Weekend Edition Sunday audio link is here.) The ones I chose are, without exception, remarkable cookbooks. But this year I wanted to say a word about the rest of the shortlist, too.
Any one of the additional shortlisted books below, which did not make it into this year’s roundup, might have made it into the top 10 a few years ago, and every one of them captured my heart in one way or another. Many of them were right up there with the finalists in the new rating system.
My hope in including them here is to share the richness and diversity of the cookbook world we live in, to recognize the fantastic contributions of some truly noteworthy authors and cooks, and–of course– to offer you a few more gift ideas. For more great holiday cookbook ideas, stay tuned for the Boston Globe roundup in a few weeks.
The 2011 NPR top 10:
1. Cook This Now, by Melissa Clark
2. The Food of Spain, by Claudia Roden
3. All About Roasting, by Molly Stevens
4. Food52 Cookbook, Amanda Hesser/Merrill Stubbs
5. What Chefs Feed Their Kids, by Fanae Aaron
6. The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews
Lidia’s Italy in America by Lidia Bastianich
7. The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert
8. Ruhlman’s Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman
9. American Flavor, by Andrew Carmellini
10. The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book, by Judy Rosenberg
Outstanding Single-Subject Cookbook
Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal, by Jennifer McLagan
Outstanding Savor-and-Read Cookbook
The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Weekends: New Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio’s Award-Winning Food Show, by Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift
Practical Once-a-Week Cookbook
Sunday Roasts: A Year’s Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts, from Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys, and Legs of Lamb, by Betty Rosbottom
One Sweet Cookie: Celebrated Chefs Share Favorite Recipes, by Tracey Zabar
Ethnic Restaurant Sleeper Hit
Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors, by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher with photos by Sara Remington
Best Easy French
The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day, by Wini Moranville
Hardcore Bread Book
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking, by the French Culinary Institute
The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten and Lactose, by Barbara Kafka
Innovative Drinks Book
Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: A Cocktail Lover’s Guide to Mixing Drinks Using New and Classic Liqueurs, by A. J. Rathbun
Accessible Book from a Modernist Citadel
The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria
Loveliest Ode to a Fruit
The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, by Amy Traverso
Everyday Food from a Celebrity Hotshot
Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours, by Mario Batali
Inspiring Trip Down Memory Lane
Cooking My Way Back Home: Recipes from San Francisco’s Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House, by Mitchell Rosenthal
Irresistible Book for the Crafty Baker
Julia M Usher’s Ultimate Cookies
Best Chef-at-Home Book
Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes
And no, of course it’s not on the shortlist, but for the very most heartwarming gift you can give readers who love food, don’t forget my own
A Spoonful of Promises: Stories & Recipes from a Well-Tempered Table!
They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, they’ll probably end up hungry…the perfect gift for all the cooks in your family who don’t need another cookbook or kitchen gadget but could definitely use a good story.