New: Book Report: On Food and Cooking

Here is the recipe I follow for tamales: 1. remove two tamales from package. 2. place in pot with steamer rack 3. place on high heat 4. get distracted by computer stuff, lose track of time 4. when apartment is full of smoke, the tamales are done. Remove from heat and hold out window. 5. remove tamales from corn husks, cover with salsa, and serve.

My cooking skills have atrophied in recent years.

I think that explains why I didn't finish reading McGee's On Food and Cooking. The parts that I read were pretty interesting! (Usually when I don't finish a book, it's because I was bored.) I read the chapter about dairy products. It discussed the history of humanity's use of animal milk. It was fascinating. It discussed the chemical transformations by which cream turns into whipped cream and other delights. That was fascinating, too.

But when I tried to remember these things a few hours later, they'd already leaked out of my brain. There were parts of my brain that were once dedicated to thinking about cooking, I'm sure. So I could, say, sit down to surf the web but a couple of neurons would keep track: has it been 15 minutes since you set that stuff cooking? Those neurons went away; I lose track of time. I recommend this book for most people, but it wasn't for me.

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Posted 2008-03-01

 Robert Konigsberg said...

I don't devour books, so not finishing On Food and Cooking is not something I could see myself doing. But it's the kind of book that you can open to any section and be rewarded with fascinating detail about every-day items. At one point I considered having two copies: one that remains in the kitchen and one that would be safe to read while, erm, in the bathroom.

02 March, 2008 00:01
 lahosken said...

I couldn't handle owning two copies of a book, especially a book the size of On Food and Cooking. Through the power of ASCII art, I will now show you a 1:1 scale map of my teeny-tiny apartment: . There, that dot, that was it. Every time I buy a book, I need to move a similarly-sized object out into the hallway.

05 March, 2008 18:40