Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone

This is the first of a series of postings describing books with food as a central theme. Foodie reading is a special treat. The ads for the new movie, "Julie & Julia," remind me how much I enjoyed Julia Child's posthumously published My Life in France, which I will blog about another day.

I often have a foodie non-fiction book in the car for those times when a little reading is in order. Time spent waiting for doctors is dramatically shortened by escaping into tales from the "Kitchen Sisters" about hidden kitchens. China and Glass in America, 1880-1980, which was published to complement the Dallas Museum of Art exhibit "Table Top to TV Tray," is a coffee table book too big to read in bed but great for short stints in a comfortable chair.

I recently finished reading The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone. Part an investigation into the making of authentic Genoese ravioli, part travelogue, part self-reflection, it's a wonderful book. I enjoyed it so much I'm now reading her A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove. She's made a YouTube video that demonstrates the making of the ravioli. Watch it to bring life the rhythm of rolling the pasta and the sound of the dough slapping the table.

Full citation: Laura Schenone. The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: a Search for Food and Family. 1st ed. (New York: Norton, 2008) 343 p. ISBN10: 0393061469 ISBN13: 9780393061468

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.