Wed November 24, 2010
Food, Glorious Food: As Culled from The New York Times --- A New Reference Work Provides "Classic Recipes for a New Century"
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Today, on the eve of Thanksgiving, we're talking about both food and food history --- and about the ever-delightful crossroads of these two, a crossroads that appears throughout the pages of the recently published (and, at 930+ pages, quite hefty) reference book, "The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century." Our guest on StudioTulsa today is the editor of this volume, Amanda Hesser, who joins us by phone. As noted in a starred review of this work, which ran in Publishers Weekly: "Hesser, a food columnist for the New York Times, offers a superb compilation of the most noteworthy recipes published by the paper since it started covering food in the 1850s. What she has produced is no less a chronicle of American culinary history --- an evolutionary progression that marks the notable and sometimes regrettable changes in our approach to food --- than a cookbook. Recipe originators are a hodgepodge of talent, including noted chefs and the kitchens of famed restaurants such as Le Bernardin as well as Times writers, most notably Craig Claiborne, whose culinary mastery is evidenced throughout. Every category of food is covered, and each recipe is accompanied by serving suggestions for complementary dishes within the book. From 1877's tomato soup and 1907's roast quail with sage dressing to Eisenhower's steak in the fire and 1968's sour cream coffee cake, Hesser showcases the best of the best. Each recipe is dated, and many include cooking notes. Hesser, whose witty bent permeates every page, does a more than admirable job with this stellar collection of more than 1,400 recipes, which should grace the shelves of every food-lover."