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July 21, 2014

The No Recipe Cookbook: A Beginner's Guide to the Art of Cooking

The No Recipe Cookbook: A Beginner's Guide to the Art of Cooking
by Crowther, Susan
641.5 CRO

I have always been a person who follows recipes and at times I can create something on my own. I didn’t think, until recently, about the concept of creating a food dish using my skills as a cook. The No Recipe Cookbook gives the basics for philosophies, ingredients, procedures and beverages, along with charts and tables that have information to guide the beginning or novice cook on their way to cooking independence. Crowther is an expert in the culinary arts with her education from The Culinary Arts Institute. She is also a nutrition instructor and mother giving her a well-rounded background to share her expertise.

Susan tells the story of working in a grocery store where a woman comes in and is looking for a particular type of ingredient for a recipe she wants to create. When Susan tells her that the store doesn’t have that one specific ingredient but does have 30 other types that could work for her recipe the woman says no, it calls for this one particular kind. The woman left discouraged and Susan felt sad that she could not help her understand that she could substitute another type of ingredient. The quote in the book that I have made my own kitchen mantra is, “use a recipe for inspiration rather than a commandment.” I found the book informative and it has helped me to see what I am capable of doing as a cook. Susan also talks about the need to cook with love. The idea is to share a good meal that you have taken the time to create that others will enjoy and the love comes through the creation. I am also reminded of Italy where it is customary to spend a long time in preparing, serving and eating food at mealtime. The idea is to create a culinary delight for family and friends that they can enjoy, is nutritious and can spend quality time with them as well. We should all take note in our hurried world. I know I am going to try.

                 --Recommended by Kris Gould, Nora Library