'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Apples for Jam, Tessa Kiros
Apples for Jam is a book that gets under your skin. It beckons you, and seduces you to pick it up. The first time I saw it, I reluctantly put it back down. The over $40 price tag was hefty, and I decided I could live without it. It wasn't 24 hours later that I was back at the store and handing over my credit card.
Feeding a family is about stitching all the bits together on a steady thread -- between the tuck shop, your knowledge of nutrition, your own family's tastes, your capacity and how much you can give -- and still leaving some space for spontaneity and the will of nature. And all this should still have the grace and honesty of a daisy chain.Tessa Kiros focuses Apples for Jam on food for families. The gorgeously designed book bounces between stories from the author's life, gorgeous photos of her family, and over 200 recipes.
The recipes are arranged in chapters by color which leads to very interesting browsing. Is banana bread brown? It's actually monochrome according to Kiros. What could possibly be in a pink chapter? Beetroot gnocchi, baked ham and cheese bread pudding, penne with prawns, cream and tomato, and tiny cakes with pink icing.
All of Kiros' recipes have a casual, conversational tone, as you'll see from the recipe below. Reading through it, I get the feeling that the recipes aren't as much hard-and-fast rules as they are suggestions for one method.
To the seasoned cook, some of the recipes seem so basic that it's humorous. "Pasta in chicken broth" involves throwing tiny pasta into chicken broth, boiling till cooked, and topping with parmesan cheese. But Kiros entertains as she instructs, and her guidance to "drop pasta into boiling broth while shouting for everyone to get their hands washed and be seated," for instance, keeps me reading through the most basic of recipes.
It's a difficult book to get. I happened upon it at The Cook's Library, a fantastic independent bookstore in Los Angeles. You can get it from Amazon via a third-party seller, but it's not currently widely available in the United States. It's published by Murdoch Books, which is a publisher for Australia and the UK, so it should be available easily there.
Greek Yoghurt with Condensed Milk & Oranges
Other books by Tessa Kiros:
Twelve: A Tuscan Cook Book
Tessa Kiros in the Blogosphere:
Who Wants Seconds: A Conversation with Tessa Kiros
Locate CP Restaurants:
KQED Food Sites
Tasty Food Sites
Tangy Food Blogs
Eye Candy: Food Photos
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
|Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.|