Beard on Food

September 23, 2011 | By | Comments (6)

I’ve been trying to make a point to look through my old cookbooks lately. These days it’s so easy to find inspiration on the internet  (or end up down a falafel rabbit hole) but there’s something unique and slow and old school about discovering—or rediscovering—a recipe under a tattered cover right there on your own bookshelf.

Last week I pulled out Beard on Food. I’m lucky to have an original copy (published in 1974) that reads, Beard on Food: A feast of gastronomic inspirations, cooking ideas, and irresistible new recipes from James Beard. James Beard was, as the new edition states, “the Dean of American Cooking” and he wrote about food with the familiarity of someone who loved to cook, loved to eat, and loved to feed the people in his life.

With headings like Mushroom Magic, and The Well-Fried Potato, Beard puts a whimsical spin on each ingredient and places each recipe in the context of his own experience, challenging the reader to create their own memories with Prunes or fondue.

It’s pouring down rain here in NYC, and looks to hold on through the weekend. So I’m considering curling up and reading about JB’s Inspirations and Improvisations in the hopes of stirring some of my own.

What cookbooks or food-related books inspire you?