What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes

Deborah Madison, Author, Patrick McFarlin, Author, Patrick McFarlin, Illustrator
Deborah Madison, Author, Patrick McFarlin, Author, Patrick McFarlin, Illustrator Gibbs Smith Publishers $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4236-0496-9
Reviewed on: 05/04/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Hardcover - 380 pages - 978-1-4596-2057-5
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Veteran cookbook author and food writer Madison (The Greens Cookbook, Local Flavors, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) looks at what we eat when no one's looking in this charming if overlong study (with recipes). Madison's informal survey of friends, colleagues and complete strangers about what they eat at home doesn't yield many earthshaking findings-men more enjoy familiar staples while women enjoy thinking out their meals, comfort foods predominate, and priority goes to ease of preparation. Many of the exceptions are included among the hundred recipes scattered throughout, including a flank steak stuffed with cremini mushrooms, spinach, bacon and cheese; a shrimp, feta and bulgur wheat salad; and a polenta with blue cheese sauce. Plenty of fare best eaten over the sink is also included, such as sardines on toast or an open-faced cheese and tapenade sandwich. Madison's non-judgmental tone is refreshing and friendly, and recipes are varied enough that any home cook will find something worth adding to the repertoire. Though it can get repetitive--Madison never really reaches any conclusions-readers interested in the dining practices of others will find this a light but satisfying indulgence (not unlike sardines on toast).
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