A Birdwatcher's Cookbook

Erma J. Fisk, Author, Louise Russell, Illustrator W. W. Norton & Company $15.95 (271p) ISBN 978-0-393-02502-6
Admitting greater enthusiasm for birdwatching than cooking, ornithologist Fisk offers a charming volume that is much more than the sum of its recipes. Veteran birdwatchers and weekend picnickers will enjoy dishes that lend themselves to being wedged into a portable cooler, notably spinach squares and beet soup (borscht). There are also many warm, end-of-the-day meals, among them ""cold night's'' lamb stew, Northwest fish chowder and cheese woodchuck (with onion, milk, corn and eggs). Brazil-nut chips, Father Fisk's rum punch and Atchie Alexander's fruit-nut torte are offered as snacks. However, it is Fisk's writing style and pervasive personality that make this volume unusual. In most cookbooks, the entry ``goose'' contains directions; here, this cook explains why she can't quite bring herself to prepare one. Evelyn's scrapple starts with a 48-gallon kettle, three pigs and one steer. Fisk encourages readers to experiment and be creative (``I can only spoon-feed you so far'') and nonchalantly notes: ``Some dishes I don't particularly like but others do, so maybe you will.'' Many cookbooks have fancier recipes; few are better company. Fisk is the author of The Peacocks of Baboqui'vari. Illustrations not seen by PW. (December)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-393-33130-1
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