cover image Copper, Iron, and Clay: A Smith’s Journey

Copper, Iron, and Clay: A Smith’s Journey

Sara Dahmen. Morrow, $32.50 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-294373-6

Dahmen, a cookware coppersmith, explains the enduring benefits of copper, iron, and clay in this illuminating how-to and recipe manual. As Dahmen explains, cast iron, with its ability to retain heat, is the workhorse of the kitchen; copper is resistant to rust and has the ability to heat evenly; and clay pots—“the oldest cooking material known to man, and the simplest”—are attractive and versatile for baking a variety of dishes. Dahmen explains the evolution of various methods used to produce cookware, as well as common types, tips on selecting the right pieces, and proper care of one’s collection. Interviews with chefs and craftspeople add texture to Dahmen’s narrative, giving readers a better understanding of and appreciation for these mundane yet solid objects. Home cooks eager to put their cooking vessels to work will appreciate Dahmen’s inclusion of recipes, among them buttermilk pancakes; stuffed beef tenderloin; her family’s pierogi; coq au vin; and an Amish apple pie. This terrific volume is sure to result in a greater respect for kitchen gear among amateur cooks and professionals alike. (Apr.)