cover image Lunch at the Shop: The Art and Practice of the Midday Meal

Lunch at the Shop: The Art and Practice of the Midday Meal

Peter Miller. Abrams, $24.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1065-0

Lucky is the lady who can stop midday to have a proper meal. Employees at Miller's Seattle bookshop do exactly that. For years, they have sat down and eaten lunch together, "in every season, in all weather, no matter the work that needs to be done that day." In this concise and quaint volume, Miller celebrates all that is good about lunch with colleagues. He encourages readers to "simply [take] part of the day back into [their] own hands, making it personal and a pleasure." These workplace lunches steer clear of take-out options, opting instead for fresh premade foods that can be finished on-site. The author aims for healthful and tasty items. He and his co-workers are privy to tartines, for example, an open-faced sandwich, which is easily embellished with top-notch bread and a range of ingredients: "Fool with it." Miller suggests, "Sweeten it with a little fig spread, loosen it with salsa, sharpen it with a cheese or a mustard, smooth it with butter." Other dishes include a variety of salads, paired with different vinaigrettes, and ever-so-comforting soups. The book serves as a charming reminder that no matter how hectic the day or week, we still need the occasional respite. With practical ideas and promising recipes, Miller gives us the tools to achieve that. (Mar.)