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SAVORING THE SEASONS OF THE NORTHERN HEARTLAND

This 14th entry in the Knopf Cooks American series is top- notch (even Knopf's trademark borzoi has gotten into the spirit, sporting a jaunty toque). Cookbook writer Dooley (Peppers, Hot and Sweet, not reviewed) and Watson, owner of an eponymous restaurant in Minneapolis, update regional favorites with sensible revisionism. Our guides present foods from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, upper Michigan, and eastern North Dakota that reflect varied northern and eastern European immigration, cold weather, long distances between homes, and—as in the case of a pliant white bread using leftover mashed potatoes—the sturdy, thrifty values for which the Midwest is known. Along with the clear, extremely functional recipes are bits of information about such local delicacies as lutefisk (preserved codfish brought over from Norway) and the ice cream sundae, which was invented in Two Rivers, Wis. One entire chapter is devoted to ``hot dishes''—one-dish meals popular for church suppers and other informal gatherings; and alongside the traditional chicken pot pie, Dooley and Watson offer innovations like roasted vegetable strudel. Even a standard leftover meat casserole is perked up with caramelized onions and cognac. Likewise, dairy and egg options include blintzes that would not have been out of place in a turn-of-the-century kitchen though pepped up with fresh corn in the batter and fresh basil in the ricotta and Parmesan cheese filling. Hearty, homey eating, imbued with today's wisdom. Even coastal snobs will be dashing to the kitchen. (75 b&w illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1994

ISBN: 0-679-41175-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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