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ALMOST VEGETARIAN

A PRIMER FOR COOKS WHO ARE EATING VEGETARIAN MOST OF THE TIME, CHICKEN AND FISH SOME OF THE TIME AND ALTOGETHER WELL ALL OF THE TIME

Working with this book is something like dealing with a friend who's brilliant but has trouble following through. Shaw (Grilling from the Garden, not reviewed) has hit on a promising idea, but her goal is never clear. Does she mean this as a primer for those who aim to become total vegetarians? Or is it merely a guide to eating less meat? Recipes, particularly those for vegetable dishes, are often quite creative, but there is a distracting amount of information of all sorts bursting out of every nook and cranny. Each recipe has not only a descriptive header, but instructions for which steps can be done in advance, preparation and cooking times, serving suggestions, and complete nutritional information. In the disorganized foreword, Shaw expounds on everything from prune juice to tofu, and then sticks other subjects (how to light a grill, how to clean a leek) in with the recipes when applicable. At times her asides are so basic as to seem silly: ``A vegetarian version of a dish can taste easily as good as (or better than) the version with meat. But it won't taste the same.'' Serving sizes are consistently off; the filling for clever tomato timbales wrapped in spinach yielded three rather than the promised four, and a satisfying lentil salad with salty feta and crunchy bits of red onion and fennel was listed as serving four but could feed twice that many people. Bean-brained. (2-color illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-553-88206-X

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Crown

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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