A massive but workaday collection of culinary suggestions.

THE COMPLETE FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS HANDBOOK

MacLeod (Asian Ingredient Substitutions, 2018, etc.) provides a comprehensive reference text of food substitutions.

This alphabetical guide offers readers hundreds of ingredient alternatives as well as recipes for everything from abalone to zucchini. The author specifically offers advice regarding problematic foods for readers on restrictive diets—such as vegans or those looking for foods free of gluten, lactose, and soy, or low in fat, salt, or sugar. In the case of sour cream, for example, the author offers no fewer than nine alternatives. These range from simple swaps, such as plain, full-fat Greek-style yogurt, to more complicated substitutes, such as one that requires blending soaked cashews with water, lemon juice, and sea salt to make a dairy-free, creamy topping. If readers need the sour-cream substitution for a particular purpose, such as a cooked sauce or baking, they’ll find appropriate ones for those specific tasks listed separately. Cooks who are frustrated by the lack of gluten-free products in stores will find homemade solutions here, such as ground, roasted peanuts instead of bread crumbs. For those who find themselves midrecipe without a crucial ingredient, such as nutmeg, the author will save the day with her stand-ins, such as allspice or cinnamon. Some substitutions are more exotic; for instance, one can swap a dozen small Hawaiian malasadas for mini-zeppoli (Italian doughnut-style pastries) or make their own by frying pizza dough and sprinkling it with confectioners’ sugar. Each substitution includes one-to-one measurements. MacLeod certainly knows her stuff, and there’s plenty of material here; the book weighs in at 520-plus pages, followed by an extensive bibliography. The absence of an introduction or any kind of narrative engagement with the reader, however, makes it feel as dry as a Physicians’ Desk Reference. The lack of interaction between author and reader may not bother those who are practitioners in the dietary or homeopathic fields, who are simply looking for quick answers. Foodies, however, may find the overall lack of personality disappointing.

A massive but workaday collection of culinary suggestions.

Pub Date: Nov. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9974464-9-4

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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