An inventive, amusing guide that’s perfect for those looking to get back to basics in the kitchen.



A cookbook urges a return to traditional methods of harvesting and preparing food.

Don’t let the title mislead you. This work doesn’t offer recipes that feature trolls but rather encourages people to start cooking like the famous folkloric creatures who, unlike their human counterparts, are still “in touch with the realities of the natural world and the rhythms of the year.” Readers who accept Cammell (The Stumpers, 2014, etc.) and Marsh’s (The Mentalist's Handbook, 2018) conceit—that trolls actually exist—will be treated to a quirky, thoughtful guide to old-fashioned cooking. Information is presented seasonally. The opening section, “Winter,” includes instructions on selecting essential tools, like a cast iron pan and a good knife, and an overview of grains as well as straightforward recipes for such dishes as creamed winter greens and cornbread. “Spring” covers foraging everything from cattails to wild roses; roasting meat; and tending a garden. Cheesemaking and fishing are addressed in “Summer” and storing and preserving food in “Autumn.” Interspersed with the practical tips are facts about trolls; folktales that focus on the creatures; and Cammell’s series of delightful color illustrations that depict them. The point is to help readers call up a little of the “old magic” of cooking by passing on processed foods of mysterious origin and modern conveniences like microwaves in favor of locally grown, seasonal food that can be prepared simply. While some recipes are quite elaborate, such as the instructions for concocting a classic plum pudding, others can be easily made by those with little culinary experience and no special tools. The emphasis is on “experimentation, trusting your gut, and using what you can find” instead of turning out Pinterest-perfect meals. While the volume is not specifically aimed at children, parents who are looking for a fun way to teach their kids about food and cooking should find it especially useful. Among adults, those with a taste for whimsy will likely be charmed by the frequent references to trolls and their mythical ways; the less fancifully inclined may find the tone grating.  

An inventive, amusing guide that’s perfect for those looking to get back to basics in the kitchen.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9788966-7-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Dromedary Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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



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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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