A collection of recipes that are as fresh and delicious as vegetables pulled directly from the garden.

AMEN TO THE GARDEN

DANDELIONS TO DINNER

Thompson, a certified integrative nutrition health coach and stay-at-home mom, offers a garden-to-table cookbook that celebrates the art of the homemade meal.

The author notes that, long ago, her Italian grandparents would send her father outside to pick dandelions for dinner; similarly, she involves her own children in the growing, harvesting, and cooking of their family meals. In this vibrant cookbook, she shares tried and true family recipes that focus on herbs and vegetables from her garden. After she discovered that most members of her family suffered from gluten intolerances, she started to explore cuisines from other cultures; as a result, all of the recipes here may be made gluten free. Readers should note, however, that some don’t include serving sizes, as the author says that she’s accustomed to adjusting the ingredients based on the size of the group for which she’s cooking. It’s obvious when reading the recipes how she got her nickname, the “Pepper Queen,” as she has a clear penchant for hot peppers, and readers who enjoy spicy food will get a lot out of this book. It also features tips that even advanced cooks may find helpful; for example, she shares her personal salt-mix recipe (three parts gray sea salt and one part Himalayan pink salt) as well as a simple note to store rice in the refrigerator. Her recipes focus on the quality of their fresh ingredients rather than on their quantity, and although she mentions many specific brands, she notes that she hasn’t received compensation from any of them; they’re simply her favorites. High-quality color photographs by the author accompany the text, including images of vegetable blossoms. Thompson also includes a list of resources that include where to procure some of the more obscure brands in the text.

A collection of recipes that are as fresh and delicious as vegetables pulled directly from the garden.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-982228-66-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2020

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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A slender, highly satisfying collection.

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LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I MEAN

A dozen pieces of nonfiction from the acclaimed novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter.

In an appreciative introduction, New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als praises Didion as “a carver of words in the granite of the specific.” Stylistic precision (“Grammar is a piano I play by ear,” she writes) and the “energy and shimmer” of her prose are fully evident in this volume of previously uncollected pieces, written from 1968 to 2000. Although Didion portrays herself as a diffident, unconfident writer as a college student, she learned “a kind of ease with words” when working at Vogue, where she was assigned to write punchy, concise copy. The experience, she recalls, was “not unlike training with the Rockettes.” Several pieces were originally published in magazines, and two were introductions: one, to a volume of photography by Robert Mapplethorpe; another, to a memoir by director—and Didion’s friend—Tony Richardson. All reveal the author’s shrewd, acerbic critical eye. In “Getting Serenity,” she reports on a meeting of Gamblers Anonymous, where, she notes sardonically, one woman “adapted her mode of public address from analgesic commercials.” William Randolph Hearst’s “phantasmagoric barony,” San Simeon, “seemed to confirm the boundless promise of the place we lived,” but, she decided, was best admired from afar, like a fairy-tale castle, “floating fantastically.” Didion’s rejection from Stanford elicited an essay about college as consumption, and her skewering of consumption and artifice recur as themes—for example, in her observation of the ways women stage themselves for portrait photographs. Several particularly revealing essays focus on writing: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking,” she famously admitted, a statement often misattributed to others. Writing, for her, is “the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act.” As these pieces show, it’s also an accomplished act of seduction.

A slender, highly satisfying collection.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-31848-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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