A brief, straightforward guide to hosting a Thanksgiving dinner without being overwhelmed.




An easy-to-read, concise, somewhat tongue-in-cheek guide for how to host the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

This simple book is a valuable tool for someone hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. New York Times national editor Sifton begins by describing the items needed to prepare a turkey. Considering varying budgets, the author gives a range of options for pans, cutting boards, knives and other kitchen equipment at different price points. He provides more than one recipe for many traditional Thanksgiving items as well, catering to differing time restrictions and cooking expertise. For example, Sifton includes four recipes for an oven-roasted turkey: “A Simple Roast Turkey,” “An Even More Simple Roast Turkey,” “Herb-Roasted Turkey” and “Faster Roast Turkey.” The author also advises on what brands and types of ingredients to buy, how to set a table and how to use leftovers. He takes the mystery out of terms such as “brining” and “heritage turkey” and how, and if, they make a difference in the turkey’s final taste. Also of note is Sifton’s advice on what not to do. Thanksgiving should be appetizer-free; chocolate should be put aside in favor of classical American desserts such as apple, pumpkin and pecan pie; mashed potatoes should not have garlic or basil. Additional tips on what to serve for drinks, as well as Sifton's policy for serving oysters on Thanksgiving, will help make the entire day a better experience. His leftover recipes, which go beyond the basic turkey sandwich, will ensure that the days after Thanksgiving are filled with great culinary experiences.

A brief, straightforward guide to hosting a Thanksgiving dinner without being overwhelmed.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6991-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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