Fireside Cook Book: A Complete Guide to Fine Cooking for Beginner and Expert
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Fireside Cook Book: A Complete Guide to Fine Cooking for Beginner and Expert

by James Beard, Alice Provensen, Martin Provensen
     
 

The Fireside Cook Book is designed for people who are not content to regard food just as something one transfers periodically from plate to mouth. It is for those who recognize that a simple family meal (as well as a dress-up dinner party) can be a pleasure and a special event.

The wide variety of I-can't-wait-to-try-it dishes in the book are presented

Overview

The Fireside Cook Book is designed for people who are not content to regard food just as something one transfers periodically from plate to mouth. It is for those who recognize that a simple family meal (as well as a dress-up dinner party) can be a pleasure and a special event.

The wide variety of I-can't-wait-to-try-it dishes in the book are presented according to a new and different theory. You will find here no attempt to overwhelm the cook with all the recipes ever concocted. Instead, you will find clear, easy-to-follow instructions for the basic preparation of every food, followed in each case by fascinating variations. The basic recipes and variations add up to 1,217 tested dishes — simple enough for the novice, delicious enough for the most meticulous master chef, complete enough for the most imaginative menus without a repetition.

A detailed chapter is devoted to the art of outdoor cookery, another to the preparation of hors d'oeuvres, cocktail snacks, and supper snacks. There is an entire section of suggested menus subdivided into cold weather meals and summer doldrum hints. There is also a complete section on wines and liquors.

The 36 full-color pictures and the nearly 400 other color pictures are themselves full of helpful invention. Handsome double-page spreads employ visual-aid methods to give practical details about, and special uses of, cuts of meat, varieties of wine, and types of fish.

Here, in short, is a book that is an indispensable addition to every American home in which good food is appreciated. It is a book to use constantly, to pore over with delight, and give to all friends from whom you can reasonably expect a future dinner invitation.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The Fireside Cook Book, originally published in 1949, wasn't Beard's first cookbook, but it was his first big book. It includes more than 12,000 recipes and variations, with chapters on every course of a meal, as well as "Outdoor Cookery," "Frozen Foods and Pick-Up Meals," and more. This 60th-anniversary edition includes the original watercolor illustrations and a brief new foreword by cookbook author Mark Bittman. While some of the information and language is dated, of course, it's amazing how ahead of his time Beard often was; the vegetable chapter, for example, lists chayote, the Caribbean squash that has only recently been appearing in produce markets here, and an Italian menu includes the regional specialty rabbit agrodolce, at a time when most Americans thought of spaghetti and meatballs as exotic. The amount of information the book provides is equally impressive, and Beard's straightforward, opinionated prose remains a delight to read. For all cookery collections.


—Judith Sutton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416589679
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
10/21/2008
Edition description:
60th Anniversary Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 7.52(h) x 1.17(d)

Meet the Author

James Beard had a national reputation as an authority on every phase of food. Consultant to a wine and spirits establishment, he wrote seventy-six other books and numerous articles for national magazines on widely varied phases of cooking. Mr. Beard, who knew the cooking of every corner of our country, cooked in nearly every language. He lived abroad, traveled throughout Europe a number of times, saw most of the Western Hemisphere, and visited Hawaii and North Africa. His familiarity with exotic foreign foods spiced his extensive knowledge of American cooking at its best.

Mr. Beard was adviser to several large food companies, was food editor of Argosy magazine, and made many appearances on radio and television. His first three books are Hors d'Oeuvres and Canapes, Cook It Outdoors, and Fowl and Game Cookery. Equally at home in the kitchen of his own New York apartment and that of a hotel, James Beard brought the same sure touch to a half-hour supper as he did to the most elaborate buffet. He died in 1985.

Alice Provensen is the author and illustrator of Murphy in the City, A Day in the Life of Murphy, and Klondike Gold. She collaborated with her late husband, Martin, on many other highly acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Medal–winning The Glorious Flight and Nancy Willard’s Newbery Medal–winning A Visit to William Blake’s Inn, which was also a Caldecott Honor Book. The Provensens have been on the New York Times list of the Ten Best Illustrated Books eight times. Alice lives in California.

Mark Bittman is the author of Food Matters, How to Cook Everything and other cookbooks, and of the weekly New York Times column, The Minimalist. His work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines, and he is a regular on the Today show. Mr. Bittman has hosted two public television series and has appeared in a third.

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