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From Barnes & NobleChinese Family Recipes
Traditional Cantonese cuisine is a subtle, refined way of cooking that not only takes into account the health-giving and balancing properties of ingredients but also matches countless auspicious foods prepared in special dishes to celebratory occasions. Grace Young took this way of eating for granted, growing up in San Francisco on the Cantonese dishes her family had brought with them from China. Now, recognizing that the traditions of Cantonese cooking are dying out in her extended family, Young has dedicated herself to preserving not just the techniques and recipes but also the philosophy behind this complex cuisine. The result is an enchanting book, The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen. It is an eminently practical book—with step-by-step instructions, glossaries of ingredients, listings of mail-order sources, and a series of full-color photos that identify the many exotic Chinese fresh and packaged foods called for in the recipes—but it is also a highly personal one, full of family photos, culinary lore, stories from the time before the revolution in China and from the years after emigration to the U.S., and anecdotes about trips to the market, celebrations, and mealtimes. The recipes range from everyday home-style cooking to ritualized, labor-intensive dishes prepared for celebrations to health-giving tonics, soups, and teas. The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen offers a window onto a way of thinking about food and a way of life that is as fascinating as it is unfamiliar to most Western cooks. But what makes the book especially rewarding is the sense permeating every page that it was truly a labor of love.