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In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of…

In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in…

by Susan Herrmann Loomis

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Loomis is an American who has lived in France for decades. She is well known for books on French cooking and a well-received memoir about her live abroad. I haven't read her other books, but a generous interpretation of In a French Kitchen might be that she was resting on her laurels a bit and that fans who are familiar with her history and style will like even the most casually written combination of anecdotes and recipes. The recipes almost save the book -- they are without exception interesting, well composed, hearty, simple, and very French. I could see fitting many of these into my regular cooking routine, and I'm glad I had a chance to look through them. I don't know, maybe I was feeling cranky when I read this, but the tone really did not work, neither as a memoir nor as a cookbook. Fans may have a different view, but this was not a good introduction to Loomis for me.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2016/03/in-french-kitchen-tales-and-traditions.htm... ] ( )
  kristykay22 | Mar 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This has become one of my very favorite books. If you've ever wanted to visit France of if you just need to get away for a bit, this wonderful little book can take you away on a reading vacation. I felt like I was actually in France with the author as she took me on shopping trips, explained what an authentic French kitchen requires, introduced me to her neighbors, taught me all about cheeses and wines.....what a wonderful adventure. The book is DELIGHTFUL. I will always keep this one handy.. Oh and recipes with guidance in cooking the French way.....Oui...Lots of recipes. ( )
  justmeRosalie | Feb 10, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The French perspective on food, nourishment, and community is clearly conveyed in this book. It is a cookbook, but much more. It's an inspiring book for anyone who cares about what they eat, and want food to be healthy and for good meals to be a natural part of our daily lives. ( )
  kitkeller | Jan 15, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Loomis has written several charming books recounting her experiences as an American, now living -- and cooking! -- in France. I have always enjoyed her chatty, conversational style. I understand she also gives cooking classes in her home. Her writing takes on the same warm tenor as one imagines you would hear sitting at her kitchen table. Her latest "In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France" allows us a peek, not just into her own kitchen but those of her friends and acquaintances.

As explained by Loomis (and in my experience typical of other nationalities' home cooking), much of French home cooking has a solid basis in the recipes and techniques learned from Mamie or Maman. (Everyone with a treasured family receipe, raise their hand. Yup. Thought so.) These traditions are not the basis of fussy rarified restaurant cooking but the satisfying stuff enjoyed every where. I love that Loomis includes a chapter on the French use of 'leftovers', which spells 'homey' to me. There are separate chapters on produce, salad, cheese, desserts, bread, breakfasts, and pantry organization. The book helpfully ends with a by-the-month collection of menus with accompanying recipes.

There are 85 recipes scattered throughout. However, this is not a cook book per se. The recipes are provided more as an example and guide to the techniques and traditions being discussed. Mine was an early Uncorrected Advanced Reader Copy. The organization was a bit rough for the titles of the recipes in the index and for locating what one wanted. However, I felt the recipes themselves were clearly written, with proper techniques and quantities needed and servings produced.

I have made a few of the recipes, and the Cream of Mushroom soup, various salads, Rhubarb and ginger tart, and braised broccoli were all excellent. My favorite chapter by far was on Cheese!!! As handy a primer as one will find anywhere. Quite useful as I prepare a cheese tray for the upcoming Super Bowl party!!

I am a big one for sitting down to read a cookbook cover to cover. This book --with the lovely talks of how people like me cook on the other side of the world -- certainly hit the spot! ( )
  michigantrumpet | Dec 31, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Susan Hermann Loomis has written quite a few cookbooks. On Rue Tatin was the first book I read by this author and I immediately fell in love. That was more of a biographical accounting of her new life in France. IT was peppered with some great recipes too. This latest book, In a French Kitchen, has a similar feel to it. There are stories about her French friends which describe their philosophy of life and food, how they cook and what is stocked in their pantries.

Chapters focus on cheese, desserts, breakfasts and even what to do with leftovers. Each chapter has a few mouth-watering recipes. If you like a foodie biography laced liberally with good recipes, or if you are a Francophile, this book will be for you. It’s conversational and engaging.

* I received an advance reading copy of this book from Library Thing and am shamefully late publishing my review. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Nov 2, 2015 |
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Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness - Auguste Escoffier
This book is dedicated to Gayle.
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This book, In a French Kitchen, is intended to answer the question I hear more often than any other: "How does the French cook do it?"
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