Come see what's cooking at the Juneau Public Libraries!
"Real Stew," by Clifford A. Wright. Here are 300 fabulous recipes for all varieties of stew, including curries, chilis, adobos and ragouts, so you are sure to find one or two (at least!) to suit your tastes. They are sorted by the type of meat used: beef, veal, lamb, pork, fish, fowl, goat and rabbit, or by the fact that they have no meat at all, and the author includes a cultural history of sorts for each recipe. Perfectly suited to Juneau's clime!
"The Ultimate Casserole Cookbook," by Barbara C. Jones. Ahhhh - more hot, rib-sticking food. Many tried-and-true favorites are nestled in with the wild rice casserole and chardonnay chicken. The directions are easy to follow - and delicious.
"Vegan Planet," by Robin Robertson. 400 - count 'em, 400 - recipes for those who like to go meat-, dairy- and egg-free. With everything from soups and stews to breads, pastas, strudels, pizzas, and omelets, you can supply your body with everything it needs and nothing it doesn't at every meal! There's even a chapter called Dessert Heaven with old standbys like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, ice "cream" and fruit crisps.
"The Joslin Diabetes Great Chefs Cook Healthy Cookbook," by Frances Towner Giedt and Bonnie Sanders Polin. Despite the unwieldy name, this cookbook is quite approachable, with straightforward instructions for delicious-sounding recipes such as crispy chicken flautas with fire-roasted salsa, steamed lobster dumplings, herb-crusted prawns and cold-vegetable cannelloni. Since the goal of the editors was to present sophisticated, restaurant-quality food, these are not everyday recipes. Instead, it's food you'd be happy to construct a dinner party around.
"Sushi: Taste and Technique," by Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura. This beautiful book is aimed at those who know they like sushi but perhaps aren't sure about making their own. It starts with the basics: Equipment (traditional and substitutions), recipes for the "bones" (rice, ground fish, stock, and omelets), techniques for slicing and dicing vegetables, and choosing fish. With the basics covered, the recipes appear for sushi of all types: pressed, stuffed, scattered, hand-formed, and rolled! Beautiful photos and step-by-step directions make this a great beginners' book.
"The Craft of the Cocktail," by Dale DeGroff. Five-hundred recipes from "the Billy Graham of the holy spirits," with everything from what alcohols are what, and when it is necessary to use high-quality spirits and when you can economize. Drawing on his more than twenty years' bartending experience, DeGroff lists vital tools of the trade, gives tips on choosing ingredients and stocking a bar, and lessons on mastering basic techniques. The cocktails are arranged alphabetically and often include stories about their origins.
"The Good Cookie," by Tish Boyle. Wanna cookie? Don't settle for just anything - try one of the 250 recipes for drop, rolled, bar, piped, refrigerator and filled cookies in this wide-ranging cookbook. Bittersweet madeleines, coconut macaroons, white chocolate eggnog bars, mmm! And if reading the recipes doesn't whet your appetite, there's a section of color photos to tip you over the edge. One thing that makes this book especially useful is the "Cookies for every occasion" section in back, where you can locate recipes for cookies that ship well, sell well at bake sales, are showstoppers or are for true chocoholics only.
"The Bread Builders," by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott. If you dream of baking "hearth loaves with an open crumb and a resilient crust," well, then take this book home with you. This is not a cookbook, but a time-tested description of everything you need to know and do in order to bake the perfect loaf of bread. Moving from essays on flour proteins, yeasts, and traditional masonry ovens (all illustrated by photos and drawings of the ideal) to the details of building your own oven (including interior and exterior dimensions and discussions of materials), this is an indispensable starter for the serious bread baker.
"The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy," edited by Alan Davidson. Here's another non-cookbook. This book is twenty years of the best food history writing from the journal "Petits Propos Culinaires," which has published essays that, while somewhat esoteric, are very interesting. The essay examining the cooking activities depicted in a painting by Velasquez will enrich your art viewing, for instance, and another reconstructing a kitchen based on an inventory done in the 1600s will start you looking around your own kitchen for clues to your life. Fascinating, witty and well-written.
If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site (www.juneau.lib.ak.us/library) and looking at our catalog. The "In the Stacks" column is now archived! Go to the Juneau Public Libraries' Web site and look for "In the Stacks."