Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cookbook Review: Cuba! Recipes and Stories From the Cuban Kitchen by Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn and Jody Eddy

With the warming of  the  relationship between Cuba and the USA I find this book especially timely and interesting. Goldberg, Kuhn and Eddy actually traveled to Cuba to explore it's cuisine and culture. The recipes range from staples of the Cuban diet to updated versions of classics. The book is divided into ten main chapters. It begins with cooking the basics-beans, rice, sofrito. and them moves on to different sin categories of Cuban food- including a section for Cuban Chinese, and my favorite-desserts!

I made the Cuban fried chicken recipe  and it was fantastic. It will most likely be my "go-to" recipe for fried chicken. The one thing I didn't like about the recipe was that it didn't give a time estimate. It just assumed you knew what to do. Other recipes that have made it onto my "must make" short list include Mojito Cake,  Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Shredded Beef with Fried Eggs, Mojo and Yuca.

While the recipes seem like winners, this book does have a few downsides. The (stunning) photography is clearly the focus of the book and because of this the recipe text is too small, I have average eyesight and have to bring the book close to my face to read it. Also, the book tries to explore the lives of the people behind the food but falls short. The writing about the people and culture is done in a "tell" vs. "show" style and it made me not want to continue reading. I would have loved to had more background on the people the culinary trio met and had it told in a more narrative style, rather than this is what we did, this is what he said. I much preferred the writing style found in Victuals than this one.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Book Review: My Brother's Keeper by Rodd Gragg

My Brother's Keeper chronicles the actions of 30 Christians who risked everything to save others during the Holocaust. School teachers, men, women, business owners, doctors. The people profiled  ranged in profession, social class and income level yet they all chose to selflessly follow their heart. Some saved children, friends, co-workers or strangers. Others died trying.

The profiles are in narrative style and are easy to follow. The stories are woefully gripping. You want to keep reading, yet you almost cannot bear to continue. Gragg writes about a time period in history were it seemed many were faithless yet the faithful come to light in this book.

 This book is especially timely as it reminds those who do believe to stand up for what is right and to leave the consequences to God. It is a very convicting, emotional read. What would you do when faced with the decisions these 30 faced?

I highly recommend My Brother's Keeper and will be reading some of  Gragg's other works as well.