Hello there– I don’t know why I haven’t written about this book before. I’ve had it for over a year and like to keep it out on the table– so I can browse through to get the nudge to sit down with friends for a simple, tasteful, convivial meal together.
Produced out of the quarterly Kinfolk journal, it’s not truly a cookbook, but more the stories of 45 cooks or farmers or artisans from Brooklyn to Portland, from England to Copenhagen, who prepare and offer food with love and ever stylish care. And there’s recipes along the way. The photography is spare and beautiful– of rustic farmhouses and well scrubbed pine tables, of lush gardens and people with bicycles. It’s about a pot of soup for a tableful, or a quiet tea for two, or a sandwich perfectly made for a picnic alone– always artfully served.
So it seems to be more of a lifestyle book, the antithesis of so practical Joy of Cooking. And I have no hopes of being as stylish or having a table so perfectly yet subtly designed, as the people in this book. Some reviewers find the whole thing pretentious, too hip. But I just think it great fun to pour over, for the way “entertaining” is reduced to summoning up simple food to set it on the table for the nurture of people we care about. It’s beautiful page after page– I think you’d enjoy it.