[london.food] Patterns in Cooking

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From: Simon Wistow
Subject: [london.food] Patterns in Cooking
Date: 05:42 on 29 Jun 2007
Over the weekend I got recommend this book which calls itself 

"vegetarian improvisational peasant fusion cuisine for the 22nd century"

It's totally free to download but is also available as a physical copy.

What's interesting about it is that - and this is why, from a skim 
reading, I think it's brilliant, it's a cookery book, not a recipe book.

It talks about the "pattern" of a recipe - the syntax for a particular 
dish or class of dishes. For example chapter 4 has a section called 'the 
pattern "how to curry anything you damn well please"' and has paragraphs 

  "the key with cooking dry spices is to brown them enough to release 
   their flavors. most spices you buy have traveled magnificent 
   distances and have lost much of their potency along the way. any 
   remaining umph can be released through heat - mix your spices 
   together, sprinkle the mixture over your becoming-curry after the 
   wet spices have been given a chance to brown, and stir constantly. 
   they will threaten to burn and you WILL NOT BACK DOWN. continue to 
   stir until you can smell every element of your spice mixture (even 
   the salt, dammitt) in every corner of the house. only then may you 
   go on. if you stop earlier you will end up with the grainy powdered 
   taste of weakness instead of the full mystical flavors of The 

and in general goes into what something should look, feel and smell like 
when it's done and more importantly - Why.

It also has variations on recipes which are, if not completely 
different, then sufficently different to instil in you the sense that 
There's More Than One Way To Do It.

I have to admit I haven't read the book cover to cover yet nor have I 
actually cooked anything form it but I'd like (or hope) to think that if 
I wrote a book on cooking it wouldn't be a million miles from this 
because form a first glance I agree with everything, even the stuff I 
don't agree with.

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