Archive for ‘Food’

October 24th, 2010

The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy

by Gwen




When you think of pasta, how many shapes can you name? Maybe a handful? There are over 300 shapes and they all have their uses and back stories. I can barely count that high, but I can eat and am passable at cooking.

Call The Geometry of Pasta a cookbook for the hungry graphic artist in you. There aren’t any pictures of the prepared dishes, just fabulous graphics of each individual type of pasta. Check this one out.


The Geometry of Pasta - AGNOLOTTI

AGNOLOTTI are, in essence, ravioli, but instead of being made from two squares of pasta, they are made from one piece folded in half.

After each description, there are suggested sauces, the history of the shape and dimensions along with a recipe for a sauce or two. (For Agnolotti, Kenedy suggests butter and sage, in broto, stew juice, and tomato sauce.)

I can see what you are thinking, without pictures this sounds boring and unappetizing. Au contraire my hungry friend. The ingredients jump of the page leaving your mouth watering.

The first one I tried was the Walnut Pesto. It was so good that I have made it multiple times and still haven’t managed to be able to take my own picture of it before it is gone.


Stole this shot from Country Living, but it looks just like this

My kitchen is the size of a shoebox. Therefore I am pretty stingy when it comes to giving up space for cookbooks, but this baby has a place of pride right along with Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking. It even inspired me to take up a bit more space and buy a pasta roller thing to make my own.

The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy


  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree, Limited (May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752227378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752227375signature_thumb[1]


August 23rd, 2010

Review~ 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman

by Gwen

97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman

An edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement

Special note: Do not read this on an empty stomach or when your cupboards are bare.

Looking for a read that deals with food history, cooking, immigration in the 19th and early 20th century, New York tenements, the Potato Famine, and the expansion of unorthodox Judaism? Congratulations, you can find it all with 97 Orchard!

Ziegelman starts with the Glockner family in 1863 and follows the tenents through the Baldizzi family in 1935. It is such a cool way to look at the history, from the viewpoint of one particular address. The building itself was also somewhat unique because it was built by immigrants for immigrants. Most tenements on the East Side were built by wealthy natives for use by people of the lower class. Lucas Glockner built the building and with his family, lived in it for over a decade, renting out the other apartments. Eventually, his son married the daughter of a tenant and moved back in with his family.

I mentioned that the book will make you hungry. Right off the bat there is a recipe for hasenpfeffer, a ragout made from wild rabbit and one for veal stew. Later, while looking in on the Rogarshevsky family, there is a recipe for challah and I have already tried the Baldizzi family’s zucchini frittata and it was fabulous. The stories are mixed in with the evolution of food in the immigrant families.

It is hard to imagine how people could live and thrive in tenement buildings. There was no running water, often no bathrooms, you had to use a privy outside, times were hard and children were many. However, these families did thrive and many left their story to be told through the foods they brought over with them from their homelands.

97 Orchard was easier to read than your run of the mill nonfiction because the pace kept moving and it didn’t get mired in day to day details. There was a lot of information and that kept me interested….and hungry. I may just have to feature a recipe or three in an upcoming post.

97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman

Hardcover: 272 pages

Publisher: Smithsonian; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)

ISBN-10: 0061288500

ISBN-13: 978-0061288500