A Kitchen In France: A Year of Cooking In My Farmhouse
By Mimi Thorisson
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
This is a gorgeous book for food lovers. A cookbook that can be read like a novel but it is also filled with photos of food and scenes from life in the French countryside. Ms. Thorisson writes the blog, Manger. Her husband, Oddur, is a photographer and he took most of the photos for the book. It’s a coffee table book because of the size and beautiful photography, but also a cookbook that will be referenced many times over the course of a year because of the recipes.
The recipes are organized by season featuring the culinary bounty that is found in the markets or foraged from the land around the Thorisson’s house in the Medoc region of France. Some of the recipes that caught my eye are Chou Farci – Savoy cabbage stuffed with a savory pork filling, Lyonnaise Sausage Roll – brioche baked with sausage inside, and Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water – a simple dessert with the unexpected addition of the orange flower water. For the most part the recipes are simple and straight-forward everyday meals from the kitchen of a busy mom often with seven children afoot to feed. A few ingredients, like squab, pork cheeks or cepes, may not be so easily accessible for some cooks in the U.S., but there are plenty of other dishes to try with more readily available meats and produce.
I enjoyed the writing in this book as much as the recipes and photographs. It was a literary vacation to rural France. The Thorisson family moved from Paris to the countryside. While the lifestyle change was welcome, their growing family needed more space than what a Paris apartment could offer, it did take some time to get used to and Ms. Thorisson talks about how it feels to be a city girl in the country. Her writing style is chatty and conversational, like sitting down with a friend. Overall it is a very enjoyable book, especially if you are interested in France or French cooking.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.