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Lusty Lady

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Want to read: Man With a Pan

Starting a new feature...not sure if I can manage it daily but there are definitely plenty of books I come across that I want to read. I don't always get to read them, but I want to, so I'll be sharing info about them.

I want to read Man With a Pan! It's a very big name anthology, edited by John Donohue of food blog Stay at Stove Dad, who you can follow @StayatStoveDad on Twitter.

From the New York Times review:

Mohammed Naseehu Ali, a writer from Ghana, describes how his father, a Muslim man with three wives, learned to cook after suspecting one of those wives was poisoning his food. He’s excellent on the practice in Ghana of tsibbu, a form of food-based black magic. “Women use water they have collected from washing their private parts to cook food for their husbands,” he writes about one form of tsibbu, ostensibly turning the men into their virtual slaves.

And Jack Hitt, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, is absurdly observant about multiple topics — not just learning to cook but also about growing up in the South, where black women worked in the kitchens and other people stayed out. About an untrained cook confronting a recipe, he captures “the world of hurt and confusion that can come from only three or four words such as ‘Puree until liquefied. Strain.’ ” Each of these four essays is, as the Michelin Guide puts it, vaut le voyage...

Several of the pieces here poke around in what Manny Howard, in his essay, calls “stunt cooking” — the male need to put on a show and, say, bury a whole pig somewhere. Other essays are about cooking for finicky children. Mr. Donohue, the editor, lashes things together with an essay that notes that, with more women working, men do about one-third of the household cooking today. There are side benefits. He mentions a survey indicating that men who cook “are more likely to have spouses who are in the mood for sex.”

Official description from Workman:

Look who’s making dinner! Twenty-one of our favorite writers and chefs expound upon the joys—and perils—of feeding their families.

Mario Batali’s kids gobble up monkfish liver and foie gras. Peter Kaminsky’s youngest daughter won’t eat anything at all. Mark Bittman reveals the four stages of learning to cook. Stephen King offers tips about what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking. And Jim Harrison shows how good food and wine trump expensive cars and houses.

This book celebrates those who toil behind the stove, trying to nourish and please. Their tales are accompanied by more than sixty family-tested recipes, time-saving tips, and cookbook recommendations, as well as New Yorker cartoons. Plus there are interviews with homestyle heroes from all across America—a fireman in Brooklyn, a football coach in Atlanta, and a bond trader in Los Angeles, among others.

What emerges is a book not just about food but about our changing families. It offers a newfound community for any man who proudly dons an apron and inspiration for those who have yet to pick up the spatula.

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