Are there things you do at the end of the day to unwind? After a long day doing life, what is the one thing you do that quiets with rest of the world? For some it’s reading books, to others it’s listening to music, but for me it is cooking. I love to cook and after a long day of being in the office or blogging, I love to go into the kitchen, put on my apron, play Ella Fitzgerald, and begin cooking. Whether it is something small like cookies or making a meal for friends, the process of cooking has always been something that relaxes me. I am always looking out for new recipes to try, or new techniques to improve my signature dishes, which are roasted chicken, chicken enchiladas, buttermilk pancakes, and Zucchini Falafel to name a few. So when Penguin and Gotham Books approached me to review a book for them about French cooking, I was curious and excited at the same time. I love French cooking but always found the thought of making it a little scary. Luckily, In a French Kitchen by Susan Herrmann Loomis gives guidelines to French cooking and helping us master the art of extraordinary food.
In a French Kitchen is unlike any book I have ever read. It is was a beautiful blend of memoir, cook book and recipe guide to give a reader a glimpse into the world of French cuisine. The writing is elegant, simple and sheer perfection. Susan writes as I imagine she would speak to you as if you were in her kitchen watching her cook. I can imagine myself sitting on a stool in her kitchen, watching her busying herself while preparing the evening meal, wine glass in hand as she proceeds to tell me what she is cooking. She has not only given me confidence to master French cooking, but has increased my passion for food. Ever since reading this book, I have changed a few of my kitchen and grocery habits which have turned out to be the best thing I could have ever done. I have begun to notice that every meal has some type of salad in it, which I have made instead of buying the pre-packaged type, and when I buy bread, I buy it fresh to use that day or the next. I obviously do not live in France where the baguettes are baked fresh every day and the fresh food is within walking distance, but I do what I can. Susan has allowed me to change my viewing and thought process to not just French cooking but how I see cooking in general.
I loved reading this book, and enjoyed Susan’s tip, tricks and stories that blend beautifully together to create an enchanting piece of literary beauty. With that in mind, I only have one problem with the book. *gasp* I know, how could I have an issue with such a wonderful book? Let me explain… the book comes with recipes that she describes in her book (I have marked several of them to try), but there are some at the end of the chapters and some at the end of the books. Hm. I don’t like the inconstancy of the placement of the recipes in the book. They should go either after the chapters or in an index at the end, not both. I would have preferred they were in the back so they can be easily found, instead of looking though all the chapters trying to find that one apple cake recipe Susan was talking about in one of the chapters. That is my only issue I have with this lovely book, if the recipes were in one place then it would make the book easier to navigate and use as a tool in the kitchen.
If you love learning and reading about cooking french food or have been trying to master French cooking, then this book is for you! It is a great companion to have when you wish to expand your reading memoir criteria, reading more non-fiction, or looking to expanding your knowledge of French food. The only question remains is… where do I keep it? In the kitchen or on the bookshelf?
In a French Kitchen will be out later this month.
Disclaimer: I was sent In a French Kitchen for free from Penguin/Gotham Books. This review is of my own work, and I did not copy or refer to any other reviewers/writers/bloggers for this post. All content provided on “A Comfy Chair” is for informational purposes only. I make no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
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2 thoughts on “In a French Kitchen by Susan Herrmann Loomis: A Review”
What a lovely review, and thank you so very much. I hope the placement of the recipes won’t keep you from trying them! Let me know how you like them, and again, thank you so much.