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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

Here is the true story of a brave Polish couple: Jan and Antonina Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife. After surviving the German invasion of Poland at the start of World War II, and the slaughter and theft of their zoo animals by the Germans, they devoted themselves to covert operations against the Germans for the remainder of the war. These included the smuggling and hiding of hundreds of Polish Jews at their villa and in the empty animal cages, and such Polish Resistance activities as bomb making and hiding ammunition. Diane Ackerman presents us with a work of non-fiction written with suspense and lyrical quality; offering the reader an understanding of the account’s historical value.

Friday, June 4, 2010

More Barbecue Books

Here are some more books to inspire you at the grill!

Emeril at the Grill: a Cookbook for all Seasons, written by Emeril Lagasse, is not only a compilation of more than 150 recipes but also an entertaining read. Not content to present only the standards, Emeril is inspired by a variety of cuisines and foods. Recipes consist of those for grilled entrees, sides, salads, and desserts. Instructions for party cocktails and punches are included too.

America’s Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America’s Best Smoke Houses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses and Restaurants, written by Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk, offers techniques, tips and recipes from across the United States. Here they present ideas culled from some of the country’s experts, and from their own combined knowledge, for starters, main dishes, sides and desserts. An added bonus is a chapter on starting a barbecue business.

Grilling for all Seasons, by Rick Browne, the host of PBS’s
Barbecue America, offers guidelines for the novice and the experienced along with recipes and menus for winter, spring, summer and fall. Included with the traditional meat dishes are ideas for preparing fruits, vegetables, desserts and breads on the grill.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Barbecue Season Begins

Although barbecuing and grilling are year-round activities, it’s most popular during the summer. Here are some recent books to help improve your skills.

Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking, written by Adam Perry Lang, takes you from the basics to beyond when you are cooking all varieties of meat. Lang, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and haute cuisine chef-in-training took a career detour towards barbecue cuisine. The book features more than 130 recipes and color photos.

Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint written by Chris Lilly, great grandson-in-law of the original Big Bob, is a celebration of barbecue done Alabama-style. Included are recipes for the dry rubs, glazes, sauces and slathers for a variety of meats; tips on using different woods and creating the right heat also are given. Complete your meal with a selection of recipes for sides and desserts.

Wood-Fired Cooking: Techniques and Recipes for the Grill, Backyard Oven, Fireplace, and Campfire, written by Mary Karlin, is a compilation of more than 100 recipes originating from regions around the world such as India, Italy, the Mediterranean, the United States and North Africa. Karlin, a cooking school instructor in California, reviews the basics and then steers the reader to more complex dishes.

Grillin’ With Gas: 150 Mouthwatering Recipes for Great Grilled Food, written by Fred Thompson, features more than 150 recipes for a variety of meats, fruits, vegetables, sides and desserts. Learn the basics and the more advanced techniques for gas grilling and selection of ingredients.