Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Wholefood Pantry by Amber Rose

In her first book Nourish Amber Rose gave us a preview, a trailer, of her talent for complete food satisfaction: taste, flavor, texture and sumptuous visual beauty. In her new The Wholefood Pantry, she embarks full force on suggesting how you can change your culinary environment. For the much better.

We all have a “pantry.” Maybe it is just a shelf. Maybe part of a wall. Suzi and I have a real pantry, too small it turns out. It’s four by ten feet and it’s packed.

Amber is all for a packed pantry. But, she wants you to pack it personally. Make, not buy. Fresh ingredients with no preservatives. And overflowing with deep, complex flavor.

Pantry is filled with ideas for all kinds of products, components to be employed in ultimate finished dishes. There are salad dressings, jams, broths, salsas, chutneys, dips, … There are 175 recipes here and you probably can find a use for half or more of them.

The Wholefood Pantry comes in two sections: Savory and Sweet.

My sweet tooth is enormous, but I was most attracted to Amber’s savory ideas. She offers some family recipes —she was born in New Zealand — that reflect a childhood spent near a garden and orchard:

Plum Ketchup

Blueberry and Blackberry Syrup

Apple and Pear Chutney

Rhubarb, Rose and Lime syrup

Salsa Verde with Capers and Anchovies

Sweet Chili Sauce

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower

Ah, that last idea really isn’t a “pantry” item at all. It is a meal unto itself. There are recipes here for actual dishes that you will be consuming right away. This cauliflower is a tour de force of “flavorization.” There is a marinade of honey, thyme, garlic, and paprika to give that spicy [and sweet] aspect to the — let’s be honest — potentially bland cauliflower. That’s Amber’s genius on display: converting cauliflower into something you crave.

The recipes here, again garden and orchard focused, make use of multiple elements to implement dishes that are far from simple. Consider this salad: Radicchio with Sweet Grilled Pears, Goat Cheese, and Blackberry Elderberry Vinaigrette. A dish that bold, that complex, can be a meal all by itself. Add some bread and wine and you are fully provisioned.

It could easily take you a year or more to work your way through The Wholefood Pantry. When you are finished, your pantry will be far better. And filled.

Zeev Jabotinsky contribution to Zionism ....Jabotinsky's Children: Polish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism Hardcover – August 15, 2017 by Daniel Kupfert Heller (Princeton University Press); Vladimir Jabotinsky's Story of My Life Paperback – December 5, 2015 by Vladimir Jabotinsky (Author), Brian Horowitz (Editor), Leonid Katsis (Editor)(Wayne State University Press);Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Ze'Ev) Jabotinsky Two Volume Set by Shmuel Katz (Barricade Books) ; The Five: A Novel of Jewish Life in Turn-of-the-Century Odessa by Vladimir Jabotinsky (Author), Michael R. Katz (Translator), Michael Stanislawski (Introduction)(Cornell University Press);

Image result for Jabotinsky's Tomb

Jabotinsky's grave on Mt. Herzl in the section reserved for national leaders

Israel and the disciples of Jabotinsky declared the year 2000 to 2001 as a memorial period in order to reinforce to legacy and heritage of this unique great Zionist leader. Jabotinsky who died in Monroe, upstate New York in Aug. 1940, the Zionist prophet who forecasted the establishment of a free independent state in his famous Oct. 1938 speech in Warsaw, Poland, was buried again in Jerusalem only in 1965 because David Ben-Gurion excommunicated him. But Levy Eshkol, Israel's Prime Minister in that year, decided to honor Jabotinsky and correct the past terrible mistakes. 

Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky - Zionist leader, writer, orator, journalist and soldier - and the Zionist Revisionist movement he founded have been steeped in controversy, but have left their own distinct mark on the course of Zionist history, despite years of anti-establishment status.
Ze'ev Jabotinsky was born in Odessa in 1880. When he was only six years old, his father died, a tragedy that plunged the family into economic distress. An uncle advised his widowed mother to have the children learn a trade. But she wanted them educated, despite her difficulties. Odessa was at its height as a center of Jewish and Zionist activity; still Jabotinsky grew up steeped in Russian, more than Jewish culture. At age 18 he left Odessa for Switzerland and later went to Italy to study law.
Ze'ev Jabotinsky's promise as both a leader and a critic had already surfaced at the age of 14 - in a critique of the grading system, which he published in a local paper. In Bern, he began a lifelong writing career, serving as foreign correspondent for two Odessa newspapers (writing under the pen name "Altalena"). He joined a Russian student group and became interested in both socialist and Zionist ideas.
Jabotinsky's articles were so popular that in 1891, his paper recalled him to Odessa to join the editorial staff. Under the impact of the 1903 pogrom in Kishinev, he soon became immersed in Jewish self-defense as well as Zionist activities. Elected as a delegate to the Sixth Zionist Congress, Jabotinsky was deeply impressed by Herzl. Envious of the fluent Hebrew he heard spoken at the Congress, Jabotinsky - who already spoke Russian, French, English, German and various Slavic languages - set about gaining mastery of Hebrew, becoming an accomplished orator and translator. His writings include both original works -poems, plays and novels as well as polemic and philosophical tracts - and translations of classics, including an unparalleled rendition of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" into Hebrew, and the works of Hebrew national poet Chaim Nachman Bialik into Russian.
Jabotinsky rose to prominence as a professional journalist and provocative publicist - but first and foremost as a gifted and passionate orator. As a speaker his tone and message introduced a sense of urgency, not always shared by mainstream Jewish leaders, to Zionist deliberations and aspirations.
He traveled widely all over Russia and Europe - lobbying for the Zionist cause in Constantinople following the Young Turk revolution - advocating unrelenting international political activity along with ongoing Jewish settlement in Palestine.
Jabotinsky stressed the importance of learning Hebrew, which he perceived as a central element in nation-building - even serving for a brief stint as elocution teacher for the founding actors of the Habimah Theater, the first Hebrew-language theater troupe, destined to become Israel's national theater.
While socialist Zionists encouraged Jews to fight for their civil rights as Jews within the countries of their origin Jabotinsky was skeptical of his avenue of emancipation, proclaiming that salvation for Jews - both on a personal level and as a national entity - lay only in the Land of Israel.
Jewish self-defense was at the epicenter of Jabotinsky's socio-political philosophy, both as a physical imperative and as a wellspring of pride and seIf-confidence capable of "ennobling" the Jewish spirit.
With the outbreak of the World War I in 1914, Jabotinsky found himself in disagreement over strategy with prevailing opinion within the Zionist camp. Unconvinced that the Turks or the Arabs would accommodate the aims of Zionism, he advocated bolder tactics. As he was convinced of an ultimate Allied victory, Jabotinsky, together with Joseph Trumpeldor, called for the establishment of a Jewish fighting force to join the Allies in liberating Palestine from Ottoman rule. Thus they could earn a place at the peace table, with the right to demand establishment of an independent Jewish state in Palestine.
While both the Allied powers and mainstream Zionists were at first reluctant, the Zion Mule Corps was formed in 1913. The corps fought in Gallipoli, but was later disbanded. Despite objections by the official Zionist leadership which favored neutrality in order not to jeopardize the Jews of Palestine, Jabotinsky convinced the British government to permit the formation of three Jewish battalions. A man of action as well as words, Jabotinsky became an officer in the 38th King's Fusiliers, which fought with General Allenby in 1917, and was decorated for heading the first company to cross the River Jordan into Palestine. After the war, Jabotinsky wanted to maintain a Jewish unit as defense against growing Arab hostility to Zionism, but the unit was disbanded by the British.
Settling with his wife and two children in Palestine, Jabotinsky became editor of the Hebrew newspaper, Hadoar. During the Arab riots in Jerusalem in 1920, he organized Jewish defense. Subsequently, Jabotinsky was arrested and sentenced by a British military court to 15 years in jail, for illegal possession of arms. He was released several months later.
In the same year, he again became active within the Zionist establishment. However, since WWI, during which he had championed alignment with England, he had became disenchanted when Great Britain severed - almost 80% of Mandate Palestine originally designated for a Jewish Homeland to create Transjordan (1922). Disillusioned with Britain and angry at Zionist acquiescence to British reversals, Jabotinsky resigned in 1923 from the Zionist Organization.
He set about establishing a separate Zionist federation based on "revision" of the relationship between the Zionist movement and Great Britain. This federation would actively challenge British policy and openly demand self-determination -Jewish statehood. The goals of the Revisionist movement he founded included restoration of a Jewish Brigade to protect the Jewish community and mass immigration to Palestine - of up to 40,000 Jews a year.
In 1925, the establishment of the World Union of Zionist Revisionists was announced, with Paris as headquarters for the movement. Jabotinsky spent the next years actively lecturing and collaborating on dozens of publications to further the cause worldwide. He lived in Jerusalem between 1927 and 1929. In 1930, while on a speaking engagement abroad, the British administration barred his return to Palestine by canceling his return visa. Unable to return home, from that point until his death a decade later, Jabotinsky fought for the Zionist cause around the world. In 1931 Jabotinsky demanded that the Seventeenth Zionist Congress make a clear announcement of Zionist aims - a Jewish state - but the delegates refused to do so.
Seriously alarmed by Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Jabotinsky pressed in 1933 for a worldwide Jewish boycott of Germany, hoping to crush Germany economically, but Jewish and Zionist leaders declined to cooperate. In 1934, an agreement was signed between Jabotinsky and David Ben-Gurion, then Labor Zionist leader, general secretary of the powerful Federation of Labor and undisputed spokesman for mainstream Zionism in Palestine. The agreement was aimed at easing the growing conflicts between the groups; cooperation, however, was stymied when the Federation of Labor failed to ratify the agreement. Revisionists and Laborites were to remain bitter political adversaries for decades to come.
In 1935, the Revisionists withdrew from the Zionist Organization in protest over the organization's refusal to state clearly and unequivocally its final goal of statehood. Revisionists also claimed that the Zionist establishment was too passive, failing to challenge British restrictions on the pace of development of the Jewish National Home and thwarting attempts by Jews to flee Europe to the safety of Palestine. Jabotinsky focused his efforts on assisting Jews to reach Palestine by all means - legal or illegal. Sensing that Jews of Eastern Europe were in great danger, he called, in 1936, for an "evacuation" of Eastern European Jews to Palestine to solve the Jewish problem.
Outspoken and candid, Jabotinsky appeared before the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937 declaring that the "demand for a Jewish majority is not our maximum - it is our minimum." Stressing there would soon be 3-4 million European Jews seeking a safe haven in Palestine, he compared "Arab claims to Jewish demands" as akin to "the claims of appetite versus the claims of starvation." He and his followers argued that all territory in the original 1920 British Mandate over Palestine - encompassing all of the Land of Israel on both banks of the Jordan River - should be part of the Jewish homeland.
The Peel Commission recommended the partition of the remainder of Mandated Palestine into two states. As conditions in Europe worsened, Jabotinsky began to support underground armed resistance against the British in Palestine, and in 1937, officially became the supreme commander of the Etzel - the Revisionist underground military organization. He continued to focus on the rescue of Jews from Europe by all means available - including some of the first attempts to circumvent immigration restrictions by the clandestine landing of immigrants who arrived by sea.
Jabotinsky died suddenly of a heart attack on August 4, 1940, while visiting a summer camp operated in New York by the Revisionist youth movement - Beitar.
Jabotinsky left an intellectual legacy of thousands; of papers and documents - correspondence, speeches, published articles, pamphlets and books - including an unfinished rhyming dictionary in Hebrew, but the only personal effects on his person at the time of his death were $4 and a tobacco pipe.
Throughout his life, Ze'ev Jabotinsky was convinced that Jewish statehood was an historic necessity that must and would come to pass. In his writings he recalled how, at the age of six, he had asked his mother whether "the Jews would ever have a state of their own." His mother had retorted: "Of course, foolish boy." Jabotinsky, who devoted a lifetime to the realization of a Jewish state, never questioned the validity of her reply. In 1935, five years prior to his death, Jabotinsky composed his will, stating that should he die, he could be buried anywhere, but requested that his remains be transferred to Israel "only at the instructions of a Jewish government ki takum - "That shall be established." No "ifs."
In 1965, Ze'ev Jabotinsky's remains were brought to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. We would like to note that Jabo came to this country in March of 1940 in order to meet F.D.R. and to work for the forming of a Jewish army of 200,000 soldiers who would fight together with the Allies. Jabo developed the idea of a new Jewish Brigade or legion. He felt the coming of the Jewish catastrophe. He was crying to the world to do something before it would be too late.
He was willing to cooperate with the British government. He pressed the underground, the 'Irgun', to freeze their activities in Palestine in order to have peace with England, the Mandatory State. He even suffered from the beginning of a revolt inside the Irgun by those leaders such as Abraham Stern ("Yair") who argued that we need to reinforce our fight against the British government during World War II.
Jabo had a broken heart because he loved the Jewish masses of East Europe and was frustrated that he could not do anything to save them from their terrible fate. He could not live with the silence of the Western world and its indifference to the fate of his beloved people.

Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter by Peter Singer (Princeton University Press)

"Once we start to question our evolved and culturally transmitted intuitive responses to moral issues, utilitarianism is, I believe, the most defensible ethical view..."

Peter Singer, bioethics professor and prolific essayist, has assembled a collection of writings on ethics. Sharing his views for decades, there are few topics, if any, this modern thinker has not touched upon. To cover the breadth of them in this review would be futile. While his point of view might be controversial to opposing thought, his words are vital in a society sorely lacking in civil public discourse. Regardless of our individual beliefs, it is essential that we consider arguments of focused and reasoned philosophers. In a time of swords and blood, thinkers like Singer are the antidote.

From the opening of this compendium, Singer is unafraid to tackle the big questions, and the existence of God is a philosophical debate for the ages. He focuses often on feelings as a supporting argument, particularly human suffering and its merciless existence. True, how can one assert the presence of an all-powerful God and justify world suffering in all of its forms? With this criterion as the basis, belief in God is impossible to sustain. However, Singer’s arguments are cherry-picked and at times more interested in highlighting the points he’s scored in public debate. He’s failed to absorb the full question, overlooking the existence of evil in all of its forms. Including this battleground and the mission of faith on Earth, so central to the Judeo-Christian tradition and others, might form a more complete debate.

Singer argues strongly in favor of godless morality, that it is human nature to construct morality. Moral principles, whether God-given or a manifestation of humankind, help to create a social structure in which people thrive. No one can deny this as a driving factor in the advancement of civilization. The author’s godless morality harkens Eric Hoffer's query that the Ten Commandments, which is essentially an ethical code to lessen the chaos of human existence, was either divine in origin or man's greatest invention. Singer plants himself in the latter camp. However, it makes one think: Does the genesis of morality really matter? To the pragmatist or historian, no. To the humanist or spiritualist, yes.

The author makes a strong case for the humane treatment of animals, including not killing or eating them. This has long been one his hallmark debates. Indeed, there is much evidence for the existence of emotional reason within nonhuman life forms and that the slaughter of animals for food is inhumane, if not unnecessary and perhaps nihilistic, in the modern world. This argument contradicts his support for abortion. He further asserts that not all life is worth the resources required to preserve or elongate it. This includes the right to choose death over life. The belief in the innate compassion of animals versus the selective diminishment of human life is a long-standing progressive conundrum that won’t be resolved any time soon.

The author delves into politics as well. Here we see progressive tenets addressed in summary fashion: defending utilitarianism, limiting religious freedom, embracing climate change solutions, pushing toward socialism and global governance, and demoting the US Constitution, to name a few. None of the pitfalls of these movements are touched upon. He hints at the egregious impingement of rights following 9-11, and he thankfully supports the complete freedom of speech, which has been for decades under assault by a neo-fascist progressive wing. He supports ethics—not fundamentalist restrictions—in science, which include global access to technology and information, humanitarian and environmentally conscious progression of the disciplines, and the silly notion of rights for robots. On that latter point, if one rejects the metaphysical nature of human existence unless given empirical proof, it’s easy to view a spirit in anything, even in a tumbling rock.

Singer’s writing is succinct and accessible as a manner of intent. Being able to write clearly and without pretension is a sign of intelligence and humility, for which any reader will be grateful. His arguments are well-defined, if not at times self-limited, although most skilled debaters tend to circumnavigate points that most challenge their suppositions. His essays do provoke an issue not often considered: Ethics are subject to a person’s belief system. We each have a belief system that falls somewhere between atheism and fundamentalism, and the dreaded confirmation bias is unavoidable. The world is a patchwork of various ethical codes, and when brought into bitter conflict, they can provoke outright war. The futility of this is difficult to refute. While the hope of assimilating ethics into a common code is slim, discussing various philosophies is useful and helps to maintain a civil opposition. Singer has his firm beliefs as well, and his book might be more appropriately called “Ethics in the Atheist World.” It’s a valid point of view of the godless moral principles. Nowhere are these better explained.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Chinese Cuisine by Susanna Foo ;(Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); (#IBRCookBooK

Susanna Foo is a legend, plain and simple. Born in Taiwan, she grew up watching a very talented — but no written recipes — grandmother prepare all kinds of Chinese dishes. Eventually, Susanna came to the US, to Philadelphia, and opened a restaurant, Hu-Nan, on Walnut Street that ran for 22 years and gained worldwide fame. That establishment closed in 2009 and Susanna retired. Her son Gabe, a doctor, had grown up working in Hu-Nan, starting with coat check, washing dishes, and becoming the greeter at the host stand.

Now, Gabe has given up medicine, convinced Susanna to come out of retirement, and the pair have a new place SUGA featuring Susanna’s classics with new ideas. Susanna’s classics were a blend of Chinese cuisine with French influence couple with American ingredients.

You can see the brilliance of her food in Chinese Cuisine, published in 1995. If you pick it up, you are going to start cooking. Let’s take a chapter by chapter tour.

In Dim Sum and Other Small Delights, Susanna immediately displays her fondness for richness and elegance. There are the Veal Dumplings with Ancho Chile Sauce, American Anchos being the closest she could come to here mimicking Sichuan heat. There is a delightful Chinese Eggplant Salsa. And, again using American peppers, you will find Jalapeno Peppers with Pork Stuffing. The book cover, by the way, is Crab Sui Mei with Red Bell Pepper Sauce.

The Soups chapter of course has Hot and Sour. There is an interesting Salmon Congee, congee being rice soup, a kind of watery risotto. If you want complexity of flavor and if you want to spend some time in the kitchen, then you can work away on her Seafood Wonton Soup, pictured here:

Heat is on display in Vegetables and Salads. You will find Spicy Cucumbers with Sichuan Peppercorn Vinaigretteand Spicy Persimmon Chutney. The perpetual infatuation with eggplant continues with Soy-Braised Chinese Eggplant with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

In Fish and Seafood, some of the French influence appears in dishes like Sea Bass with Caramelized Sweet-and-Sour Ginger Sauce or Prawns with Poached Pears and Curry Sauce. Suzi and I have a new steam oven and I think we are destined to try out the Steamed Crabmeat Soufflé.

In Fowl Susanna presents classic Chinese dishes, sometimes with an American substitution. For example, Cornish hens replaces smallish Chinese chicken in the Tea-Smoked Cornish Hens. I always thought that Kung Pao Chickenwas one of the American-Chinese devices dreamt up this side of the Pacific. But, no, it really is a Chinese dish and the sauce recipe here will have you salivating. For complexity, why not try the Chicken with Mango, Asparagus and Ginger

Meat dishes about in Veal, Pork, Lamb and Beef. In typical Chinese style for multiple ingredients, you will find the Twice-Cooked Veal Breast with Mushrooms and Green Pepper. And you might be intrigued by the Honey Grilled Lamb Chops with Jalapeno Pepper Puree. The puree is pure jalapenos, with the seeds, plus garlic, roasted and then blended in paradise.

In Noodles and in Rice you will encounter her upscaled version of basic foods:

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Shrimp and Scallions

Hot and Spicy Chicken and Cellophane Noodle Salad

Jade Green Fried Rice with Crabmeat

Chinese Risotto with Wild Mushrooms [sweet rice, not Arborio]

In Breads, Pancakes and Crepes, the comfort food is thick and hearty:

Stuffed Chive Pockets

Scallion Pancakes and Crepes

Pan-Fried Scallion Bread

Who has time, who has room, in a Chinese restaurant for dessert. In Desserts, Susanna gives you reason to pause, loosen your belt, and binge on:

Frozen Mango Soufflé

Honey-Fried Bananas with Caramelized Ginger Sauce

Chinese Cuisine is a lovely volume. It was monumental the year it was published. Almost a quarter century later, it still is.

Better Homes and Gardens: New Cook Book, 16th Edition Ring-bound (Better Homes and Gardens);(#IBRCookBooks)

Since 1930, home cooks have turned to Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book for guidance in the kitchen. This new edition includes more than 1,200 recipes, 1,000 color photos, and more tips and how-to information than ever. The “Secrets to Success” feature in each chapter shows cooks the key ingredients or steps to making each recipe successful. The “8 Ways With” feature enables home cooks to customize recipes by changing up flavors in basic recipes like omelets, shortbread cookies, and more. Along with the best recipes for favorite foods, this indispensable volume offers information on new cooking trends and fresh ideas, a new fruit and vegetable guide with ID photos, and expanded coverage of canning. Because food is at the heart of many family traditions, a new holiday chapter is included, and throughout the book, icons highlight recipes that are fast, low-calorie, and best-loved. From setting up a kitchen to cooking a great meal, this comprehensive book fulfills every cooking need.

A couple of years ago, Better Homes and Gardens published the 16th edition of the New Cook Book. It’s just come out on March 1 in a smaller, spiral bound version and it is again worthwhile considering how the 16th edition varies from the past.

There are over 1200 recipes with a 1000 color photographs. It’s a bright, happy book. There have been changes since the 15th edition. It’s not a total rewrite, but it is a significant one with many of the recipes touched one way or another.

The 16th edition is about evolution.

Of course some things cannot and should not change. That wonderful red and white checkerboard cover of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book is instantly recognizable. It’s a constant reference for me — especially me. My wife Suzen is a talented cook, as good as you can get without going through the CIA. Me? I need help. Lots of help. Hundreds of pages of help. Plenty of pictures help. Plenty of tips help. So, this book is a standby in the kitchen for me, something I often grab off my bookshelf with a sigh and smile of relief. The BH&G tome is one we can all trust. And all use.

The previous edition, the 15th, was published fairly recently, in 2010. So two questions arise: what is different and should I add this book to my shelf. Briefly, there are distinct changes — more shifts really — in the content that make this book really “new.” It’s such an instant classic that I am happy to put the 16th next to the 15th and plan to use both. It’s not a matter of “one for the other” but rather “adding a new child” to the family.

This book is not a rewrite from scratch. Most of the old recipes are there, but there are additions and clarifications. This edition reflects the changes and shifting trends in home cooking:

The inside cover has a new table for substitutions that includes Cajun and Fajita

Smoothies appear with multiple recipes

The pasta recipes are more contemporary and a whole section is devoted to homemade pasta; so Cheese Filled Tortellini and the Meat Filled Ravioli are gone, to be replaced by Potato Gnocchi.

Desserts are updated; for example, the old Sweet Potato Pie is gone, replaced by Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie; here the old ½ cup of white sugar is displaced by a full 1 cup of brown.

One new chapter appears, Holiday Favorites, which is sure to be one you dive into during this year’s holiday season

The Tips appearing each chapter have been greatly expanded to help people like, well, me

This new edition is about the same length as the old one. It’s hard to quantify the content change, something on the order of 10%. If you add something, and want to keep the book length the same, then sadly some recipes must go away. So, we get smoothies, but the mint brownies are gone. That’s a reason to both add the 16th yet keep the 15th.

Old recipes are mostly untouched, but there are some significant boosts. Ever tried to make classic hash brown using grated potatoes? I have and I created one mass of black stuff.

“Don’t blog that,” was Suzen’s comment. I did anyway, but made heavy use of salt, pepper, lighting and Photoshop. The hash browns recipe in the 16th has been greatly expanded with instructions to guide you to perfect, dreamily hash browns. Not hash blacks.

So the 16th is heavily about refinements, clarifications, and reorganizations. The onion rings are still there but shifted from the Appetizers chapter to Vegetables. Many of the recipe titles have been changed to give you an immediate idea of what the flavor will be: the Asparagus Deviled Egg recipe is now titled Asparagus and Ham. The net effect is to make the book more immediately clear and give you an easier path to recipe selection.

An interesting new feature is the “8 Way With …” concept. Here a basic recipe can be changed with some simple changes and additions. It lets you turn chicken breasts into something beyond chicken, an act that may draw applause from your children. Or from you.

The 16th edition makes the BH&G standard a contemporary, very friendly and very wise addition to your kitchen library. Your old copy of BH&G, like my 15th, probably has a collection of dog-eared pages. After you get your copy of the 16th, you’ll find many favorites — both old and new. The 16th is big, helpful, and immensely enjoyable.

And, if you think this book is just "American" food then consider the photo below: Greek Lamb Soup with Cucumber Yogurt Topping. This is a cookbook with international flavors.

The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You'll Ever Want to Make Paperback – April 1, 2014 by America's Test Kitchen ;( America's Test Kitchen);(#IBRCookBooks)

This cookbook is a life saver for a struggling cook like myself. It's not that I can't cook......it's just that cooking doesn't come natural to me. I rely on recipes because I don't intuitively know how to just throw a bunch of ingredients together and end up with a tasty meal. The problem with recipes is that the servings are designed for a family of 4-6. Not anymore! These recipes are easy to follow and at the beginning of each recipe, there is a brief intro that explains why the recipe works. At the end of recipes, there are suggested variations that allow you to change a few ingredients to get a different flavor. My first attempt was the chicken chowder, and I used the variation that made it cajun chicken chowder with corn. The smells were very aromatic and the taste was A+. I cooked with ingredients that I've never used before (I had no idea what a shallot was, LOL). And I love that the cooked portion is more in line with my family needs. This is a great gift for a new couple or for a young adult living on their own.

There are many  things I really like about this cookbook. First off, many of these recipes are scaled down version of ATK recipes. This is convenient for a college student like me. Also, when ATK scales recipes it isn't simply reduce every ingredient by 1/2 or 1/3; ATK will make substitutes to more convenient products that make sense for two people. This is the case with many stews. Instead of requiring a readers to find a 2lb chuck roast (not easy) they will substitute steak tips.

I also enjoy that this is a complete cookbook. This means that the cookbook features a wide variety of dishes for almost any occasion (breakfast, dinner, lunch, dessert, holidays, and even some ethnic). After reading the cookbook I am grateful for some of the designations provided by the editor. Certain recipes are indicated as light or fast to prepare. I have a feeling that I will be turning to these recipes in the future when I don't know what to cook.

I received this cookbook as a birthday gift. I had never really considered recipes for two since the offerings are so limited, but since there are 650 very usable recipes I am excited to be using this cookbook for many years to come. As a single college student I find that cooking for two is a nice way to enjoy a hot meal and have the right amount of leftovers for lunch the following day. This is the perfect solution for those who are struggling to cook for anything less than a large family.

They'll Never DieAug 9, 2016 by Don Calmus Hardcover; (Fulton Books)

"'Do you fellows want to live as long as civilization on earth exists?' Dalton said in precise unhurried words, while smoothing down his thick crop of silver hair. "

It's the 22nd Century and people no longer need to die—at least that is what John Dalton, a retired billionaire, wants to prove. After convincing his friends, all of whom are also past their prime years and billionaires, to join him, the men seek to clone their DNA while retaining their memory. The Reborn Project, as Dalton calls it, is not only morally questionable, but illegal. Still, the men press on, finding a way to take over the financially strapped IMS (The Institute of Medical Science). After a few missteps, John Daltons' reborn operation is a success and his old memory is placed into a younger clone, JD Dalton. But not everyone is happy about the Reborn Project and soon JD must deal with death threats. Legitimizing human cloning won't be as simple as Dalton had once thought.

An interesting and timely science fiction novel, Calmus' story weaves advanced technical vocabulary into his otherwise uncomplicated writing style, with much of the story told in convincing dialogue. The author creates a main character that manages to be sympathetic even while breaking the law and possibly destroying mankind. In his high concept story, Calmus addresses some of the many potential theoretical flaws within the idea of human cloning. Keeping the clone's body temperature warm enough, finding a way to grow a fetus inside an incubator, and insuring a process to delete old memories that are no longer needed are but a few examples. The plot takes twists and turns that surprise, but also remains believable and at times is even cautionary. This is an entertaining and thought-provoking read.