A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Are you preparing new dishes during the holidays? Uncertain what the recipes require? This handy book may help.
What kind of cookbook is How to Break an Egg?
This publication from Fine Cooking Magazine is not really a cookbook but a book to use with your cookbook. It instructs the novice in basic methods for cooking and helps the seasoned cook with unfamiliar tasks. Almost any cook just browsing the book will find something new to consider, such as how to know when rising bread dough has really doubled or how to keep polenta from sticking to the stirring spoon. The book also exposes marketing myths, such as what is really in a bag of baby carrots.
Is this cookbook easy to use?
Yes, the arrangement of tips in How to Break an Egg is logical, staring with getting the right cookware and utensils and ending with what to do when you have trouble, such as a cake that has fallen or your cheese sauce is oily. There is also an index that will help if you want advice before you use an unfamiliar ingredient or you are uncertain where in the logical scheme of tips to find the advice you want.
What is special about this book?
What I like is that the advice is drawn from many sources. You almost feel part of a wide community when the tips for dealing with leftover bread come from Fine Cooking readers from Portland OR, East Providence RI, and Pensacola FL. You also get tips from named Fine Cooking writers. I also think the photo lessons under “Handy Kitchen Techniques,” staring on page 298, are particularly helpful.
Review by Rick