'Classic Cookbooks' on Serious Eats

Yellow Vanilla Pound Cake

In her cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking, Edna Lewis says there was always pound cake on special summer occasions to eat with whatever berries and fruit were left over from canning and preserving. This cake is dense and delicious,... More

Classic Cookbooks: Valentines in May

For me, reading cookbooks that emphasize “entertaining” has always been kind of like reading Vogue: the glossy worlds they present are attractive but have very little to do with the world I live in. Wearing clothes and cooking are two things I do every day but still feel surprisingly inexpert at. Although I would love to arrange my own flowers and cook beautiful dinners for twelve while wearing a Miu Miu frock, the truth is that the process of having even one person over—dispatching the apartment’s larger dust bunnies, buying and making the food, figuring out what we’ll eat on—is so challenging for me that I’m lucky if I can manage to change into a sundress inherited from my mother... More

Classic Cookbooks: Color Me Pretty

Photograph from Charles Haynes on Flickr Because I rarely think about color when I’m planning what to cook, I always feel guilty when I read about how important it is to one’s enjoyment of a meal. The thing is, I’m not sure how true that is for me. One of my favorite things about my family’s Thanksgiving is that everything on my plate is unapologetically brown, white, and delicious. And when my Tuesday night dinner at home has already taken twice as long as I thought it would to prepare, taking the extra ten minutes to clean and chop a dusting of green herbs or red peppers or yellow lemon zest almost never seems worth it. A Newfound Fondness for... More

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