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The Pleasures of Cooking for One

The Pleasures of Cooking for One
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The Pleasures of Cooking for One

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Description:

From the legendary editor of some of the world’s greatest cooks—including Julia Child and James Beard—a passionate and practical book about the joys of cooking for one.

Here, in convincing fashion, Judith Jones demonstrates that cooking for yourself presents unparalleled possibilities for both pleasure and experimentation: you can utilize whatever ingredients appeal, using farmers’ markets and specialty shops to enrich your palate and improve your health; you can feel free to fail, since a meal for one doesn’t have to be perfect; and you can use leftovers to innovate—in the course of a week, the remains of beef bourguignon might be reimagined as a ragù, pork tenderloin may become a stir-fry, a cup or two of wild rice produces both a refreshing pilaf and a rich pancake, and red snapper can be reinvented as a summery salad. It’s a fulfilling and immensely economical process, one perfectly suited for our times—although, as Jones points out, cooking for one also means we can occasionally indulge ourselves in a favorite treat.

Throughout, Jones is both our instructor and our mentor, suggesting basic recipes—such as tomato sauce, preserved lemons, pesto, and homemade stock—that all cooks should have on hand; teaching us how to improvise using an ingenious strategy of building meals through the week; and supplying us with a lifetime’s worth of tips and shortcuts. From Child’s advice for buying fresh meat to Beard’s challenge to beginning crêpe-makers and Lidia Bastianich’s tips for cooking perfectly sauced pasta, Jones’s book presents a wealth of acquired knowledge from our finest cooks.

The Pleasures of Cooking for One
is a vibrant, wise celebration of food and enjoying our own company from one of our most treasured cooking experts.

Product Details:
Author: Judith Jones
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: September 29, 2009
Language: English
ISBN: 0307270726
Product Length: 6.4 inches
Product Width: 0.8 inches
Product Height: 8.5 inches
Product Weight: 1.5 pounds
Package Length: 8.4 inches
Package Width: 6.2 inches
Package Height: 0.8 inches
Package Weight: 1.6 pounds
Average Customer Rating: based on 116 reviews
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Customer Reviews:
Average Customer Review:4.5 ( 116 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 189 found the following review helpful:

5Best Cooking for 1 cookbook  Oct 04, 2009
By Cathy
I have several other "cooking for 1" cookbooks and have found many good recipes there. But this is the cookbook I've been waiting for. Ms. Jones has shown me how to take ingredients that cannot be purchased in small quantities and re-use these imaginatively to create entirely different meals.

For example, a pork tenderloin becomes a small roast, scallopine, a gratinate, hash, and stir fry. Her examples have encouraged me to improvise myself. I can envisage a BBQ pork sandwich, a pasty with leftover pork tenderloin, skirt steak and potatoes.

She encourages playing with the recipes to create a meal exactly to your own tastes. Several of her recipes also include vegetable substitution recommendations allowing for seasonal meals. Or, if you're like me and can't stand a particular vegetable then you can swap it for something more palatable.

This cookbook creates a solid foundation for enabling a cook's creativity. Highly recommended.

96 of 98 found the following review helpful:

5Inspiring  Oct 23, 2009
By D. G. C.
This book is absolutely perfect for anyone who finds themselves cooking for one or two people. Not only are the recipes absolutely wonderful, the recipes for using left-overs are also great. Jones shows you how to shop, stock your pantry and freezer, and make wonderful meals for yourself that don't take forever yet taste like they did. I have over 50 cookbooks, and this is the one I find myself turning to again and again for my daily meals. This is real food - no processed shortcuts, no sacrifices. If you like to cook but think its too much trouble for just one person, get this book and you will have fun in the kitchen again.

170 of 179 found the following review helpful:

5Rest assured, this is not just for singles.  Oct 01, 2009
By Edie Sousa
Judith Jones is truly "having a moment," which is a wonderful thing. This new book is sort of an offshoot of her earlier memoir, which had a short but terrific recipe section. It is a sublime book--thoughtfully designed, detailed but not pedantic, practical, accessible, utterly personal, and completely charming. I'm not sure there is another book out there like this one, which takes us shopping and then into the kitchen to make the most of both common items and ingredients or dishes it might never have occurred to us to try. I can't wait to try most all of them. Of course, a little simple math will ratchet up a recipe for 1-2 to a recipe for 3-4 and so on--so this is absolutely a book for all cooks. The author does, however, sympathize with the plight of the single shopper and eater--supermarkets usually work to package more than we can possibly eat at one sitting. Short of a perpetual dinner party, what is the solution? Stretch the goodies over two or three completely different meals (trust me, this is NOT the same thing as just having leftovers). The title says it all--cooking for one should be every bit as pleasurable as cooking for others--maybe better, as the gaffes become your little secrets (and they are no less tasty). I would add that although the book is beautifully printed on high-quality stock and will make a truly fine gift (I do not work for the publisher--honest), it's no coffee table book. The size is perfect--it'll fit on the counter easily, although you might want one of those stand-up plastic stands to keep it open (and protect it, if that's important to you). All in all, one of the most thoughtful and user-friendly cookbooks I've ever encountered. I read it cover-to-cover, like a novel. Next I'm going shopping.

47 of 49 found the following review helpful:

5like a long conversation with a friendly, experienced home cook  Dec 07, 2009
By Sheryl Canter "Emotional Eating Therapist"
I love this book. It is practical and concrete, and addresses my main problem in the kitchen: how to cook for one without either boring myself to tears eating the same leftovers for a week, or wasting food by letting it rot in the 'fridge while I get take-out because I crave variety.

The book reads like a relaxed conversation with an experienced home cook who is generously sharing her expertise. It's not just about cooking, it's about meal planning - how to use the leftovers from one meal to make something completely different and delicious the next night. Intermixed in there are some great traditional recipes that teach classic cooking techniques. Some of these I knew, but some I didn't.

I love that it's not just a bunch of fussy recipes where everything has to be measured exactly. She doesn't have you jamming fresh herbs in a tablespoon. She suggests a splash of this, a pinch of that. She encourages creativity and ingredient substitutions. She's not just giving you recipes to follow, she's teaching you how to think like she does - how to solve the problem of meal planning and cooking for one.

There's another subtle message in this book that's very important: the self-respect implicit in this fundamental form of self-care. This jumped out at me because I help people with emotional eating, and so much of emotional eating comes from lack of self-care, from feeling you don't deserve your own time and energy. She talks about this in the introduction, where she lists the reasons that people don't make nice meals for themselves: "Yes, I like to cook, they say, but I like to cook for OTHERS, to give my friends pleasure. Why would I want to go to all that trouble just for me? My answer is: If you like good food, why not honor yourself enough to make a pleasing meal and relish every mouthful?" I agree!

I highly recommend this book. Even those cooking for more than one will find it useful. What home cook doesn't need ideas for creative ways to use leftovers? This book teaches how to look at home cooking as a process, rather than a series of discrete meals. And it shows you how home cooking can be relaxing and creative rather than a chore.

Sheryl Canter
Author, Normal Eating for Normal Weight

28 of 28 found the following review helpful:

5Simply Wonderful  Feb 20, 2010
By SOlson
I am almost never moved to write a review. It always seems like a lot of trouble. However, my mother heard about The Pleasures of Cooking for One on NPR and immediately thought of me. She bought this book for me as a present. I told her later that in my kitchen, you can always tell which cookbooks are loved, since the pages stick together, and The Pleasures of Cooking for One was sticking after about 3 weeks of use.

As a single woman, living alone, who cooks dinner for herself every night, I am always on the lookout for cooking-for-one-or-two type cookbooks. I am not into eating chili for 5 days straight; I like variety. Judith Jones does a wonderful job of showing you how to take larger cuts of meats and reinvent them throughout the week to have completely new meals. Another reviewer mentioned "leftovers" and I don't think this is really accurate. You use the leftovers to create something new and different. I don't think I have had a single recipe that has turned out poorly. I will grant you (after reading other reviews) that there are some recipes I will probably never make (veal kidneys come to mind). This is because A) I wouldn't know where to find a veal kidney B) I am kind of afraid of kidneys and C) I am not so happy politically with eating veal. That said, most of the recipes in this book are NOT veal kidneys. They are fish and chicken and pork and eggs and steak and veggies. Don't let a couple kidney recipes put you off.

I think the thing I like about this book is how much I have been encouraged to experiment and how many basic techniques I have become comfortable with. I am much more at ease just splashing a little wine into a pan to make a pan sauce instead of carefully measuring out 2 tablespoons of it. I am not a great cook. I am a practical, get-it-on-the-table type cook. During the week, if I can't have it on the table in 30 minutes, it probably won't get made. This book has fed me now, nearly every night, for two months. Always something different, generally easy to put together, and at the end of the week, I don't have mounds of leftovers rotting in the fridge because I didn't feel like eating them. This is a wonderful cookbook.

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