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The Fireside Cook Book: A Complete Guide to Fine Cooking for Beginner and Expert [Hardcover]

James Beard , Mark Bittman , Alice Provensen , Martin Provensen

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Book Description

Oct. 21 2008
The Fireside Cook Book is designed for people who are not content to regard food just as something one transfers periodically from plate to mouth. It is for those who recognize that a simple family meal (as well as a dress-up dinner party) can be a pleasure and a special event.

The wide variety of I-can't-wait-to-try-it dishes in the book are presented according to a new and different theory. You will find here no attempt to overwhelm the cook with all the recipes ever concocted. Instead, you will find clear, easy-to-follow instructions for the basic preparation of every food, followed in each case by fascinating variations. The basic recipes and variations add up to 1,217 tested dishes -- simple enough for the novice, delicious enough for the most meticulous master chef, complete enough for the most imaginative menus without a repetition.

A detailed chapter is devoted to the art of outdoor cookery, another to the preparation of hors d'oeuvres, cocktail snacks, and supper snacks. There is an entire section of suggested menus subdivided into cold weather meals and summer doldrum hints. There is also a complete section on wines and liquors.

The 36 full-color pictures and the nearly 400 other color pictures are themselves full of helpful invention. Handsome double-page spreads employ visual-aid methods to give practical details about, and special uses of, cuts of meat, varieties of wine, and types of fish.

Here, in short, is a book that is an indispensable addition to every American home in which good food is appreciated. It is a book to use constantly, to pore over with delight, and give to all friends from whom you can reasonably expect a future dinner invitation.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Anv Col edition (Oct. 21 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416589678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589679
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 19 x 25.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 921 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #464,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

James Beard had a national reputation as an authority on every phase of food. Consultant to a wine and spirits establishment, he wrote seventy-six other books and numerous articles for national magazines on widely varied phases of cooking. Mr. Beard, who knew the cooking of every corner of our country, cooked in nearly every language. He lived abroad, traveled throughout Europe a number of times, saw most of the Western Hemisphere, and visited Hawaii and North Africa. His familiarity with exotic foreign foods spiced his extensive knowledge of American cooking at its best.

Mr. Beard was adviser to several large food companies, was food editor of Argosy magazine, and made many appearances on radio and television. His first three books are Hors d'Oeuvres and Canapes, Cook It Outdoors, and Fowl and Game Cookery. Equally at home in the kitchen of his own New York apartment and that of a hotel, James Beard brought the same sure touch to a half-hour supper as he did to the most elaborate buffet. He died in 1985.

Alice Provensen collaborated with her late husband, Martin, on numerous highly acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning The Glorious Flight and Nancy Willard's Newbery Medal-winning A Visit to William Blake's Inn, which was also a Caldecott Honor Book. The Provensens have been on the New York Times list of the Ten Best Illustrated Books eight times. Alice lives in California.

Mark Bittman is the author of Food Matters, How to Cook Everything and other cookbooks, and of the weekly New York Times column, The Minimalist. His work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines, and he is a regular on the Today show. Mr. Bittman has hosted two public television series and has appeared in a third.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beard's Beginnings Jan. 1 2009
By Channon Coats - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Okay, folks, the message here is clear and completely Beard. If you don't get it by now, starting at James' beginning may not help. The recipes are dated, yet some are so classic, we just need to be reminded how much fun tradition CAN be. However, if you don't get his theme - always use the freshest, highest quality in season ingredients to get outstanding results, don't waste your time and money on this nostalgic trip. If you admire the man, his message and your memories, get the book and just read it for the historical pleasure, but beware, his siren song is seductive and the techniques are too easy and clearly written to pass by without a try. Is this book necessary in your library? Perhaps not, but it IS fun, quite well-written and worth the perusal as an homage to a simpler time of entertaining in the earlier 1950's.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant today, and lots of fun, too! March 18 2009
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I found this masterpiece in my local bookstore today and could not pass it up. The recipes look like lots of fun; the illustrations are lively, amusing, beguiling and perfect companions to James Beard's straight forward, down-to-earth presentation. The book itself, originally published in 1949, serves as a time-capsule full of insights into both yesterday and today's culinary worlds. As an added bonus, tonight I discovered that the book jacket is folded double and opens up into a large poster of farm/food/tidbits! I've never seen that before! The un-jacketed book looks lovely with artwork from the illustrators on the cover. This is a delightful, interesting, and absolutely useful book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, and nostaliga are dished up in this book March 22 2009
By Stephanie Manley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This cookbook is a reprint of a 1949 cook book may bring back memories for you. I like this book as it includes the original artwork from this time and this really brings a lot of charm to this book. This aside, you can take a glimse into what made James Beard a man to be praised. I like this book because there is a lot of extra information in this book.

As he discusses each ingredient he tells you different ideas and different styles for the same ingredient. I find this helpful is gathering new ideas for cooking. Now some recipes are definately no longer contemporary, but they are often tasty. This book is definately scratch cooking at its best. This book is worth picking up if you want to expand your cooking repitoire.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Nov. 18 2008
By sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In my opinion this is one of the greatest cookbooks out there. What I especially love is the quirky illustrations that go along with the recipes. The cover opens up to a 4 panel chart which is also great!

This would make a great gift for anyone who enjoys food and/or art.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My mama learned to cook from this book Jan. 14 2013
By Pandora's Books - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When my mother got married in 1958, she knew almost nothing about cooking. She had the Betty Crocker cookbook and this one and learned the hard way. I have such fond memories of this book. I loved looking at the pictures and in my own way I think my love of cooking started here also - at least my curiosity did. It was a picture into adult life and as I learned to read, I could read and understand more and more of it. It makes cooking seem so pleasurable, cheerful and fulfilling! I have my mother's old book - maybe I should get a copy of the new edition as well. At any rate, I give you one piece of advice: leave it where your kids can get it so they can enjoy and be inspired by the wonderful and, to a kid, mysterious illustrations and words.

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