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Bridgehampton Weekends Hardcover – Jun 8 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cookbooks; 1 edition (June 8 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688170919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688170912
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.3 x 27.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,966,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

What is the secret to successful entertaining? "It's not just the food, not just the people, and not just the setting. It is how it all comes together," says Ellen Wright, author of Bridgehampton Weekends. After years of entertaining at her weekend home in Bridgehampton on Eastern Long Island, Wright, encouraged by her sated family and friends, has culled a series of favorite menus, arranging them by season and occasion. Casual yet chic meals focusing on good food and even better conversation make for a successful fête.

Be creative, use what is in season, and prepare what you yourself like to eat, she suggests, and your guests will clamor to be invited back. The key for the chef/host is to prepare as much as possible in advance and not be afraid of taking shortcuts (she uses store-bought mixes for the bases of her chile-infused Short-Circuit Corn Bread and gorgeous Golden Bundt Cake with Chocolate Leaves). Whether an intimate dinner party for six or a surprise birthday bash for 15, the host, too, should be able to relax and enjoy a glass of wine instead of sweating over the stove.

For a cozy, post-Halloween dinner, try Old Fashioned Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy followed by a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake. On "The Coolest Dinner for the Hottest Day of the Year," enjoy a cup of gazpacho, followed by Chinese Chicken Salad and a wedge of Brown Sugar Peach Pie. Though some of the menus may look daunting at first, the recipes are straightforward and often include simple side dishes like Parsleyed Green Beans or Buttered Carrots. Accompanied by photos of beautiful Bridgehampton vistas and well-laid tables, each page includes helpful tips on food preparation and entertaining. --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

It's no surprise to discover that Wright was friends with James Beard, since the recipes in this book are examples of just the kind of straight American food Beard loved and promotedAdishes like Broiled Tomatoes and Iceberg Wedges with Blue Cheese Dressing. They're also quite dated, including a Mud Pie that first appeared in House & Garden in 1967 and Onion Puffs made by spreading mayonnaise on packaged sandwich bread slices, topping them with onion, then broiling them. Wright waxes about the relaxing times she's spent in Bridgehampton since she first visited in 1971, subsequently buying a house there. Dishes are organized into menus for occasions like a dinner with Wright's ex-husband, which calls for Deviled Eggs for a Nosh and pan-grilled Banged Chicken; Mexican Buffet After Tennis (Wright, who drops nearly as many names as recipes here, lets slip that her husband used to play with George Bush when he was vice-president) calls for Guacamole and Chicken Enchiladas Verdes with cream cheese, heavy cream and monterey jack cheese. This food may strike a nostalgic chord in some, but others many prefer to go without White House SaltinesAmade by soaking crackers in water, brushing them with butter, then baking themAand Golden Bundt Cake with Chocolate Leaves made from mix.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The "once Upon a time in the Hamptons" tv mini-series inspired me to purchase this book, which I hoped would provide a bigger taste of the good life. Though the menus were rather homely for what I would expect, I rarely give complicated artsy-fartsy gourmet affairs more than a second glance; so in all fairness, this cookbook was just the thing for me, simple and practical, yet elegant--something I might cook from if I could bear to get it dirty. The photography is delightful; half the pictures contain hidden messages, half again of which you probably imagined after catching the first. I might sound like a paranoid schizophrenic doing book reviews for a psychotherapy assignment, but hey, the author and her husband once worked in the white House, be smart! Is that a "yankee pumpkin" far left in the Halloween spread? Native New Englanders know what the frustrated redcoats, far away from their ladies, did with THOSE during the revolutionary war. Towards the end of the book is a bizarre photo with a scrabble board center stage. The facing plaque spells: "THERFBI." WHO?!? Pretty spicy stuff here. The pictures could use some captions, though...er. Back to the recipes themselves, I would say they are about average quality-Wise. I should warn you I must have UpWards of seven hundred cookbooks, am a fairly accomplished cook myself, and can often tell a good recipe at glance without making it, so my assessment of "Bridgehampton Weekends" cookability might be a bit Off. There were a few off-beat offerings like "white House Saltines" I appreciated. But I couldn't give it my best thumbz up with things like angel food cakes calling for all-purpose flour and stock made with bouillon, not even as substitute ingredients. Not in the Hamptons--well, perhaps; maybe they always eat out there!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
First, some of the recipes are pretty good. Especially the tortilla soup and the chicken fricasse (although there is way too much parsley in the dumplings.) The glazed carrots with almonds are very good, as is the chicken paprikash. The banged chicken is ok, nothing really wonderful about it, but decent. I found similar recipes in other cookbooks that are better, such as The Best Recipe (Kimball), or American Home Cooking. What really irritates me about this book is the fact that Ellen is a big "name dropper". She has to talk about how her husband played tennis with former President Bush while she sat chatting with the Mrs.. Then she tells us how she visits Tom Brokaw at his ranch in Montana. There are several references similar to these. Personally, I don't really care about who she knows or who's house she visits! I buy cookbooks for good recipes, nice photographs, and good cooking techniques, not to hear all about the social pedigree of the author. Bottom line: better recipes for the same dishes can be found in other cookbooks without all the self absorbed name dropping.
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Format: Hardcover
What would you get if you took Martha's eye for presentation but left off the obsessive-compulsive side? It would probably be something along the lines of Ellen Wright's beautiful book. Photographer Tom Eckerle's gorgeous pictures show off the natural beauty of The Hamptons as well as the artful arrangement of Wright's mostly casual home-style food. Many of the seasonally arranged menus feature old-fashioned dishes and none of the recipes could be mistaken for haute cuisine. Wright unabashedly uses baking mix and iceberg lettuce and wouldn't dream of asking you to make mayonnaise from scratch. Her philosophy is that inviting someone into your home for a meal is not about impressing them with your 4-star cuisine, but about making them feel comfortable and appreciated and well-fed. She reminds us that good food, lovingly prepared, an attractive setting and pleasant company are the hallmarks of gracious entertaining. She obviously is doing something right as James Beard and Tom Brokaw are but two of the luminaries who have graced her table and sung her praises. In an era of knock-your-socks-off culinary one-upmanship, Ellen Wright is a voice of gracious good sense. Relax, drop the pretense and enjoy entertaining again. Not to be missed: Banged Chicken and Brown Sugar Peach Pie.
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Format: Hardcover
I know, I know, I am the daughter of the author but I have to say something about the book. (Remember one can be objective about a family member). FIRST the quality of the food: I have been cooking a lot of these recipes - some for the past 15 years and they are something to be proud of! Really delicious and so easy. Exceptional recipes (which I literally dream about) include: lima bean & pea puree, the meat loaf, the split pea soup, the rice pilaf, the bourbon cake, the red velvet cake and the chicken fricassee. Just to name a few. SECOND the variety of foods and recipes: which is a tribute to the author and her life experiences and are truly diverse! Just look at how many cultures and countries are represented here. FINALLY, Tom Eckerle's photographs: which are exquisite and transforms the book into not only a well-worn cookbook but a "coffeetable book" as well. My hats off to you, mom. I'm proud of you. How nice of you to share with everyone.
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