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Slices of Life: A Food Writer Cooks through Many a Conundrum Hardcover – Apr 1 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (April 1 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762452706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762452705
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.8 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #596,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“For charm, you can’t beat Leah Eskin’s memoir and cookbook, Slices of Life. [Eskin] brings an irreverent humor, cool precision, and gustatory gusto to her accounts of American family life.”

“I feel like I’ve discovered a treasured writer who I didn’t know existed, on par with Laurie Colwin and M.F.K. Fisher. For me, reading Eskin’s essays is like taking a graduate course in creative writing. I keep studying her sentences, dissecting her use of personal pronouns and marveling at her choice of words.”
—News & Observer

“Slices of Life is one part cookbook, one part memoir, and two parts feel-good read….Although Eskin’s columns are often charming and funny, it’s the recipes that will leave copies of this book heavily earmarked.”
—Bust magazine

“The book reads like a novel.”

“This book bubbles over with Leah's love of food, and her belief in the profound importance of eating—and cooking—together with family and friends. The recipes are great, too!”
—Ted Allen, host of the Food Network's Chopped

“Leah Eskin's recipes are seamlessly interwoven into her reminiscences, vignettes of domestic life, and culinary aperçus, and the result is as charming as it is practical.”
—Colman Andrews, editorial director of TheDailyMeal.com

“Leah Eskin's writing is like her food--honest, heartfelt, and tremendously appealing. She writes about the challenges of modern family life with wit and good humor, and firmly believes that good food will make any day better.”
—Jack Bishop, editorial director of PBS’ America's Test Kitchen

“Reading Leah Eskin’s columns one by one is a pleasure; reading this collection from start to finish is a joy. It’s also proof that the sum is much greater than the parts, even when the parts are terrific. Smart, honest, literate, funny – very funny – and packed with recipes for happy days and calamitous ones, Slices of Life is bound to find a place in your heart and your kitchen.”
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

“ A recipe is always better when preceded by a story. And here's a whole cookbook of recipes preceded by stories. I'd be anxious enough to try these recipes (hello Emergency Cherry Pie and Cheerful Risotto and Beach House Spaghetti and Cowboy Cookies), but now I'm desperate to. The only thing bad about this cookbook is you can't decide what to make first.
—Elizabeth Berg, author of Tapestry of Fortunes

“This heartfelt diary filled with touching bites of everyday life, whisked together with do-able daily recipes that really work, make this book a must-read. It’s filled with accounts of real life problems and dilemmas, made easier to swallow by combating them with food and cooking. But bring a tissue, you’ll feel so much joy reading this, you’ll cry.
—Gale Gand, James Beard award-winning pastry chef, cookbook author, and television personality

About the Author

Leah Eskin has written features for Saveur, Elle, Garden Design,and Salon. Since 2004, her food column “Home on the Range” has run in the Chicago Tribune, and has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2005 she was named best food columnist by the Association of Food Journalists. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Bob, and their children, Hannah and Noah.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e8cfbc4) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e8c9570) out of 5 stars This book makes me want to head straight for my kitchen. April 1 2014
By mychellem - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I cook because I have to feed my family. Slices of Life: A Food Writer Cooks through Many a Conundrum by Leah Eskin is one of those books that could easily convince me that I want to spend more time in my kitchen, experimenting with ingredients and techniques.

Ever wonder how to to cope with a half baked chicken and a trip to the emergency room to remove a plastic toy from a child's finger? Or how to make a tart that gorgeously imitates the dark night sky? I really, really want to attempt that tart even though I know my own wouldn't match up to the image that the author created in my imagination.

There are 200 recipes in the book and I've made a long list of the ones I want to try -- Dumpling Pillows, Ricotta Stuffed Focaccia, Chicken Paprkash (I've made it before, but want to see how her version compares to the one in my tattered old cookbook), Banana Bread (same explanation) Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (because just knowing that you can make Nutella from scratch makes me need to try it).

The recipes are broken down into steps that she clearly explains. Unfamiliar ingredients get footnotes telling you where you're likely to find them in your own grocery store, or what you can substitute.

The publisher provided me with an electronic review copy of this one, but I think I'll be wanting a paper version that I can bookmarks and haul into the kitchen with me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e8c9588) out of 5 stars The inside dirt on the author July 27 2014
By Joshua Eskin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I am a close personal friend and brother of the author. In fact, my name is mentioned in the book, so I might be entitled to a small fraction of the profits. I can independently verify that the family stories are largely accurate and true, as far as I may have been involved. The people and animals are all real, and the childhood stories are pretty close to what I remember. So, you can own the book knowing that Leah won't be on Oprah some day explaining how she concocted a pretend family just to flesh out her food column with interesting stories.

I love Leah's writing. It's so compact and full of ideas and connotations in each sentence. It's like poetry. Or really good advertising copy. Being pretty much not a cook I tend to read the columns and not pay attention to the recipe part. But you can expect that the food in this book is all good. I have gotten to taste test many of the dishes, and I've seen the extreme care Leah puts into getting them just right. I also love that she gathers the best ideas from cookbooks, friends and chefs, and synthesizes them into a best-overall recipe that we can all make.

I don't usually cook anything that requires more than reading the directions on the side of a box, but I needed to make a cake for my son's birthday. Leah sent the recipe for chocolate birthday cake. It came out amazingly well. The 4X sized batch was quickly polished off by the kids on the dorm floor. Then tonight I tried making the macaroni and cheese. Using Gruyere in there is a brilliant idea, and the taste is amazing. I'm starting to appreciate this whole recipe thing. And in book form, how convenient!

My first recommendation for excellent food and stories is to invite Leah over for a potluck dinner. When that is not possible, this book fills in pretty well. Oh, and you can find more of her writing and recipes at www.leaheskin.com.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e8d1618) out of 5 stars Mmmmm, yummy. And the recipes are good, too April 16 2014
By peg2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I go quite a way back reading Leah Eskin's columns, before the Chicago Tribune, to her restaurant reviews in the Chicago Reader. Those reviews were enough of a treat that I found myself doing a happy dance when I found her again in the Trib. Her column is the first thing I read in the Sunday paper. Ms. Eskin's writing style is a little hectic, but charmingly and disarmingly so, without descending into the over-cute. Always a fun read, most of the time I find myself wishing for just a bit more.

I've used her recipes, too; many times, they've saved the day. The recipes are accurate (no small thing these days, but that's another commentary for another time) and well-thought-out. If the recipe looks easy, chances are, it is.

This collection is wonderful. I bought it in part to replace my tattered collection of Sunday columns, in part because I think a writer this good deserves some support. It's the kind of book you want to hug, and then make the chocolate chip cookies.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e8cc300) out of 5 stars you'll be licking your lips with this delicious serving of wit, wisdom and gorgeous writing April 13 2014
By barbara mahany - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
absolutely marvelous read. i am a longtime fan of leah eskin, whose column in the chicago tribune has long been one of the first things i reach for on sunday mornings (when it appears in the magazine). her writing style is all her own, and it melts me every time. eskin has a fierce intellect, and a deep literacy, to say nothing of her spectacular kitchen skills. she puts all to great result in this book i will pull from my shelf whenever i am hungry -- and not only for the recipes, but the writing that holds it all together and makes it rise to most delicious heights.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e8c9900) out of 5 stars Luscious! April 4 2014
By Amy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've long been a follower of Leah Eskin's column in the Chicago Trib. I love her sharp, hip writing and no nonsense recipes. To this day, I still have the clipping of her Banana Bread Cockaigne . So when I saw that she published a collection of her essays cum recipes, I knew I was in for a treat. This book is TDF. The paper is divine - bright and satiny. The fonts are fresh and fun. The illustrations are both witty and thoughtful. Certainly not least, the glimpses of everyday life transformed into a gastronomic feat are nothing short of luscious. Brava!