Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Good Taste: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Family and Friends - Review and Q & A

Idgie Says:
 This is a lovely cookbook from Jane Green, who is branching out from novel writing to share her talents in the kitchen.  I tend to review only Southern cookbooks, but her recipes looked so good I couldn't resist.  Of course the fact that I enjoy her novels very much also helped me decide to get her cookbook. 

Her recipes are all innovative, with additions or touches to make them interesting and special.  There are flavor combinations that I have never considered before but look delicious!

As Jane is a writer, she also intertwines stories of where the inspirations for various recipes came from, giving them more meaning than just food on a plate. 

This cookbook is a fantastic addition to my kitchen bookcase - useful and attractive!


A lush and gorgeous guide to all things food and entertaining from Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J, The Beach House, and Falling.

Jane Green’s life has always revolved around her kitchen…

Slow Braised Onion Chicken
… from inviting over friends for an impromptu brunch; to wowing guests with delicious new recipes; to making sure her ever-on-the-move family makes time to sit down together. For Jane, food is enjoyable because of the people surrounding it and the pleasures of hosting and nourishing those she cares about, body and soul.

Now, Jane opens wide the doors of her stunning home to share tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy yet classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes, ranging from tempting hors d’oeuvres like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup, to mouthwatering one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken, to sinfully satisfying desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake.

This book is Jane’s perfect recipe for making a wonderful life complete with friends, loving family, and moments filled with good food, good times, and, of course, Good Taste.


A Conversation with Jane Green

You love to cook. How and when did you learn? Have you had any professional training?
I learned in my mother’s kitchen, perched on a stool and helping out as she cooked, graduating to studying recipes as a teenager, and finally, a few years ago, doing the Part One of a professional chef’s training at the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute) in New York. To go back to being a student again at this age, when I have children, and a whole other life, was an enormous privilege – it was exhilarating and huge fun.

What are some of your favorite dishes to cook, those that you return to again and again?
I’m a big fan of comfort food, so anything that can be slow-cooked in one pot is always going to be a win. I make braised lamb shanks and short ribs* quite regularly, and an English Victorian breakfast dish called Kedgeree*, which is curried rice, salmon and eggs, that we all adore.

Friends are gathering for a summer supper at your home. What’s on the menu?
Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup
It depends how energetic I’m feeling. For more elaborate meals I sometimes do a vegetable terrine to start, a steamed sweet and sour fish, a cucumber and dill salad, or for casual suppers often huge platters of deconstructed Salade Nicoise. Dessert is often a very simple Eton Mess* which is a classic English dessert: whipped cream, strawberries, crushed-up meringue and a raspberry coulis. Ridiculously easy, delicious, and pretty.

If you could dream up the perfect gathering to host in your home, what would it be?
My birthday dinners are always perfection for me. If the weather’s nice we gather my favorite people and put trestle tables along the stone terrace, underneath the pergola which is dripping wisteria in May. Tiny lights twinkle above, and lanterns hang down. I fill small vases with peonies and lay them down the center of the table, and we serve Prosecco fizzing with pomegranate seeds. There is nothing that makes me happier than gathering the people I love together at home.

You also have a flair for decorating. How would you describe your decorating style?
Comfortable, cozy elegance, Old England meets France meets New England. All my childhood influences rolled into one, with the most important thing being comfort – I want everyone to walk into the house to not only think it beautiful, but to instantly want to kick off their shoes and curl up on a squashy sofa.

What are some of your favorite treasures in your home and why?
Everything given to me by a parent or grandparent. I love the mahogany Victorian writing box, that opens to reveal a leather inlaid desk and secret compartments underneath, the dining table and chairs that came from my parent’s house in London, and the Victorian trunk that was in my bedroom in the South of France when I was a little girl.

What room in your home do you love most and why?
I love the kitchen, because it truly is the heart of the home and where everything happens, but I recently redid my office and now it’s the most incredibly serene retreat – it’s where I steal away to escape the noise and bustle of the kitchen!

Toad in the Hole
When you are not writing, cooking, or entertaining, what are you doing? Any hobbies?
When I’m not cooking, writing, entertaining, being a wife, mother, friend, running a house and the lives of 6 people, there isn’t a tremendous amount of time left over. I do, however, get obsessed with things that I do completely compulsively for a few months before trying something else. A couple of years ago it was candle making, which I still do, then jewelry making, which I don’t.

*Starred dishes have recipes included in GOOD TASTE.
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Simple, Delicious Recipes for Family and Friends
by Jane Green
NAL Hardcover
On-Sale Date: October 4, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-399-5833-7
List Price: $30