By Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, 2008)
Plenty of weeknight cookbooks promise to help us cook our way through a time crunch, but very few remind us that dinnertime was once sacred — and might be again. In happy contrast to that status quo, How to Eat Supper is full of inspiration to revive the art of mealtime. Written by the hosts of the award-winning public radio cooking show The Splendid Table, it contains a heap of delicious, uncomplicated recipes from split pea soup to spice-encrusted lamb chops, often with variations on the original recipe and a suggestion for a twist on the leftovers. These come with a plentiful helping of cooking lore and wisdom in the margins: Why garlic should be added late, and why every kitchen collection should include one great pan. The “cook to cook” margin notes even offer advice on matters as seemingly minor as the easiest way to peel winter squash. This is the kind of advice that peppers the radio show, but you might not remember hearing; having it in writing is like having your kitchen-savvy aunt permanently on call. Most recipes are simple enough to be adapted to specific dietary requirements, and the smarter-not-harder approach to meal prep is a boon for cooks and eaters alike.