The Way to Cook

By Julia Child (Knopf, 1989)

If you’ve ever worried that your so-so cooking skills leave a lot to be desired, or if you’ve simply decided to start eating healthier and know that this means you’re going to have to lift a spatula now and then, here’s a book to get you past any reticence you might be feeling. In The Way to Cook, the late and legendary kitchen authority Julia Child updates her style and approach for contemporary cooks’ healthier tastes and their busier schedules. Her hefty magnum opus shows you everything from the best way to hard-boil an egg to the secrets of cooking delicate fish to perfection, and it will also help you master an admirable repertoire of tasty whole-foods-based soups, breads, eggs, fish, meats, vegetables, salads and desserts. Items like heavy cream are often optional or coupled with alternatives, like a rice-and-onion base for creamy soups. Child emphasizes that all her ingredients can be found in any well-supplied American grocery store, and she doesn’t expect your kitchen to be stockpiled with four-star restaurant equipment. All she requires is that you are willing to keep your knives sharp and your attention ready. From there, all you need to do is follow her sensible, time-proven advice and enjoy eating your results. If you’re looking to ramp up your kitchen confidence and cook more meals at home, this classic belongs on your shelf.

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