I am eagerly awaiting my turn with Mark Bittman's newly published book, Food Matters. It is a discussion of healthy food--healthy for the person eating it and healthy for the planet. I often read Bittman's New York Times blog and column and find him to be practical, down to earth and even funny.
Bittman calls himself "the Minimalist" and loosely follows Alice Waters' ideas: the freshest ingredients in the simplest preparation. His approach is much more practical, however, aimed not at the gourmet restaurant but the home cook with kids to get to bed after a hard day at the office.
Since the new book hasn't come in yet, I'm taking home an earlier book of his this weekend, How To Cook Everything: The Basics. The book is a basic cookbook for simple, fresh food. Sometimes it is difficult for us to quit fiddling with the food we're cooking and just treat it with respect for its natural flavor and texture. This book is a perfect starting point for anyone trying to ween themselves from the drive-through and rediscover the kitchen. The recipes are very simple, the ingredients easily available at any supermarket and the taste is excellent. It is also a good book for those of us who have grown tired of our same old recipes and need something fresh.