Sunday, October 23, 2016

Food with Friends, the Art of Simple Gatherings, Reviewed

In order for me to like a cookbook it has to have three things: an attractive layout with beautiful and plentiful pictures, be written from the heart with personal experiences interlaced with tasty and unique recipes, and it has to be inspiring. So, Food with Friends, the Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd, meeting the above criteria should be a five-star book...but it isn't. Don't get me wrong, I like it, I like it a lot, but I am a member of the food blogging community and a "foodie," so the biggest appeal for me were the lovely layouts, and wonderful text. The recipes were secondary.
Now, normally, this wouldn't bother me because while they did not inspire me, the layouts, the Anything-Goes Breakfast Board, and section called "Tiny Takeaways" on treats to make, beautifully package, and give to friends did. But the inspiration came more from the photos than the food.
Now, it's just a guess, but I think most people buy cookbooks for the recipes more than anything else. In this book you will be offered things like Sweet Tahini Buns, Raw Vegan Cacao and Coconut Hearts, Socca Cakes with Labneh & Fennel, Rose Flan, Matcha Egg Cream, and Orange Blossom Hagelslag on Toast.
The title is also a bit of a let down in that there is nothing simple about the recipes in this book. Okay, the Maple Kettle Corn was simple, and it was good, but ay-yi-yi, most of the recipes require a lot of time, a decent bit of skill, and some oddball ingredients. And, if I can be honest, there was really no recipe in this book that I wanted to make. I'd like to think that the reason for this is because the recipes in this book lean more to the sweet than the savory, and I prefer the latter, but, really, while they all presented beautifully, none of them really sounded good.

This book speaks to a specific audience, and while I thought I'd be a member of that group, I simply wasn't. But don't let me discourage you. Give it a look at your local library to see if it is the book for you and, if it is, dive right in and buy a copy. If you enjoy reading cookbooks as much as I do, you will be well entertained. If you prefer to cook from them, you might just feel this one falls short.
Three and a half out of five stars.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

Grantham Lynn said...

I reviewed it too awhile back. If I remember correctly I think my wording was
'not one my mother would like'. Nice and pretty and interesting but very modern.
You wrote a wonderful review!
I always enjoy your posts. If you like feel free to come over and link at The Fabulous Fall party.
Enjoy your week.