Editor’s picks: Cookbooks

ALZHEIMERS

Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life by Emily Kaiser Thelin, Andrea Nguyen (Editor), Eric Wolfinger (Photographer), Grand Central Life & Style, US $35.00, Pp 336, October 2017, ISBN 978-1538729885

 David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient by David Tanis, Artisan Books, US $40.00, Pp 480, October 2017, ISBN 978-1579656287

In 2013, Paula Wolfert was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of living like a terminally ill person, she decided to fight it back with mind-centric food. In Unforgettable, Emily Kaiser Thelin tells the story of Paula Wolfert, author of nine award-winning cookbooks, and shares more than fifty recipes while she explores the relationship between food and memory. Paula Wolfert has had an awe-inspiring culinary career, from her Brooklyn childhood to her culinary adventures in the farthest corners of the Mediterranean and from time spent with Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg to working with the great James Beard. Paula Wolfert is one of those who brought international food to America’s kitchens through magazines and cookbooks. Emily Kaiser Thelin also tells how Paula Wolfert faced the challenges of living with Alzheimer’s, a disease. Paula Wolfert created a new brain-centric diet that emphasized healthy meats and fresh vegetables. The brain-centric recipes are included in Unforgettable. It is an understatement to say that the recipes in Unforgettable are scrumptious and flavorful; they are also healthy for your body and mind. That makes Unforgettable unique and different from other cookbooks.

*****

Cooking can both be a personal expression and a cultural one, connecting us to past, present, and future. It is at once creative and introspective. Acclaimed chef and writer David Tanis says that he also cooks because he really wants a good meal, and often the most satisfying way to get it is to make it himself — at home. Cooking and dining are what makes a house a home, whether alone or with a companion, a few friends, or a large group. There are a thousand good reasons to stay at home and cook. When you get in the habit of cooking, it’s easy to weave it into your daily routine. If you cook once in a blue moon, there is no continuity. You may feel rusty or reticent or less than rhythmic. The recipes in David Tanis Market Cooking range from ‘Three Garlic Soups for the Soul’ to ‘Roast Chicken with Whole Garlic Heads’ to ‘Herb-Roasted Chicken Legs’ to ‘Baby Artichoke Sauté.’ These easy-to-make recipes are delicious and addictive. Many recipes use garlic and onion and tomatoes and herbs like parsley which makes the recipes hugely flavorful and mouthwatering. It goes without saying that these vegetable-centric recipes are healthy.