A Bone to Pick by Mark Bitterman

I was familiar with Mark Bitterman’s How to Cook Everything, the big yellow cookbook but I was not aware of food related articles, which are published in the New York Times.  A Bone to Pick is a compilation of the best of those articles, from 2011 when he started, through 2014. It is a a must read book for everyone. Food, where it comes from, how its processed,  how it is presented & how we consume it, affects us all in the singular form of our health.   Because each topic was originally written in article form they are short, concise and to the point.  The book is easy to pick up read, digest and pick up again. Bitterman points out the real flaw of the Staford Study, not that organic foods have no more nutrients than non organic foods, but that they don’t have PESTICIDES. He discusses Lawns into Gardens, something which should be encouraged not fined!  He draws the line between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. He describes the slowly evolving idea of healthy fast food, referred to as “premium fast casual”. Bitterman begins and ends with articles encouraging the taxing of junk food, not unlike tobacco and alcohol. Obviously this puts a financial deterrent on junk “food” but more importantly in the long run it will change the perception of junk food from acceptable as breakfast, lunch and dinner, to a 5 year old telling you that Junk food  is not actually FOOD.

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not your traditional cookbook…

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We must have have shared mothers in another life because a lot of these recipes are very familiar with ones I grew up on. Others are going to be very familiar to my kids! Already they are hooked on the Chicken Puffs, easy & quick. Snickerdoodles, who doesn’t like cinnamon sugar cookies? PB Cornflake No-Bakes, awesome! Not for every day consumption with 1 cup of corn syrup  (cringe) but very much like something my mom use to make but with honey; which in fairness Christina does offer as a substitute. Tex-Mex curried Chili without the Avocado Raita was “interesting” not loved though. Franny’s Rice & Beans, loved (Mom used Zatarain’s rice mixes). Good reheated for lunch. The Bo Ssam Challenge recipe is a little strange in that it doesn’t include the recipe for the Bo Buns?!? But Christina does include step by step instructions for for Eggs Benedict with Wylie’s Hollandaise Sauce, starting with how to make English muffins! This is my favorite thing to order when I go out for breakfast since I have never learned to make it at home…until now! On the still to try list is: Kitchen-Sink Quiche with sweet & sour Red Onion Jam  & Caramelized Onions, Lemon Bars, Milk Bar Ranch Dip,BBQ So-easy Sauce, Cubano Marinade & Pickled-Strawberry Jam. The mix of recipes is definitely eclectic and not obviously an all dessert cookbook like Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook  (which I have too). But overall a great cookbook, lots of recipes, many of which I didn’t even mention. Something for everyone. Just not your traditional straightforward cookbook. It will definitely be going on my cookbook shelf with the other 150+ cookbooks I have.  Right next to Christina Tosi ‘s Momfuku Milk Bar book, in Alphabetical Order because I grew up in a Bookstore!