Saturday, August 31, 2013
Best Book of the Year So Far: Seamus McGraw
I became only a little obsessed with Seamus McGraw after reading his fantastic book, End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone. My obsession became full blown when I realized that Seamus and I both shared a passion for the wind in our hair and the open road. He rides a Triumph Thruxton (it's a real thing) and you can find me roaring up and down the highways of Austin on my Yamaha (more precisely my Yamaha Vino which even more precisely is less of a motorcycle and more of a scooter with a maximum speed of about 60mph ....65mph downhill bitches!). Anyway, I guess we're kind of soul-mates.
Here is Seamus' pick for best book of the year so far:
If, like Michael Pollan, you have the luxury of being able to spend time in a Connecticut convent learning how nuns make cheese, or hand rubbing cabbage and burying it in your backyard to make your own kimchi, chances are you have both too much time and too much money and would be unlikely to do either.
In that case, you might want to be buy a copy of Pollan’s Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation and give it to your personal chef.
If you’re more like me, however, with too little time, too little money and much more modest ambitions, you might want to pick up a copy for yourself. There’s still something in the book for you. With his typical self-effacing wit, Pollan reminds you that even the simplest act of cooking – a basic sauce or stew for example - is an almost mystical act of transformation. And it is also an act of rebellion against a top down culture of corporatism that constantly seeks to strip us of the power to do even the most basic things for ourselves. All in all, its a good read, peopled with interesting characters, among them a monk like bread baker, and its even got a few decent recipes thrown in.
I recommend it. I do not, however, recommend making kimchi at home.
We have people for that.