by Richard Snodgrass
Many home cooks—and professionals, as well—swear by the tried-and-true implements they’ve used for years: the Foley Food Mill that works like a charm every time; the manually operated juicer that’s a tradition of family breakfasts; the cast iron skillet that’s been handed down through the generations. For serious cooks, there’s nothing like a familiar implement, a thing that works exactly as you expect it to.
Similarly, most people usually have a library of favorite recipes on which they rely: some passed along from relatives and friends, others from mentors and teachers. These are the recipes cooks return to time and time again, in part because they evoke memories of the people who have enjoyed them and prepared them in the past.
Kitchen Things, by master photographer and respected novelist Richard Snodgrass, celebrates these well-loved objects and recipes and showcases them in an unexpected way—a way that touches upon the science of food, the physics of cooking, the sensory pleasures of eating, and indeed the very nature of life itself.
In his reflections, the author is aided by his patient, persistent, and very perceptive wife, Marty, and her mother, from whose Western Pennsylvania farmhouse kitchens the objects and recipes were sourced. The gentle, often humorous repartee between the author and these wise and knowing women forms a running narrative throughout the book.