It being the 4th, a lot of us are celebrating a different sort
of independence--independence from the stove. We're going to
cookouts and picnics and barbecues. We're getting buckets of
fried chicken from wherever we can. Of course, for some of
us--including, I'm sure, many Eat Your Books readers--the Fourth
means extra-big cooking projects, because we are the engine and the
life force behind the cookout, barbecue or what have you. But
even if you are the pitmaster or the pie baker or the skillet
chief, I hope you have a moment to put up your feet.
When you do, there's a great book for
you--a book to read, not to cook from. You might know Bruce
Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, authors of umpteen cookbooks
(including the popular Ultimate cookbook series) . Their
latest, though, is a festive, demystifying romp. It's called
Scream When You Boil Them...and 100 Other Myths about Food and
Like most fans of Harold McGee, Alton Brown, and/or Shirley
Corriher, I thought I knew my food myths. I know that searing
doesn't "seal the juices in". I know pork can be cooked pink.
But try some of these:
1. Bananas CAN go in the
2. Spicy foods DON'T cool you down.
3. You DON'T have to soak dried beans for you cook
And, although I point blank refuse to believe it:
4. Turkey DOES NOT make you sleepy.
That's just for starters. Each comes with a rationale, a
qualification, an exegesis. It's a fine thing to bring along with a
six-pack while you're waiting for the fireworks to
start--regardless of whether you've been a slave to your stove all
day or footloose for the 4th.