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Pass the Polenta: And Other Writings from the Kitchen

Lust, Teresa

41 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1883642957 / ISBN 13: 9781883642952
Published by Steerforth Press, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Essays. Black cloth spine over purple boards, gilt titles. Stated first edition. Unread, as new in like DJ. 269 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 8295

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Pass the Polenta: And Other Writings from ...

Publisher: Steerforth Press, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


Pass the Polenta offers up kitchen secrets, tricks of the trade, and lessons in life learned at the stoves of the many seasoned cooks in Lust's world: an Italian immigrant grandmother who plucked chickens in the backyard; an introverted mushroom-forager who accompanied her to the woods to collect chanterelles; a German auntie who learned to knead bread dough in a wooden bucket. These mentors are ordinary folk, all of them, going about their daily business of baking bread and pouring hearty wine. Their stories eloquently demonstrate that cooking is an expression of art and of love, of family and self, of soil and the seasons.


Pass the Polenta is a collection of essays about home cooking, which is to say it's a book about home and family and tradition and the unspoken connectedness that comes of people pushing their knees under a table and passing plates of food back and forth.

Pass the Polenta is a book about taking forward from the past all that is relevant, and savoring as memory those elements that serve better as the fodder for stories. For Lust, unlike too many food writers, doesn't simply like the idea of food as something to carry on about, she likes to eat and to cook, to dine with friends and family, and she draws this passion into her writing. When she's cooking at her keyboard, you can taste her best work on the page. And then there is the handful of recipes at the back of the book: stew and polenta, roast chicken, her grandmother's pie, sauerkraut, and potato and leek soup, among others. Connections.

Teresa Lust hails from central Washington State, where agriculture is king. She's Italian on her mother's side of the family--hence the polenta of the title. Somehow a biology degree pushed her into commercial cooking, and commercial cooking got her moving from Washington to California, then from California to New England, where she turned her attention to writing as well as cooking, and earned an M.F.A. It's a happy marriage for Lust, this sense that what's on the plate is more than food, this sense that words on a page can be more than information. It's all to the reader's benefit. --Schuyler Ingle

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