There is an old joke that goes, “My mom was such a bad cook that growing up I thought the smoke alarm was the dinner bell.” Indeed, sometimes the only thing separating ok cooks from great ones is knowing when the food is done. New at the library is a cookbook to help aspiring chefs do just that. Done: A Cook’s Guide to Knowing when Food is Perfectly Cooked by James Peterson is a guide to all kinds of not only meats, but also sauces, vegetables and some sweet dishes. The guide starts out clearly defining each cooking method before moving on to various types of food. Each food type features clear, colorful photographs. A page of pictures is devoted to eight different types of eggs alone. The author is quick to point out that not too many actual cooking times are given in this book. Instead, Peterson recommends relying on all five of your senses to determine doneness in a dish. Red meat can often be determined better by touch than a factor of time and temperature. And chicken is done best when an internal temperature is taken, the juices look clear visually, and the dish smells done. Lest you think this book only covers items that you cook, there are also pictures and descriptions for whipping egg whites, homemade mayonnaise, and soft-ball sugar candy. But, unlike cooking, this book is clearly done when the reader reaches the handy index at the back.
You can get the book reviewed here and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit, on the North Campus. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”
Done: A Cooks Guide to Knowing when Food is Perfectly Cooked by James Peterson
ISBN: 9781452119632, 224 pages, color photographs
Adult Cookbooks (non-fiction)