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“Life satisfaction is a term of art used by social scientists to capture a person’s overall happiness and well-being...Dinner is a marvelous way to create that time, to mark it, to make it happen.” The author, Sam Sifton, goes on to say that this happiness doesn’t happen in 1,2 5 or 20 dinners. It occurs with time and repetition and that this book is a rough guide to help make that happen and make it easier.
Know right up front that this is a book for regular folks about cooking, about loving and about living. This is not a bunch of pretty pictures to be displayed on your coffee table, to impress your friends and to oooo and aaahhh over on rare occasions. Sure, there are some nice photographs in this volume, but not one for each recipe, not even close; just enough to satisfy and entice.
What this book does have is a heaping helping of common sense and basic skills assistance on how to be successful at feeding a flock on a regular basis. I’m from a large family. We regularly had double digits around the dinner table, so fixing large quantities is “normal” for me. That’s NOT the case for most folks these days. There’s advice on what basic cookware to use, (quality over variety and quantity), key items for your pantry, (versatility rules), setting the table, (simple, basic and consistent from week to week), beverages, (plenty trumps variety) and my favorite credo: “Sunday Dinner is not a dinner party” In other words, put away the pretense and enjoy yourself and your family. A little mess and a lot of love is all good.
There are 14 chapters in this volume, each is full of recipes that cater to large groups of 6 or more and are easily adapted to bigger groups. The author purposely chose proteins that won’t cost you a week’s salary: chicken, turkey, modest cuts of beef to be roasted, stewed or ground. There’s a chapter each for rice & beans and pasta along with chapters for taco night and pizza; all very budget conscious. Seafood, Salads, Vegetables and Desserts, are included as well, but follow the Sunday Dinner theme.
Most interesting are the author’s discourse that accompany each recipe. He provides family stories, snippets of history or tricks that will make ways to adapt the recipes. Look for the soft, gold colored boxes that have extra special information about an ingredient or style of cooking or some other factoid; these are culinary magic, all along the way thru out the book.
By far, one of the best cooking books I’ve purchased in a long time📚
I’ve cooked Meatloaf for Nora, Momofuku Bo Ssam, and Pasta with Peas and Mint from the book. I’ve got two teenaged sons — they are sometimes big eaters, sometimes fussy eaters, sometimes one is hungry and the other is surly. Sifton's recipes can unite the family. Tasty food, good looking, but not precious. Lots of these recipes can be done on weeknights for a hungry family of 4 and a visiting friend or two. I share Sifton’s philosophy of eating together as often as possible. Tonight it’s Chicken Adobo. The writing, recipes and photos here inspire me to keep family dinner going and make sure my sons learn how to prepare and clean up dinners of their own.
Every Sunday as I start reading the NYT, I eagerly await the food section. I know Sam Sifton will have a recipe that appeals. I learned how to roast my first chicken from Sam’s recipe. I have many NYT recipes saved in my name from the NYT. I have tried many of them, and I am rarely disappointed. And, so with baited breath I awaited the Sam Sifton Sunday Dinners cookbook. What a treasure.
This is a 354 page cookbook. Not a glossy cookbook filled with photos of every recipe. However, the photos of food by David Malosh are significant and give credence to the recipes and food within. The author starts the book with his Theory of Dinner. Why sitting with your family for your main meal is so important to us all, and in particular, our children. The feeling of togetherness where we can all talk about events of the day or whatever we want to discuss. He goes on to talk about cooking for friends, colleagues and then large groups. He tells us his stories, and my lips were smacking as I tasted this food in my mind. Regular, everyday, good food, and sometimes the special meals we need. There are 13 chapters that follow from Birds to Desserts. This is as much a reading cookbook as it is a cooking cookbook.
The chapters on a Nice Party, a Few Words About Salad And Taco Night particularly appealed to me. i see days and days of good cooking ahead of me.
The book and recipes are great. But book is definitely warped. Plus was in a box with no padding. Amazon is sure lacking in quality control. Since the book is for me I’m not going to go through the hassle of returning it. But my next book will come from a brick and mortar!!
Please stop everything else you are doing and write cookbooks more often. I feel like they are letters from a close friend who enjoys cooking as much as I do. Your Thanksgiving cookbook is my go to for cranberry relish, gravy, and a couple other side dishes. This one will be cooked thru, in order, over time, because that's how I do things, until I've tried them all. I appreciate the effort you put into your recipes and your writing and think it is important that I match it with my own.
This book is chock full of recipes that anyone can make, with ingredients that will be easy to find. No crazy expensive equipment required. You will want to make the recipes because Mr. Sifton will convince you that the world is a better place when we cook and share love for each other through good, nourishing food. I have always read cookbooks like novels, but this book takes that practice to an entirely new level. It should be in every home.
I love this cookbook! The recipes range from classics to regional and beyond. It’s like the best of the NYT Food section, including the wonderful prose of Sam Sifton. I can’t wait to start cooking this week. The recipes are great for get togethers and I am also looking forward to making them for my family and having leftovers Of delicious food for the week!
This cookbook is also a food-storybook and a lovely one it is. Really nice recipes presented in most appealing, achievable ways. A cookbook that seems simultaneously down to earth with common sense and the milk of human decency and appetite, but also inspiring and encouraging. I really like this cookbook and I'm kind of a cookbook "nut" and have way too many. This one is a keeper!