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Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin    by Susan Herrmann Loomis order for
Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin
by Susan Herrmann Loomis
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Adam Gopnick, author of Paris to the Moon, says of Susan Herrmann Loomis, 'Where many Americans merely love France, Susan Herrmann Loomis knows its smells, and people, and manners.' Loomis's life revolves around her family, her love of France, and her love of food. She manages to blend them all together like the ingredients of a fine cake. The icing is the books she writes, from which we all benefit.

Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin is Loomis's seventh book (her fourth featuring France) and is as full of good advice and recipes as her previous ones. Her attention to detail is impressive, and not a recipe is given without a hint or tip of some kind that will make the rendering accurate and delicious. Suggestions are also made for an accompanying wine. After fifteen years living in France, Loomis will 'still marvel at the way my French friends put a meal on the table. It always looks so effortless, even though I know better.' She goes on to say that what lies behind the effortless is a 'knowing which translates as supreme confidence and an innate understanding about ingredients and cooking.'

In this wonderful new cookbook, Loomis shares her knowledge of the fresh foods available in France and the proper way to cook them for the maximum enjoyment of each dish. While all the recipes make me want to place my napkin on my lap and pick up my fork, some of them caught my interest more than others. These include Curried Fish a la Meuniere, Mussels in Saffron Crème, Roasted Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Mustard, Savory Beef Stew, Alsatian Butter Cookies and Tomatoes Provencal. These are but a few that got my taste buds tingling. I'm sure you will find favorites of your own.

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