I enjoy a cold, crunchy pickle as a side to a sandwich, but never pickle as an addition to a recipe. So it appears an odd pairing that I’m reviewing this book:
My receipt of the book was generated by a six degrees of separation thing – although Eliza and I haven’t met, we have a mutual author friend, Irene Rawlings, through whom I learned of Eliza’s latest cook book project. Serendipitous was my coming across a pickle compendium within the pages of an old, old issue of a woman’s magazine, which I thought Eliza would enjoy, and so offered it via Irene. Such circuitousness led to a gracious response, as well as a complimentary copy of “101” and the opportunity to review it.
Straight off, it is a cute book, in size not much larger than a big pickle jar, with the convenience of a spiral binding, so it lays flat when open. Appreciatively, the recipes are of handy ingredients, nicely spelled out, and accomplishable. If one can read, one can cook from this book without fear of failure.
My hands-on review of “101” is based on two dishes, CHICKEN PICKEN SALAD and DILLY HUMMUS. Served with wine as a light repast, these recipes were hits with my husband, a guest, and to my surprise, me.
In using the pickle to spice up the familiar (chicken salad) and add piquant to the bland (hummus), Eliza is introducing the pickle as a non-scary additive. Her recipes are like invitations to new and exciting places (Scandinavian Open-Face Sandwich), familiar by-ways (Pickle Cheeseburger Pie), and off-road adventures (Sweet Pickle Ice Cream).
I’m happy “101” came my way, and I hope my review spurns you to investigate if it should join your cook book library.
“101” is published by Gibbs-Smith and available wherever books are sold.