How to Cook a Turkey: And All the Other Trimmings
Editors of and contributors to Fine Cooking
Taunton Press, $19.95/hardcover
How to Cook a Turkey is a pertinent guide for cooks of varying ambitions: those who plan their Thanksgiving feast a year in advance as well as 11th- hour types. As its title promises, this book will teach you how to cook a turkey, going through each step of this somewhat intimidating ritual, from buying the appropriately sized bird to brining, roasting, stuffing and trussing. The editors of Fine Cooking magazine invited cooking teachers, writers and notable chefs to contribute Thanksgiving recipes and, as a result, the book offers creative appetizers (bacon-wrapped ginger- soy scallops), side dishes and desserts, as well as more traditional fare (classic bread stuffing). And for those who don't wish to garage the barbecue, there's a recipe for grilled turkey as well.
Elephants on Acid and Other Bizarre Experiments
Check out this line: "Amateur researchers tried yelling at the heads to see whether they could get a response, but such efforts proved futile." It comes from Elephants on Acid's chapter on early 19th-century experiments to determine whether a head could live without its body. Key word: "amateur." Many a curious "scientist" has entered a lab with a dead guy, random animal, baby or something else and done everything from dose a pachyderm to drink black vomit and race cockroaches. Boese details these true experiments with commendable brevity in a bathroom reader-friendly format, complete with telling photos and witty side commentary. Beware PETA members or those of weak constitution. Before ethics came to town, a lot of dumb white guys in lab coats did.
The Rabbi's Daughter
Random House, $24/hardcover
Whenever I have a question about Judaism, I ask my best friend Michele. She's not a rabbi's daughter, but she's always been very open to answering my nave queries about her religion. Usually, I've wondered things like, "What exactly is Kosher food?" and "Is it appropriate to wish someone a Happy Yom Kippur?" (The answer to that one is no.) The Rabbi's Daughter discusses many basics of Judiasm, but at its heart is an extremely at times disturbingly raw and honest memoir of Reva Mann's experiences within (and without) Israel's ultra-Orthodox community. Throughout the book, Mann tries to find balance in her life and figure out who she is meant to be. A common struggle, for sure, but Mann's path is taken in a not-so-common way.