Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunday Suppers Worth Lingering Over

They say we eat with our eyes first. It's certainly true of Karen Mordechai's tome which serves up readers a sumptuous feast for the soul!

Mordechai writes in her introduction, "Sunday Suppers is a communal cooking center and food website based out of Brooklyn, New York, whose premise is to bring together food, gatherings, and community. Through inspiration and instruction, Sunday Suppers allows people to gather and cook in their homes, and experience the world's oldest act of community: sharing a meal." This was the impetus for my excitement at receiving my review copy of Sunday Suppers. Fewer and fewer people remember the days of weekly meals shared with family or friends or entertaining dinner parties with colleagues. (In my childhood my parents frequently hosted or attended card parties with neighbors or friends which always began with delicious pot-luck meals which I recall with great fondness. I have heard people bring to mind stories of Sunday dinners at grandma's house with extended family with the same sort of nostalgic happiness.)

As the introduction states, the goal of Sunday Suppers is to "remove much of the fuss and formality of 'entertaining'. The table is set in a modest manner, and the food is honest and straightforward." I found this to be the bulk of the appeal of the photographs, recipes and table presentation suggestions. When I cook for others, especially people I am "entertaining," there are a few simple things at which I aim: tasty, nourishing food which is easy to prepare and the ability to spend time enjoying the people with whom I have gathered. Mordechai's recipe format ensures that even those with little to no experience at putting together dishes and meals for others will succeed. Ingredients are listed in the left-hand column. Step by step preparation instructions are presented in the right-hand column. Extraneous tips on unusual ingredients or techniques follow at the bottom in easy-to-spot print.

I loved that the gatherings and dishes are presented according to times in the day. Several options for breakfasts, lunches (including a birthday gathering and a camping excursion!), and evening meals provide the organization of the cookbook. This strikes me as very user-friendly and intuitive!

Accompanying each gathering (meal) and the individual dishes are some of the most beautiful food and scenic photography I have witnessed in a cookbook. They elevate Mordechai's writing more to the level of a coffee-table book. (Certainly a recipe book I would be worried about splattering up on my kitchen counter during a tragic accident with the hand-held mixer!) It is bound in a linen feel cover and uses luxurious quality paper stock on which to present Mordechai's fabulous recipes, photographs, tips, and suggestions.

Thanks to Mordechai's encouragement that anyone can make delicious food and share it with others, I will be trying many of the recipes from this book! I am thankful to Blogging For Books for providing me with the complimentary copy for this review.

From The Publisher . . .

Rediscover the art of cooking and eating communally with a beautiful, simple collection of meals for friends and family.

With her dinner series Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai celebrates the magic of gathering, bringing together friends and strangers to connect over the acts of cooking and sharing meals. For those who yearn to connect around the table, Karen’s simple, seasonally driven recipes, evocative photography, and understated styling form a road map to creating community in their own kitchens and in offbeat locations. This collection of gatherings will inspire a sense of adventure and community for both the novice and experienced cook alike.

About The Author . . .

KAREN MORDECHAI, a photographer and stylist, is the founder of Sunday Suppers, a Brooklyn-based food community and blog that has won many accolades, including a 2013 Food and Wine Digital Award, top food blog by Saveur, and #6 in’s Top 50 Design Blogs. Karen’s work is regularly featured in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Remodelista, New York magazine, and more. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.

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