Food FAQS: Substitutions, Yields & Equivalents
By: Dee Brock and Linda Resnik
Reviewed By: Jennifer A. Wickes
I have had the wonderful opportunity to review the book, "Food FAQs: Substitutions, Yields and Equivalents" by Linda Resnik and Dee Brock, published by FAQs Press.
One of the authors approached me in November 2002 and noticed how I had not reviewed their book yet at Amazon.com. Through my information, they found the articles I have written at Suite 101, and there, also, I had not indicated once about their book "Food FAQs". Confidently, Linda Resnik offered me a copy of their book in exchange for a review. I accepted.
When the book first arrived, I noticed that it was small, and organized into 3 sections: Substitutions, Yields and Equivalents, and an Index, which fully cross-references. At a first glance of the book, I saw how functional this book was. Everything was alphabetized, with hard-to-find ingredients also included.
After 25 years of cooking experience (16 of those on a regular basis), I was very curious if this book would really work. Of course, I had to put it to the test. My first test, conveniently showed up the day the book arrived. I was planning on making a yogurt pumpkin pie and had just discovered that I forgot to buy the yogurt. I used their easy-to-use reference guide, and found that the substitution for yogurt was buttermilk. This was great, but I was leery, as one of the major ingredients in the recipe for this pumpkin pie was the yogurt. Well, I continued on my way, and prepared the pie as the recipe recommended. Later, my husband and I taste tested the results. My husband said, "This is delicious!" Being a man with challenging palate, I found this very rewarding, and I agreed to make this pie again for Thanksgiving!
My next mission was that of "lotus root". One of my friends has only been in the USA for barely a year. She is from Japan and made me this rice salad. Being pregnant, I was craving this wonderful concoction! But I could not find the lotus root in the grocery store. I looked up the ingredient in this handy reference book to discover that the authors feel like water chestnuts would be an adequate solution. I was also very pleased with the results here.
When I ventured to the Equivalents and Yields section. I, again, was impressed at my first glance. Not only does it explain how much one onion makes when chopped, but also once it has been cooked. This makes shopping easier for the less experienced cook who has no idea what that might require!
For more information about FAQs Press, the publishers of this book, please visit their site at: http://www.faqspress.com/ This article was originally published at Suite 101.
Jennifer Wickes is the editor at "Cookbook Reviews", "Foreign Films" and "Cooking With The Seasons", which has been voted to be one of the Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! For more information about Jennifer Wickes or her columns, please go to: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/CulinaryJen