Lemonade is for sissies! – Canal House Cooking by Hamilton & Hirsheimer

We can’t all have Stewart & Ray for last names – and in today’s world who has the time to put together one of their recipes?  (30 minutes my a$#!)  Or the money to keep the pantry stocked with all the ingredients and the gizmos they seem to need for one lousy dinner party?  (a butane torch!?)  Slaving for hours in the kitchen definitely falls into the category of NOT BookSexy – our time is better spent reading the re-edited version of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.

Enter Canal House Cooking.  C0-authors Christopher Hirsheimer (she‘s a founder & former Executive Editor of Saveur magazine) & Melissa Hamilton (her resume includes former restaurant owner & food stylist) have impeccable credentials, but its the simplicity of their recipes that has us so excited.  The ingredients never get more complicated than staples like tomatoes, parsley, canned sardines and garlic.  Items that are all available at your local A&P, but with results that look like you shopped at Whole Foods.  We’re particularly crazy about jars of lemons preserved in kosher salt, a recipe they say originated in Morocco and which is currently curing in our fridge.

The book, itself, is as delicious as the recipes.  Volume 1 is full of luscious photographs and illustrations, a bright orange cover and pages with deckle edges.  Hamilton & Hirsheimer ‘s plan is to publish 3 volumes a year (there’s still Fall & Holiday and Winter & Spring to look forward to).  Once you’ve collected a few volumes they’ll look fabulous lined up on your kitchen shelf.  And don’t forget to order extras to give out as gifts.  We slipped a card between the pages of the copy we recently sent to a friend:  “When life give you lemons…. make Preserved Lemons! (page 120).  And if that fails – add some rum to the Melon Water (page 10).  Lemonade is for sissies!”  Words to live by.

Orders are being taken at thecanalhouse.com.