November 20, 2015
How to Cook a Moose by Kate Christensen
My rating: 3 of 5 spoons
The title alone made me want to read this book. I lived in Alaska for ten years and have eaten moose more times that I can count in many, many different ways. Add the fact that the book is all about Maine, one of my very favorite states, I couldn't wait to begin!
This is definitely more of a memoir than cookbook, which is what I normally review, but fun all the same. However, the liberal sprinkling of vulgarity kind of put me off the book for awhile, and dropped my rating.
As I mainly review actual cookbooks, I do want to focus somewhat on the recipes. Barbara Damrosch's Chicken Stew with Horseradish Cream is excellent even without the cream. This is the kind of rich soup you want to make when the family is sick, or it's cold outside and you want that warming, comfort food. It calls for the solids and the broth to be served separately, but it was easier with my family dynamic just to keep them combined. As we're finally (here in Tennessee) moving into colder weather, New England Fish Soup is on my "to make" list. It's hard to see where this recipe could go wrong!
Now I really enjoy moose meat, but I'm going to give the Jellied Moose Nose a pass. Some recipes are historical and can be very interesting (see the Mock Turtle Soup recipe that involves boiling a calf's head!), but some make you want to try them such as the Brown Bread recipe that's from the Old Yankee Cookbook.
The book itself is interesting, showing a slice of Maine life. I absolutely busted up laughing out loud at the author's description of her reaction the first time she saw a moose. Anyone who has seen a moose up close and personal (trust me, I have!) will get a good laugh out of the way she described it. I love the bits of history both of the food and the state itself.
If you don't mind sprinkles of profanity, this is a great book. The writing is good, the history fascinating and the recipes mostly delicious. If scattered F words ruin it for you, then you might want to give this one a pass.
I received a copy of this book from Islandport Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.