Shared by Jane Guitart, Westwinds Bookshop

Collegiate Cookbook by Selden Tearse

When your teenager leaves home for the first time, it can be a difficult transition for parents and children alike. Moving into an apartment and being responsible for putting together a nutritious meal can sometimes be daunting for the beginner. What to make for your first dinner party/brunch/lunch? Selden Tearse’s cookbook Collegiate Cookbook can help with all of the above.

Selden was raised locally in Duxbury, in a foodie family that subscribes to the credo “food doesn’t have to be fancy to bring people together.”

Her cookbook is presented in a user-friendly format with one recipe per page, in a large, easy-to-read font. General cooking tips include such basic but important information such as “wash your hands” or “preheat the oven.” For young adults whose food “magically” appeared from the kitchen at home, these simple instructions could be a lightbulb moment.

There is a starter cookware list ranging from the obvious (measuring cups and spoons) to the more advanced but ever useful crockpot. Recipes are written clearly and precisely, step-by-step. What impressed this reader were the basics… how to fry an egg or make French toast or easy sauces that you can throw over a rotisserie chicken. On the other end of the scale, even a novice would be able to produce Crab Yummies for brunch or Turkey Tetrazzini for dinner. (Where was this book when I left home?)

A few cooking tips from Collegiate Cookbook:

  • Metal pan, use metal spatula. Non-stick pan, use silicone spatula.
  • Bacon will cook better if you put a tablespoon of saved bacon fat in the pan first.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan while sautéing—it will make your food steam instead of crisp up.
  • If using fresh herbs in place of dried, use three times the amount called for.
  • Use real unsalted butter for cooking.
  • If cooking with oil or butter, heat the pan, then add oil or butter, heat the pan some more, then cook.

Selden’s book is available for $20 from Westwinds Bookshop in Duxbury. You can also check out her website where she posts additional recipes not included in the cookbook.


Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen

Hannah Howard is a non-fiction writer and food expert. Her book Feast is an inspirational memoir of food and finding oneself. Hannah was a woman at war with herself, with her body, and with food—all while working in the New York culinary scene. By day she was exploring the arts scene at Columbia University. By night she was surrounded by good food and wine. We learn that Hannah herself yo-yoed between subsisting on yogurt and coffee for days and eating compulsively. Her poor self-image also steered her into destructive relationships. Despite, or perhaps because of them, these passions also came to define Hannah’s career path as a food industry expert.

It was on attending a recovery meeting for compulsive eaters and finding others who shared her disorder that she found the help to begin her transition towards healing. Feast highlights the gender inequality in the restaurant industry whilst also offering a celebration of food. It is also an account of the determination required to forge a path to self-acceptance.

Jayne Guitart works at Westwinds Bookshop, Duxbury.