Bursting With Signifiers of Hipster Cool: A Cranky, Slightly Hilarious Review of the ‘Kinfolk Table’ Cookbook

Bursting With Signifiers of Hipster Cool: A Cranky, Slightly Hilarious Review of the ‘Kinfolk Table’ Cookbook January 15, 2014

 

Beware the book reviewer who reads and writes while suffering from a cold and an intestinal parasite in one of the ten poorest countries on the planet…

In the new Kinfolk Table cookbook–an offshoot of the hip indie ‘lifestyle’ magazine Kinfolk, recipe contributors (based mainly in Brooklyn, Portland, Copenhagen, and the English countryside) are a mostly young-ish, mostly beautiful collection of creative types: printmakers and photographers and designers of one sort or another; chefs and ‘artisanal’ makers of cheese, ice cream, and syrups. Their homes and gardens are as relentlessly art-directed as everything else in the book and described in rapturous tones: one woman’s home is “brimming with art books and vintage furniture”; another’s is “an oasis of greenery, vintage glassware, and beloved old kitchen items from her family.” The aesthetic is strongly value-laden; in one mini-essay, someone’s grandmother’s “vintage cast-iron saucepot” is said to be an “apt parallel” for the whole family’s way of life. (Thank heavens it wasn’t a vintage chamberpot.) This and other phrases push the bounds of credulity: one home is described as

“a place where a casual evening dinner with friends extends into another day of sipping wine with neighbors on the back porch.”

Sounds cozy and fun, but only if you don’t think too hard about it. Do those friends ever leave after dinner is over? Do the hosts go to bed between dinner and the wine sipping the next day? Are they in fact doing that back porch wine sipping in the morning? Elsewhere, the descriptions go well beyond twee: we are told that we might explore one woman’s garden and “make friends with her bees.” Hold onto your epi-pen and your insulin pump, folks.

{Read this review in full at the Englewood Review’s website by clicking here. This here is not the best part.}

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