Enlarge Image Credit: Michael Kraus
It looks and feels like a literary quarterly: journal size, elegantly typeset, and self-published just a few times a year. But Canal House Cooking, now in its second of three issues per year, is a serialized cookbook, one that comprises unpretentious but inspiring recipes, photographs, stories, and quotations that are well suited to the home cook who revels in the simple pleasures of the table, not to mention a good read by the fire. Leave it to Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, former SAVEUR editors, to create a publication that satisfies so many of our yearnings. After years of writing, editing, photographing, designing, and conceptualizing magazines and cookbooks, Hamilton and Hirsheimer decided to get together to do what they love—cook—convening regularly in the galley kitchen of a warehouse loft along a New Jersey canal near their homes. Those canalside retreats have yielded recipes, like the one for a Thanksgiving appetizer of shrimp and pickled celery, that are for fresh yet traditional dishes, easy to prepare yet sophisticated in flavor.