Today might as well be Christmas: we got our hands on a blad of Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness — out April 13, 2011, preorder on Amazon — her earnest foray into the world of easy weeknight cookery. (A blad is like a book brochure: front and back covers with a handful of excerpted pages inside.)
And oh, Gwyneth, you truly cannot be anyone but yourself, can you? If the blad is anything to go on, the book will see-saw between lofty crypto-macrobiotic lecturing (from the headnote for Seasonal Crumble: "This recipe really utilizes the sweetness of the fruit, cutting down on added sugar, always a good thing.") and homey, Country Strong I'm-just-like-you talk ("It's a one-pan dish and easy cleanup!"). Presented without comment, excerpts of the excerpt:
"In the last ten years or so, cooking has become my main ancillary passion in life."
"I can still hear [my father] over my shoulder, heckling me, telling me to be careful with my knife, moaning with pleasure over a bite of something in the way only a Jew from Long Island can, his shoulders doing most of the talking."
"The stove is really the epicenter of my house — I am never far away from it and most of the time there is something atop it, simmering away for my family."
"I am constantly thinking about ways to give my children something filled with as much nutritional value as possible."
"When I was growing up, the tomato soup I had was Campbell's, and how I love it to this day."
"This is how my mother and I remember it, anyway. Bizarrely, my father and brother always fought us on the validity of this story, as if one would hide serving canned soup for dinner ... anyway, I boringly digress."
"More often than not when I prepare desserts, I am thinking about keeping the sugar intake low, as well as limiting other ingredients that don't do us any favors."
And then this absolute gem of embedded clauses (a gold star to anyone who can diagram this sentence!):
"I came across an axiom in a passage from a culinary memoir called Heat in which the author, Bill Buford, observes the following: 'You can divide people into two categories in life: cooks and bakers.'"