Yesterday was Christmas at Eater HQ: My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, the much-anticipated cookbook from actress/lifestyle-guru/country singer/cleanse practicioner Gwyneth Paltrow, arrived.
The cookbook is many things: it is aspirational and sweet, it is seasonally-minded, it is unintentionally very funny, and it offers dinner party ideas and patronizing "working-parent dinners." The recipes are not that different from the many other tomes out there. Well, except that it offers vegan and child-friendly alternatives and has a foreword from buddy Mario Batali and name drops Jamie Oliver, Leonardo DiCaprio, and her "favorite vegetarian friend," Stella McCartney.
We can talk about the "lofty crypto-macrobiotic lecturing," and we can rant about her "faux-populism as if you were not born to a famous actress and a highly successful producer" (but Gabe did it better).
And we can go on and on how this is a vanity project from a rich person completely unafraid to casually boast about her life of privilege. So let's not! And instead, here now, the best lines from My Father's Daughter:
1) "One year I was given a birthday present I'll never forget — a cooking lesson from Jamie Oliver."
2) "Through this process my father and daughter had unwittingly taught me the importance of balance. Could I use some butter and cheese and eggs in my cooking without going down some kind of hippie shame spiral? Yes. Of course I could."
3) "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."
4) "When I was twenty-one, a friend gave me a book called Diet for a New America by John Robbins, which exposed the brutal practices of American factory farms. That, coupled with a lecture from Leonardo DiCaprio (when he was nineteen and I was twenty-one) about how such animals are kept and processed, made me lose my desire for factory farm pork and beef right there."
5) On Vegenaise: "My most often-used and beloved ingredient. It can be found at most grocery stores and all health food stores—unfortunately not yet in London. Regular mayo is fine and works, but Vegenaise is a healthier alternative.
6) "I grew up going to the island of Nantucket (off the coast of Massachusetts) at the end of every summer."
7) "I'm not sure how healthy bacon is in general, but I know it's incredibly delicious."
8) "I basically love anything that comes in a hot dog bun... except hot dogs (sorry, Dad)."
9) "One cold wintry day in London, I was dreaming about salad nicoise—one of my favorites."
10) "I love corn so much I tried to grow it one summer in the garden. The raccoons loved it even more."
11) "I had my first bowl of gazpacho when I was fifteen in Spain, and the impression it made was a lasting one."
12) "During the strict macrobiotic chapter of my life, I ate miso soup every day for breakfast and sometimes with dinner as well."
13) "One evening when I had my wood-burning stove going I realized I hadn't thought of dessert."
14) "I first had a version of this at a Japanese monastery during a silent retreat—don't ask, it's a long story."
15) "We've got a wood-burning pizza oven in the garden—a luxury, I know, but it's one of the best investments I've ever made."
16) "When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat."
· Will Gwyneth Paltrow Be on the June Cover of Bon Appétit? [-E-]
· Is Gwyneth Paltrow Coming Out With a Food Magazine? [-E-]
· All Gwyneth Paltrow Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Cookbook Coverage on Eater [-E-]