If you like to lounge alongside a vat of gazpacho, rather than next to the pool, we’ve got some great reads for you. Come to think of it, they’ d make great page-turners on the beach, too.
TRICKS ON STICKS
Last Summer, when Fany Gerson started selling killer paletas—ice pops from her native Mexico—at the Hester Street Fair on Saturdays, she set sweaty cityfolk to swooning for so- phisticated flavors like mango-chile, avocado, and hibiscus. But if you can’t tear yourself away from your Vornado to hit Hester (or New Amsterdam, where she sells aguas frescas and ice cream on occasional Sundays), her new book Paletas (Random House; $16.99) will have you turning out the treats in the privacy of your own sweltering walk-up. Do I really need a cookbook for popsicles? you ask. Sure, you could just freeze any fruit puree or even juice, but Gerson gets you licking the likes of apricot-chamomile, mezcal-orange, and sour cream with cherry and tequila. Don’t miss the chapters on shaved ices and aguas frescas in refreshing flavors like cucumber-lime.
DIY OR DIE
Billed as the ultimate guide to homemade life, Making It (Ro- dale; $19.99) reclaims home-ec and declares that housekeeping is cool enough for the skyscraper set. The projects aren’t just sensible and sustainable but also city-friendly; authors Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen live in downtown L.A. where they bake, brew, sew, keep chickens and otherwise make Martha Stewart look lazy. Admittedly we skipped the homemade furniture polish and turned straight to the edibles: how to make vinegar and mead, build a solar cooker and turn sprouty sweet potatoes into the Holy Grail of houseplants.
WELL WORTH THE BRAINFREEZE
We’re inclined to think New York has the best, well, everything, but truth be told, we’re downright addicted to a scoopery called Jeni’s Splendid Ice Ceam based in Columbus, Ohio. (You know that New Yorker view of the world? Ours includes a giant cone just this side of Chicago.) So imagine our delight to learn that Jeni has just penned a book (Arti- san, $23.95), making her unique flavors available to anyone with a home ice- cream maker (go get one). A cow-to-cone pioneer, she favors flavors that har- ness the harvest: celery- ginger, beet-mascarpone or cucumber-honeydew. We’re thrilled not to have to move to Ohio, and plan to celebrate with an ice cream party.
So you want to be a butcher? You could enroll in Fleisher’s eight-week, $10,000 intensive course up in the Hudson Valley. You could also hang around their stand at the New Amsterdam Market and pepper them with questions, or wait until their new shop opens in Park Slope this fall. Or you could just buy their new book, The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat (Clarkson Potter, $27.50), equal parts guide, mem- oir, manifesto and reference. Readers learn the proper way to grip a knife, stuff sausage, butter- fly a leg of lamb, render fat and cure prosciutto—but the book is much more than a manual. Simultaneously irreverent, uproarious and informative, it presents jaw- dropping truths about mod- ern meat, laugh-out-loud ex- planations of offal and, yes, stuff-your-mouth recipes for dishes like tongue tacos.