Mad Hungry : Feeding Men & Boys


Lucinda Scala Quinn / Hardcover 270 pages


Lucinda Scala Quinn is married with three sons. Along the way, she’s made a few observations:

  • Men eat differently from women
  • They eat more
  • They eat constantly
  • They make messes but never seem to notice
  •  “What’s for dinner?” is the central question of life, for them

Mad Hungry is Lucinda’s grand attempt to deal with life as she has seen and experienced it. If you are a mom, you’d probably agree with her about the male challenges in your life. If you are a husband, you’ve probably heard about the mess thing. In my household, yes, the mess things comes up. I honestly don’t know where the mess comes from. I don’t. But I get blamed.

Lucinda is a working mom with ambitions to have home cooked meals ready for her family, meals they will remember, meals that just may help civilize those boys into husband-partner-chefs.

In Mad Hungry, Lucinda takes your through the day, from breakfast to desserts. You’ll find familiar recipes here: granola, tuna salad sandwiches, roast chicken, pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce, leg of lamb, …

For those familiar, basic recipes, you will discover that Lucinda has arranged her own constellation of ingredients so that, for example, that lamb has just the right balance of garlic and rosemary. And, she’s streamlined the production of these meals to minimize the steps, the pots and pans, and most importantly the mess. You can have great meal with less effort by following her lead.

The important thing about this book is a layer of recipes that are not standard and that will have your family standing with applause. I’ve posted a couple of these recipes in the last week: 

  • Luscious Oven-Braised Short Ribs
  • Char-Baked Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant

Those two recipes alone make this book a very worthwhile purchase. Best ribs, best side dish. Ever.

And, I was so happy to meet an old friend on these pages. Years ago I had a paperback called Empanadas that is now long lost. It had the perfect cream cheese recipe for dough and I have missed it for a decade. The recipe is here in Mad Hungry, along with a superior beef filling. I am back in the empanada business.

The secret to those short ribs recipe is time, time to marinate and time to cook. Generally though, the recipes in Mad Hungry recognize the time constraints faced by a working mom with a restless herd of males prowling the kitchen, sniffing, questioning, and perhaps complaining. If they do complain, by the way, Lucinda suggests inviting them to participate. One aspect of these recipes is the relative simplicity and therefore the opportunity to elicit some family help in the kitchen. You know the idea: get them cooking young and you have a fighting chance.