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On Being Stupid

I believe it is important in cooking (and life) to have a cookbook that speaks to you. And when I say "speaks to you", I obviously mean that when reading the instructions, the first response in your head is "oh.. hey - yeah! that's a great idea. I totally get what I'm supposed to do!" And even more importantly, when you 'do' whatever it is you thought you were supposed to, it turns out delicious! (which is why I prefer cookbooks. When you succeed, the answer is delicious!"

For years, I have had a great cookbook by Deborah Madison, titled "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". I heartily recommend it; I've been making the recipes on and off ever since I bought it. And the truth is, this book doesn't speak to me. I didn't realize it until i was at a cooking party with a couple of friends (we made gnocchi in an herbed butter sauce and truffles for dessert - see! delicious!). Anyway, the hostess was really great around the kitchen. It was her idea to make the herbed butter sauce and when i tasted it, I knew I'd never made anything like that when trying before.

She also owned the Deborah Madison book and told me that it was great; everything she had made came out tasting fantastic. And i was like "sh*T! its not the book. I'm the reason that those recipes suck!" (note* suck is a strong word. Most of my stuff came out a little bland.)

so.... where am I in this story... ok.. so back to cookbooks. It turns out that the one that really speaks to me is called "The Complete Italian Vegetarian" by Jack Bishop. He uses great phrases like "you really just need enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot - so I really don't measure". And somehow, everything i make from this cookbook tastes delicious!

Sadly, I can't cook Italian food all the time. I'd go nuts. really.

but today, in the middle of my fling with farm fresh eggs - i was making a frittata with Deborah Madison, and realized i had zero of the herbs she wanted. well hell. I suppose that i could have done it without the herbs. I mean salt and pepper are pretty cool.. right?

and then I remembered my Jack Bishop. In his nifty section on essential ingredients, he wrote something that basically said that he was against dried herbs in cooking and would rather use a different herb as long as it was fresh.

funnily enough, i had zero fresh herbs. the details of my failed mass basil experiment will have to wait for another time. The best i had were some dried herbs that hadn't gone completely dead. so.. yeah, how about those guys? So that's what happened. I picked three herbs that still smelled nice, smelled nice together, and seemed reasonable for eggs, and proceeded to dump them in the frittata.

and you know what? It was delicious!


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 29, 2012 3:01 PM.

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