These are the books I grab when I want to know how long to cook a chicken, prepare grains and vegetables, turn a seasonal fruit into dessert, contemplate the rise (or fall) of bread, or simply need a good, basic recipe:
1. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Marion Cunningham
2. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison
3. Chez Panisse Desserts, Lindsey Remolif Shere
4. On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee
5. How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman
I still grab Joy of Cooking, every-now-and-then, when I’m contemplating skinning a squirrel or making some Cockaigne dish. (For you die-hard Joy fans, I have the 1975 edition, which is why this is my go-to book for retro/childhood favorites like canapes, meatloaf and cornmeal pancakes.)
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I just finished reading High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, which is full of Top Five Lists. I love the scene near the end when Rob is asked to name his five favorite records. As he says, it’s a question he’s been waiting for all his life, so why does he choke?
It’s not necessarily that “five” is too limiting (after all no one wants to hear your top 100 list), but it shifts each time another title is considered, creating a need to clarify “top five”: at the club, home, etc.
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. . and there’s still another batch to get into the freezer. Meanwhile I’m trying to figure out what to do with the tomatillos. The last few bags I turned into salsa, but now I want to do something different. Soup? Anyone have any ideas?
I’m making Aaron’s corn soup for tomorrow’s featured recipe, finishing off a batch of apple butter, and at the kids’ request, baking plum cake. I’ve been craving chowder (now that the weather’s turned) and am chewing on a recipe. How does this sound: potatoes, corn, bacon, red peppers, and salmon/smoked salmon? Marjoram or basil?
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