I took a cooking class with some friends this week and had a really good time — thanks to my friends but not the instructor who wasn’t all that good but I learned a few things anyway. It got me thinking — I love to cook and own a number of cookbooks which I frequently look at to browse ingredient lists and sometimes to see what my dinner should have looked like. I’m not a recipe person though. I’d rather cobble together ingredients and have at it. My mother cooks like this and so did both grandmothers so I’m used to it. I have a cookbook that used to belong to one grandmother (not really a cookbook so much as a notebook full of recipes) and true to her nature, she left out instructions on most of the recipes. She was a little weird like that. I once called her to ask her for her potato pancake recipe and this was the conversation.
“Hi Gram. I was wondering if you could give me your potato pancake recipe. I think I’m going to try and make some this weekend.”
“What do you mean give it to you? You’re Polish, you should know how to make potato pancakes,” said my grandmother in her ever so pleasing way of not saying anything helpful. Years later, I’m still confused as to how my being Polish (I’m also Italian and Welsh) had anything to do with me knowing the recipe but anyway.
“OK then. So, potatoes, onion, egg, flour, and salt. Sound about right?”
“See I told you that you knew it,” she said.
“Uh, huh. Got to go. Call ya soon.”
My mother who I relayed this conversation to very shortly after I talked to my grandmother (it was her mother so I knew she’d appreciate the story) found it funny because she would never tell her what was in recipes either. Years later in the hopes of finding her chicken cattiatore recipe (it rocked when she made it) we scoured her house but couldn’t find it. When we finally found the little notebook with her recipes that I now own, we both freaked hoping it would be there. It wasn’t. There was, however, a decoy recipe that we know for a fact wasn’t her’s because there were ingredients listed she didn’t use. She took it to her grave.
Oh well, you now might be asking where this is going. Yes, back to cookbooks. I don’t review them but I’m thinking I might start taking a look at recipes, testing them out, and reviewing them individually. Also, I’ll warn you all up front that I don’t, and will not start now, following the recipes exactly. I’m apparently genetically incapable.
And now, more sharing! A few good links I found this week while perusing the internets. Have at it fellow readers.
Books that rocked your world at 16 and fall flat now thanks to Flavorwire
Also from Flavorwire, cult books that need to be adapted to the big screen
Readers block thoughts on Work In Progress
From GalleyCat, an unreadable manuscript gets a date
To end on a book note, I’ve been reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier this week and loving it. I wonder why it took me so long to read her. Happy Sunday.