'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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October 25, 2011

Reading is Fundamental






It’s discouraging to hear how many people feel they are failures in the kitchen, as if they’re somehow cursed with a ‘bad cooking’ gene. There is a secret and it is crazy simple: Read the recipe.
      Do this and you’ll understand the rhythm of the dish, where you have to hover and when you can go check your email. A well-written recipe tells you the equipment you need (no, you can’t use a saucepan when a big, shallow sauté pan is called for — the food cooks differently in each of these). A recipe should also tell you how much time it takes to complete and give you clues as to what to look, listen and taste for.
      Don’t start cooking until you have all the ingredients and equipment lined up. Next, cut and measure. Then cook and enjoy.

from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends,
by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

 
There is only one {in a pinch, maybe two} recipes in this book that I think I might actually cook {that's me, though, not the book} but I loved having it on my nightstand this week and reading it, like a novel, or a book of short stories. I guess that actually happens, the way people say it does. And there are some notes in it, about butter and onions, that I've already absorbed. 
 
But I love thinking about cooking this way, taking my time and understanding 'the rhythm of the dish.'  As to whether that would ever happen, even on a weekend, we can only hope...
 
 {image from West Elm}



1 comment:

JoAnn said...

Great quote... and so true! I just requested this from the library. Haven't 'read' a cookbook in a while.

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