The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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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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