Thursday, July 14, 2005
Reading Update: The Cookbook Series
I really like reading cookbooks. Even if they are completely impractical and I will never cook anything out of them in my life. I like to read the cooking tips, the lists of ingredients, and the high-falutin cooking terms. Recently I bought Matthew Kenney's Big City Cooking from a discount catalog. The blurb said it was the perfect cookbook for someone in a big city (which I'm not really) and with a small kitchen (which I do have). The thing it didn't mention is that you would basically have to be super rich to cook the stuff in this book. Whenever a nice ordinary fresh ingredient would do, Kenney recommends some specialty item that can only be found through mail-order, and notes that the recipe just wouldn't be the same if you pick up the cheaper alternative. There is no denying that the book is beautiful, with gorgeous pictures, a nice layout, and wonderful thick paper. The whole thing is covered with this nifty plastic sheet that would save it from having expensive food spilled on it. Here you will find recipes for your Carpaccio of Cepes with Wisconsin Asiago and Balsamic Syrup, your Cherries Sauteed in Pinot Noir with Creme Fraiche, and your Sauteed Lobster with Asparagus and Blood Oranges. The nice thing is that even these fancy-named recipes don't come off as that hard to actually make. His directions are clear, and they don't involve a lot of special equipment. There were some very approachable recipes in here, and some which I might actually try to make, but overall it reads like a florid and detailed romance novel when you are alone on a deserted island. Nice, but unattainable under the current circumstances.