Three very different cookbooks have been hanging out in my bookcase of food books. They’re mine on loan from the library until I finish them or someone else requests them and keeps me from hitting renew.
An edition of The Best of Gourmet from 1988, the year I was born. Finding this felt a little like those lists that tell you what song was No. 1 on your birth date. The book is divided into menus from the previous year with more than 500 recipes, offering pictures along with the menus in the first section and a few illustrations scattered throughout the recipes in the rest of the book. A few recipes are from what was then a new column, “Microwave Mastery.”
The table settings were awesomely gaudy. Look at that decorative plate of a deck of cards. Oh, if you could just see all this furniture. One menu for “tray meals” offers breakfast in a bed that is festooned with ruffles, hearts, and floral decor. I don’t know where to look first.
Maybe just go straight for the recipes. A few that sounded good were Raspberry Oatmeal Lace Cookies, a Potato Pancake with Celery Root and Gruyère, Baked Goat Cheese Walnut Toasts, and a Braised Chicken with Olives sitting on Saffron Rice with Pine Nuts and Currants. Doesn’t that sound good? Why don’t I ever see food at any 80s-themed parties?
We bought a kitchen scale and stocked up on another tool for cutting into the dough… and then there was a move and an onslaught of excuses. Now we’re going to California next week, spending one night in San Francisco and you can bet we’re paying Tartine a visit. Mark Bittman said it was his favorite bakery in the country. I trust that guy.
And maybe this is a better way to go about it. I’ve had everything I need to make this bread except a taste of the finished product to measure my bread against. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I don’t know that I’m making anything from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook anytime soon, but it sure was fun to read. Not that Christina Tosi’s creations don’t appeal to me, because they do. Cereal Milk, yes please, I ate two bowls of cereal a morning in high school. I had to stop buying it all together to save myself.
Then there’s Crack Pie. Chocolate Chip Layer Cake. Corn Cookies. Gimme.
It’s just that a lot of the recipes for the pies and cakes and cookies include references to other recipes to get you to what you want. And I don’t have ingredients like acetate, freeze-dried corn powder or citric acid sitting in my pantry on any given baking day.
One day. How long can I resist a recipe for something called Candy Bar Pie? It’s only a matter of time.
What cookbooks (or magazines, food blogs, etc.) are you reading lately?