Hi lovelies. I hope you had a great week! This weekend I was housebound with two sick and super cranky teenagers. I spent most of it unpacking boxes and taking care of them while getting a slight case of cabin fever myself. Sure, it's rewarding to see the empty boxes pile up and the house start to feel like home, but after 48 hours of nothing but, I was getting a little crabby too. That is, until I opened the boxes marked 'cookbooks' that had remained unopened the entire time we were in the rental house.
As I started to go through boxes and put the books on the shelf, I realized I haven't cooked much this year… Not to mention how much I missed it and can't wait to delve back in. So, Saturday night I enjoyed a quiet evening with some Thai take-out, a beer and went through each one (well, a lot of them anyway).
Besides being inspired to cook again, it was a trip down memory lane as, there are a few books that have sentimental value attached to them.
The Zuni Cafe cookbook was a gift when I still lived in Seattle from my friend Julie – an amazing cook. It was fortituous that the next year I would be moving to San Francisco. I still haven't been to Zuni yet! I know!
If it were not for the pumpkin bread in the Tartine Bakery cookbook, I would not have met my friend Teri. We had just moved to California and I was at a neighbor's for coffee. She offered me a slice of this pumpkin bread and I had never tasted any as good. It was so ethereal, I had to get the recipe, but my neighbor received the bread as a gift and had no idea where the recipe came from. One day at pick-up line at school, she pointed across the playground to the person who made it for her. A few days later, I was on a run and this person was running towards me. I stopped her and accosted her like Colombo asked her if she made the pumpkin bread that was given to my neighbor and she confirmed she had. We decided to finish our run that day together. From then on, she and I ran twice a week together for the next five years – mostly discussing food and cooking.
She gave me the Tartine Cookbook for my birthday that year.
The Deen Brothers cookbook was the last gift I received from my father before he died last summer. He lived in Biloxi, Mississippi for the latter half of his life and always tried his best to tempt me to move there (or at least infuse my own life with some Southern goodness). While I was looking through it last night, this note from him slipped out. Don't remember ever seeing it before… I miss you Daddy.
After all that, what to make for dinner tonight was on my mind when I went to sleep. Try something new or an old standby? I ended up going with an oldie but a goodie. Pasta Carbonara from "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan. No cream in this version – the only way in my opinion.
My photo doesn't do this dish justice. It's actually got a sauce that is on the bottom of the bowl – I just hadn't mixed it in yet.
I also roasted some beets and made a salad for me.
I'd love to get some recommendations! What is your favorite cookbook? Do tell!