No this isn't a laundry list of resolutions. It's a wish and a game plan to do more of something I adore - to use the delicious and coveted yarn stash I've hoarded over the years (some of it is 10 years old) and to cook from my favorite cookbooks - from cover to cover. Why will I be successful? Because I've resisted the gargantuan yarn sale at Webs!
Have you ever cooked or knitted from a book, cover to cover?? I've never done either. In the case of my knitting, I hold onto yarn waiting for the most perfect pattern or I buy a pattern book and hold onto that waiting for the most perfect yarn that is better than what the pattern calls for. Don't ask me why. I guess it must have something to do with delayed gratification or just plain dumb procrastination. With cookbooks, I don't want to waste a good recipe on everyday eating (???), I would reserve it in my mind for a dinner party or special occasion. Spell it with me D-U-M-B!!!
My plan, and I'm having fun already on this 3rd day of the year, is to pick 2 books - one knit book and one cook book. Start making stuff from cover to cover - random order is ok. With the knitting, I'll only select yarns from my stash.
What have I done so far? Well it's only been 3 days but...
From my cookbook stash -
I adore this book. I've owned it for over 10 years. I have a greased up, dogged-eared version that I use when I cook and I have that one just for reading. I've made many, many things in it but I've only scratched the surface. There are recipes for perfume even, and cough medicine and lots and lots of great southern cuisine. One of my favorites is what I call funeral pound cake.
No, no this isn't a macabre story. We all go to funerals, right? Stay with me now. If you've ever attended a funeral for a fond old aunty or uncle, most of the time they have old friends right?Trust me, this won't get strange. Well, those 'old' friends have great 'old' recipes and they bring the most delicious foods to the repast. Like you, at most funerals, I've been too overcome with grief to appreciate anything. But, for the times I've gone to support a friend or a distant relative, well, I do notice the food. Almost always there'd be poundcake. Well, just like with my silly cannoli search, I also had a funeral pound cake search. No I do not need a life, this is part of life. To enjoy and appreciate all things sensual including ya taste buds. You don't have to eat the entire portion of something and end up looking like my boy Chef Prudhomme, but tasting is good, if I could I'd taste just about anything.
There are over 100 years of recipes in Spoon Bread and Strawberry Wine starting from pre-reconstruction times when there were just a handful of years when black people had many high hopes. There are stories of how some of the authors' families were run out of town by the Klan and as long as they kept their life and limb, they kept on cooking and creating great food for their families in celebration of their survival. I guarantee that whatever your ethnic background, you'll adore this book (I know I sound like those kids on Reading Rainbow). You may even start your own project of collecting recipes from friends and family and document the circumstances around how you acquired the ingredients.
Tonight for dinner I'm going to grill outdoors and make barbecue ribs. There is a wonderful tangy sauce in the book. Why am I grilling outdoors in the middle of a Jersey winter? Two reasons. First today it is 60 degrees and 2nd, this happened last night while making dinner:
I forgot to pierce the baking potatoes before putting them in the oven and THEY EXPLODED!! I'm hoping some fairy gnome or someone comes over and volunteers to clean it out. It's bad enough she's just a Susy Bake Oven, now she's all a mess...
From My Knitting book stash -
I like the photographs in Sally Melville's books. You all know about her Einstein Coat, I've never made it, I'm going to now. I have made several of the Jen's Ponchos. I'm doing another one now for my 2 year old niece -
The scarf featured on the cover I made for my son last year but he has since lost it :(
Finally, this is one hold over from last year. It's the Noro bag I started at the DMV.