I’m not sure what it says about me that I seem to need to plan what I’ll be eating next while enjoying a meal, but there is nothing I like better than browsing through cookbooks while dining. It is simply the best reading material for the moment. The imagination of my taste buds are on full alert and they are ready to absorb new possibilities. Sometimes my perusing of these culinary manuals is an earnest attempt to figure out what’s for dinner, sometimes to scheme up the next best birthday cake. Other times I just want to revisit an old favorite cookbook to see what I’ve either missed or forgotten, and then there are times I want to read some vintage cookery tome that came to me by way of my mother-in-law just to see how ingredients, techniques, and writing styles have changed. These edible short stories, otherwise known as recipes, never fail to satiate my body or soul.
Now that I am so lucky as to be able to spend my days immersed in my knitting and sewing and hooking and such, when I get home from work my creative impulses are directed towards the culinary arts rather than the fiber ones. This has a twofold effect: First, we eat really well. Second, it distracts me from cleaning. Win. Win.
This is all rather amusing given my previous edible life. Long grueling hours at work left little time for anything else. Friends would leave food for me on my back porch so I wouldn’t resort to eating cold codensed soup directly out of the can (yes, I have been caught doing just that). When my husband and I first started dating the contents of my fridge on which we relied upon for a late night dinner were a carton of coleslaw, brussel sprouts, and a spaghetti squash. Yeah, he didn’t have high hopes in the food department. Yet, despite our humble beginnings, we have turned into Foodies. Grocery shopping has become a tour of the North Shore as we ramble in one direction to the farm to collect our CSA and the complete opposite direction to another farm to collect our dairy. We have all our secret places to buy the best baking chocolate and aged cheese. Our culinary field trips have made us appreciate so much more where our food comes from, how good it tastes, and all the wonderful people who bring it to our table. So now, when I ramble home from work, I open my fridge, I open my cookbooks, I pull out my vintage cast iron pans, and dinner begins.