Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cookbooks to Delight In

Le bon matin à vous !Le jour est brillant, les oiseaux gazouillent de comme les singes heureux, et ma tasse de thé de Vienne de café réconforte!

Oops, pardon moi! I'm still a bit swept up in you-know-what, ahem!

Let me translate: Good morning to you! The day is bright, the birds are twittering about like happy monkeys, and my cafe Vienna cuppa is comforting!

And it is the beginnings of a delightful day!

Many of you have been caught up in my zest for Julia, and I am loving that, because what good company I am keeping!!! However, after strolling arm-in-arm with Julia through the paths of her recipes, I have to say that though she is smart and fun and knows her cooking terms quite fabulously, there is a lack. (I know. Don't cry yet.)

For me, anyway.

It is this: Bright recipes that can be made in a snap, two snaps at most. Let's just face it, the luxury of lolling about gay Paris (and be sure to pronounce 'Paris', Paireeee, and a little roll of the 'r' is a very nice touch) is not in my past, present, or future...though it would be lovely! Oh, bien.

Ok, down to business! I have some cookbooks that I love. The pictures make me dream. The recipes get me thinking about friends & parties, or luncheons, or picnics. When I look through Julia's books, I kinda think about... work.

She is so wonderfully talented, and wants to share every detail of what she knows, so that one can become their own personal chef-with-flair, but her recipes will require my A.D.D. brain to stand at attention; and it really is AWOL most of the time. I am willing to learn, and am going to let her teach me a thing or two, but today... let's walk through some of my beloved cookbooks. {I wouldn't want any of you to jump in with Julia, then jump right off a cliff, leaving cooking behind forever. Non, cela ne doit jamais arriver ! (Nay, that must never happen!)}

Let's begin. We will call this the le Liz Cordon Pink!

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Whatta name! That alone is fun! Her books are @35 each, and worth it.

And this next one is William-Sonoma's Complete Outdoor Living Cookbook. I must be craving a sandwich, because that seems to be the pages I found for my photos!

These next two are just unique and fun. I keep them both in my hutch, propped upright behind my white-and-gold china plates my mother gave me.

My BFF, for 28 years, and I were in Cambria on our yearly get-away when we first discovered Susan Branch. Ahhhh... we've been in love with her ever since! Her bright red Christmas cookbook was leaning against the back of a window display, and after our ooohs & ahhhhhs had ceased, we dashed in, gasped over the cost - $25 - (this was 18 years ago, and neither of us were loaded, like Paris Hilton), then gave a determined shrug, and handed over our moola (is that a French word? Oui?)Her Autumn book is our favorite, because that happens to be the season our souls frolic the most in, but all of her books are happy delights. She watercolors the pictures all one of her two idyllic homes - either in California's SLO, or on Martha's Vineyard. Hmmmm.... I am POSITIVE I could watercolor in either of those places!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes, cookbooks can be like a good read, as is Junior's. It tells of another time, the story of a family in old Brooklyn, back when it was the greatest place to belong (and maybe it still is...I'll have to find another cookbook for that story). Anyhoo, Junior's has a marvelous cheesecake recipe that I make. Can you say, "YUM!"?

Oh, and the middle one, with the darling bow? I wrote that when I worked for my sister. Being one of our city's top real estate agents, she wanted to have a special gift for her clients. Thus, she had me write this cookbook for them. (For cost's sake, we had to have it printed in black-and-white.) I loved it! I should write another one, but make it with colorful photos and stories. Wonder if Mike wants to move...???

So, what I am happily deciding is that it is a good thing to be inspired. It keeps the creative juices from clogging up with the doldrums. BUT - we don't have to be like Julia or Ina or Susan or Anyone -- we get to be who God created us to be!

And I think your cookbooks will reflect that wonderful person!

Have fun being yourself!!!

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" Ephesians 2:10.


Mummy McTavish said...

Much to my sweet husbands frustration I collect cookbooks. I have the practical ones where every recipe is reliable and tested and the whimsy ones that are fun to have in the collection (like The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris) the celebrity ones and the books that contain one or two recipes that I just can't get rid of. I guess that's just the way God made me ☺

an encourager said...

Our husbands must be twins!!! Finally, having grown weary of the drivel about them, I sold many of my beloved cookbooks on Ebay. I miss them!!!! And now, almost all my cookbooks fit on one shelf. One, small, lonely, too-small shelf... lol

I will have to Google The French Kitchen! I, too am drawn to cookbooks like the French to butter; glad for the company!

Sandra said...

I have two shelves in my cupboard full of cookbooks, but nothing too fancy. I mostly buy the practical and cheap sort (Australian Women's Weekly) and the recipe magazines.
That was wonderful of you to share some in your collection. And I don't think I've heard of any of them sadly. My cuisine culture is sadly limited. The internet and the recipe banks like recipezaar etc are a wonderful resource. And of course thank you again for the hillbilly pie recipe. It went down a treat with the family.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I can get lost in cookbooks and flick through them for hours! Ina Garten isn't that well known here but I flicked through one of her cookbooks and I saw so much I wanted to make!

an encourager said...

Hi, Lorraine, Which book did you peep through? I read cookbooks like they are novels. I used to think it was a sickness, till I saw Julie & Julia, and got healed of that notion, right quick! Two of my favorite fall recipes to make out of Ina's "Parties" are the apple crisp and apple crostata. You'll have to try them, put your spin on them, then tell me when I can see your great pictures on them on your site! What cookbook is famous where you come from?

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hi! That's a good question. It was a very Summery book in either look or name or both but I don't remember the name. I do remember, clearly-vividly in fact was her photo of a summer pudding that was so tempting! Here in Australia, I'd say Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion is very well knwon although that doesn't have a lot of pictures. Other than that there's Donna Hay cookbooks which are also really popular.

And lol yes reading cookbooks in bed is a normal thing no? :)