Happy New Year!

Part of our to-do list in 2014

Part of our to-do list in 2014

We’re in the midst of preparations for our New Year’s Eve celebrations, i.e. our annual evening-long cooking-and-eating fest, but I wanted to drop in and wish everyone a wonderful 2014! The menu tonight is shaping up to be one of our best ever, and because one of my goals for this coming year is writing more here, I’m hoping I’ll be actually sharing it here very soon.

One key highlight: springtime in New Orleans.

One key highlight: springtime in New Orleans.

Over Christmas my brother observed that I’ve been asking for (and happily receiving) many more cookbooks over the last few years and that we’ve probably amassed a pretty sizable collection by now. Michael immediately started doing a mental calculation and estimated that we have about 70, and when we got home and I took an inventory…and I counted 67. Damn. Yes, that number includes books that are no longer in regular rotation such as the bargain-bin specials I would pick up at Borders way back when, but it was kind of shocking to realize how many we had at our disposal.

Night Fishing at Antibes, finally back on display at the MoMA. (The last time I saw this painting--my favorite Picasso--was in 2005.)

Night Fishing at Antibes, finally back on display at the MoMA. (The last time I saw this painting–my favorite Picasso–was in 2005.)

I’m sure now that my reticence to write was influenced by the sheer volume of food we were making this year; now that I’m much more comfortable in the kitchen on my own, our weeknight meal game has been elevated. (I mean, yesterday we made trout almondine with a crostini slathered in chili butter and topped with pancetta.) So in figuring out ways I could write more without having to feel compelled to write about every last meal, I’ve decided to introduce a new segment in which I share some of the dishes we’ve made from a cookbook on our shelves. I don’t want to consider it a strict review, but more a reflection of the cooking experience while sharing some of what we’ve made. And as you can see in the first photo, I’ve flagged quite a few recipes in our latest acquisitions alone.

(OK, maybe you could call it a cookbook review. Regardless, it’s a way for me to shake things up and think a little differently, and for now, that’s enough.)

Speaking of art, I was also able to see American Windows for the first time since 2004 at the Art Institute.

Speaking of art, I was also able to see American Windows for the first time since 2004 at the Art Institute.

And with that, I must finish up my last-minute preparations for tonight. Here’s to a productive, creative, and delicious 2014!

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6 comments
  1. [My apologies for what follows.] As a former Catalana, I feel I must inform you that the brickwork at the Grand Central Oyster Bar (featured on the cover of the book at top right) was done by Catalans who’d been shipped in especially for the job. If you keep this in mind while looking at it, you can see the similarity in the craftsmanship vis à vis Catalan architecture, particularly the work of Domènech i Montaner. [End annoying lesson for the day.]

    Looking forward to more regular posts in 2014.

    • That’s so neat! The cookbook is filled with anecdotes about the restaurant’s history and the various rooms, and I will be quite annoyed if that piece of information is not mentioned.

  2. shannon said:

    so. many. cookbooks.
    you make me want to count mine, but then again, you make me NOT want to count mine; i’m probably right up there with you, and i don’t want to know that. :) I tried to avoid asking for cookbooks this year for christmas, yet magically, i ended up with 4 new ones…*whoops*
    i look forward to your cookbook (un)reviews! always nice to get a glimpse at books you may not have picked up yet, or be turned on to ones you’ve never heard of.

    • In theory, we could probably give some away…but I don’t want to! But I definitely will tap the brakes for now and dive into the ones we have rather than look for any new additions…at least until October. :)

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