Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In case you missed it: I can't cook. I am a master at assembling: Caprese skewers? Phyllo cups with feta and mushrooms? I'm your girl. But actual cooking--like involving heat and pots? And the "stove"? Not so much. (Much to my husband's prevailing chagrin--maybe one day S...!)
I can read though. Pretty well some say! And I love to do it. For whatever reason, I enjoy reading books about food even though I have no desire to make any of it. Perhaps it's aspirational, I don't know. I also enjoy Top Chef for what it's worth (though Bravo could make a reality show about dog walkers and I would probably be into it...)
But I digress. I know this is weird but I tend to read even more when I am the busiest--like now when the new one is constantly demanding milk and the other two are...well...still constantly demanding something or the other. Reading is a release, a few minutes of time for myself that doesn't involve a trip to the spa that I don't have time to take, or a lunch out with friends that (again) I don't have time to take...! So, I asked around for some reading material to get me through--yes--this nursing period.
These books come with highest recommendation from friends who can cook, cannot cook, and choose not to cook alike:
Entertaining Disasters: A Novel (with Recipes), by Nancy Spiller. According to my friend N, the dinner parties in this book are exactly the kind you always wish you could attend--full of drama, sprinkled with wit, and bursting with big personality.
The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude, by Carol Lay. A graphic-style memoir about cartoonist Lay's weight-loss strategies. This book is one part self-help but, more up my alley, one part cultural commentary--my friend S says that I will laugh out loud while nursing and I told her that if it disrupts the baby she is in big trouble.
The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister. According to my friend E, this novel about a cooking class is really the story of 8 students, how their lives intersect, and how their personal journeys dovetail with the food they learn to make. "High concept enough for you to read without hiding an embarrassing cover on the Bart," E says--she knows me well.
Cooking and Screaming: Finding My Own Recipe for Recovery, by Adrienne Kane. This memoir about how Kane found her calling in the kitchen after suffering a paralyzing stroke at age 21 will supposedly "inspire you with the reminder that all you have to do to start doing what you want is do it," according to my friend S. Yea, that and be done with nursing...!
All these books include recipes intertwined with the narratives--I'll let you know if I develop some sort of cooking bug after I've read these. But please don't hold your breath...!