Weekend Cooking: Cookbooks for Christmas
In addition to several other great gifts, I received two visually stimulating cookbooks for Christmas. Both cookbooks are filled with stunning photographs of ingredients, preparation methods, and finished meals–I can’t wait to get cooking!
The first cookbook, A Year of Pies by Ashley English of Small Measure, was an early gift from Anthony. While away for his birthday (40!) in mid-December, we visited an independent bookshop in Ludlow, Vermont called The Book Nook. The pie cookbook was part of a lovely cookbook display, and I fell hard for the photographs and recipes. I also thought it was about time for me to finally learn to make a pie crust.
The proprietor of The Book Nook uses some clever marketing to offer discounts to customers: At checkout, if the customer correctly identifies the literary quote of the day (written on a chalkboard above the register), he/she earns a discount. I thought this was such a sweet idea, and liked it even more when I correctly guessed a quote from Bleak House.
The second cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by food blogger Deb Perlman, has been on my radar since Perlman announced her book deal on her website at least a year ago. I’ve used several of Deb’s recipes–a pasta sauce was even featured for another Weekend Cooking post–and haven’t been disappointed.
I keep going back to the photographs in both cookbooks, but I’m such a visual learner when it comes to preparing food that I need to see the finished product before attempting a recipe. A cookbook without photographs just doesn’t inspire me at all. My culinary skills are limited and without photographic motivation, it’s going to be breakfast for dinner…again.
When I opened the SK cookbook on Christmas Eve, my mother-in-law and I spent 10 minutes flipping through the pages oohing and aahing over the photos and recipes. She’d never heard of Smitten Kitchen but became an instant fan after seeing photos and a recipe for pasta with peas in cream sauce.
I’m looking forward to whipping up some terrific pies and recipes in the upcoming months for future Weekend Cooking posts and hope you’ll stop by to see how they turn out.
Many thanks to Candace over at Beth Fish Reads for hosting Weekend Cooking!