I have a very loyal kitchen hound. His sensitive little ears perk up the minute I enter the kitchen to cook and within moments he is sitting at my feet, looking up inquisitively at my motions, listening to the sounds of chopping and slicing, rustling papers, the unwrapping things, all sounds that have to do with food and cooking. Food is very important for dogs, I have learned, even though my dog does not wolf things down. He is endlessly interested in something to eat, however.
Food is important yes, but he doesn’t go for just any old bite. He is quite selective. We’ve been going through this routine for nearly six years, and I know that he doesn’t like onions. Still he makes a lot of little squeaking noises until I offer him a piece. He sniffs carefully and ever so slowly until he’s finally satisfied he doesn’t want the bit of onion. He turns his head to the side, his elegant poodle nose rejecting what I knew he would reject. We go though this with every vegetable, including those that are cooking. I offer him the skillet to preview, knowing he wont’ be interested. But he thinks he might be.
There are some things he likes. They are beet skins. Sweet potatoes. Cooked carrots, and what I call broccoli bones, (the coarse lower ends of broccoli stems, which he’s carries away and works over just as if they were bones). He will accept a kale stem, but then he just walks around the island and drops it on the floor. When I finally emerge from the stove the floor can be littered with bits of stems and leaves. And when I sweep them up, he doesn’t linger at the dustbin wondering if there might be a treat. After all, that’s usually about the time he gets his own dinner, which he far prefers.
You might have met my pup on the page after 231 In My Kitchen. He shows up a few times. But my favorite picture is of him sitting on the kitchen steps looking very robust indeed. In case you’re wondering, his fur is not colored and he is a small Labradoodle – actually mostly poodle. He weighs only 32 pounds, but he’s pretty convinced he weights at least seventy. Must be all those brococli bones! Whatever it is, he’s a good kitchen friend.
A friend pointed out recently that myweb-site had disappeared! And she was right, but it’s back now, which is good, because I want to tell you about my new book that’s coming out in March.
It’s called In My Kitchen. And that’s just what it is – me in my kitchen cooking favorite recipes, brought right up to date with today’s new ingredients, as well as recipes that are quite new. It is lavishly illustrated with gorgeous photographs by Erin Scott and all in all I think it’s a handsome, intimate book. (I just got a copy in the mail from my publisher, 10-Speed Press.) It is richer in narrative than most of my books, replete with stories and a close look at how new ingredients have made good food more accessible.
I really enjoyed writing this book and working with everyone who was involved with it. I hope you’ll like it, too!
‘Vegetable Literacy’ is centered on 12 plant families and how they meet in the kitchen. It’s also a cookbook (some 300 recipe). Mostly it’s about connecting the dots between botany and the garden and the cook. People ask me what inspired this exploration and I have to say that I don’t recall a single moment in which that intention suddenly leaped to the fore. It was more like the idea of botanical families and the relationship between them and the kitchen had been there for a long time. Maybe it’s in my genes—my father was a botanist and gardener and farmer among other Ray Ban outlet things. And even though it didn’t occur to me plant anything until I was in my mid-thirties, something must have rubbed off. And it rubbed off from my botanist brother, Michael, my many farmer friends and the gardeners I have known. Most of all, though, it was starting to garden that made plants and their families come into view with increasing clarity. Once I started to grow vegetables, I saw them in different ways: how much space they need, how large and many their leaves, how similar the blossoms within a family, the possibilities of eating more of them then what we see in the store or even the farmers market—hence the many little pointers about eating the whole plant—and more. The garden reveals the big and sometimes gnarly world that lies behind the pretty vegetable.
I’m the last person to write a book about gardening, and this isn’t a garden book. I’m still a beginning gardener; a fumbler in the garden. Here it is March and I haven’t even planted my peas. Expert or not, it’s amazing what a garden can teach one. It gets you to open your eyes and all of the sudden plants connect to one another, to you, and your cooking like never before. It’s a deep thrill that also be a cheap thrill. You don’t need an acre. Grow a pot of cilantro and use those little green balls before they become dried coriander and you have a really http://www.raybanoutletit.com/ special treat. Or try a larger pot of chard, and an even larger container of potatoes. One caveat is that you do have to be there for your garden and this is the one thing I really had to work to make possible. No traveling in summer. No more teaching or going off here and there. It worked. But ironically, it looks like this summer I’m going to be away from my garden too much to take proper care of it doing what? Walking around the country with ‘Vegetable Literacy’ in tow.
Presenting a book to the world is always a thrill and something of surprise. Here I am hunkered down in my office or out in the garden, and suddenly ‘Vegetable Literacy’ is out there, no longer my near secret activity of the past two years. As my artist husband says about his paintings, he wants them to “grow up and go to college” – that is, get out there in the world, and it’s the same with a book. Although this first foray into the world Occhiali Da sole Ray Ban outlet feels tender and vulnerable; a bit of shock, really, I’m thrilled to have had the chance to write ‘Vegetable Literacy’. I hope it inspires those who read it as it did me while writing it.
And tell me if you wish, what plant families are you drawn to? In the garden or in the kitchen.