(yes, i organize my books by color even though my husband is a librarian.. he must be appalled)
i do a lot of reading. no matter what kind of shape i’m in at bed-time, i read for at least 30 minutes before i fall asleep. i’d admit that a good 94% of the subject material is about food. i have managed to successfully saturate my life with food or food related reading material. i currently subscribe to “bon appétit” magazine and “clean eating” magazine, and flip through them until there is nothing left to read. i keep magazines for years(!) and re-read them until i have the ads memorized. my collection is more of a sickness than a right to brag, believe me.
i love cookbooks, and i actually read them from front to back, as you would a novel. i’m not sure how else to read a cookbook. maybe you are supposed to look up recipes on an as needed basis? all i know, is that i wouldn’t know what the book has to offer me unless i read it fully, beginning to end, then refer back to it later when i want to make something.
since i use this information, and appreciate it so, i thought i better give “props” to my references, at least the ones i am currently obsessed with.
brian and i use these books endlessly. if i had to pinpoint a most frequented book, i’d say we pick on alice waters most often. we are constantly pulling it out of “the rainbow”, as i call it, for quick references. i especially love and utilize her simple, ad hoc approach to preparing meat.
speaking of ad hoc, christmas was especially good to us, culinarily speaking, this year! thanks to everyone who’s gifts made such wonderful and useful additions to the kitchen.
i also received the above french oven. we have used it many times already for braising shoulders, making beautiful stews, short-ribs, and plenty of other fatty, tasty dishes.
this slicer was purchased with a gift card. i bought it so i could make health foods from scratch, such as potato chips.
as per a request from a commenter, i would like to explain this mandolin a little. i went in to the store with the intent to purchase a mandolin slicer, thinking i would probably pick out the most expensive one available (simply because i had a gift card and i have expensive taste). after toying with quite a few without looking at prices, i chose the “de Buyer Korba” slicer. unbeknownst to me, it happened to be the least expensive (on sale for $50), and very well rated on several websites. i chose it because i wanted the “v” shape. the shape of the blade ensures that the food doesn’t get stuck when it hits the blade. this problem is notorious (and enraging) with many slicers with flat shaped blades. the thickness is adjustable from 5mm to paper-thin. every time i use it i’m impressed with the beautiful, quick, thin slices it produces. i don’t expect the blade to dull any time within the next few years, though when it does, $50 is a reasonable price to pay to replace it! also, i appreciate the sleek design over the models that required to be propped up on a stand. i’m finicky like that. click here to see it on williams-sonoma.
i tried explaining (bragging) to my grandmother about my new silpat, and how it will help in my journey toward perfect non-stick cookies with burn free bottoms. her response was “i’ve had one of those for a long time!”… she one-upped me.
anyhow, i wanted to drop a big fat thank you to all who decked our halls with all this awesome new stuff! there is more (much more), but i haven’t gotten to their photo-shoots yet.