We’re Starting a Cookbook Club Potluck!...

Why Now? We believe food is a common language that can bring us together as a community. What better way to come together than around a table of delicious homemade food in our Community Cooking School? Our first meeting is February 23, sign up! What’s a Cookbook Club? Mash up all the best parts of a dinner party (delicious food, great company, not trying to split a restaurant check six ways) with a potluck (an excuse to cook recipes you’ve always wanted to try; sharing tips and recipes; trying lots of new dishes) and a book club (reading and discussing a new book) and you get the idea. Add in that stack of beautiful cookbooks you always mean to use…and a cookbook club is born! How Does it Work? After registering, you’ll receive a link to a Google doc to add: the name of the recipe you’re planning to make if oven or stove space is needed for reheating We each make our chosen recipe and bring it to the meeting. (As much as possible, we stick to the recipe as written–no need to double recipes or change serving sizes.) We meet, we eat, we drink (BYO). We talk about the recipes we made, what worked and what didn’t, what other recipes we want to try (or have tried). At the end of each meeting, we pick a cookbook for the next meeting. The Art of Simple Food II  Alice Waters is an icon of the local, sustainable food movement, and we’re excited to cook from The Art of Simple Food II for our first selection! This book offers plenty of delicious recipes to try, plus lots of information about how to grow your own edibles in whatever space you have available (handy if you’re starting to plan this year’s garden!). No need to buy...

Cooking the Books

How many cookbooks do you have? And more to the point, how many cookbooks do you use? If you’re like us, you’ve got dozens, but you consistently go back to just two or three of them. (probably the same couple of recipes every time as well). Maybe it’s that bread recipe with your mother’s notes scribbled on it, or grandma’s favorite dish that you can never quite memorize (and has decades of drips and stains on the very beloved pages). It might just be that you pull out the same book out of habit, or even, dare we say it, fear? Of unfamiliarity, of not quite understanding the instructions, of knowing that if you make Recipe Tried-And-True again it will be fine, but that new one, well, you’re just not quite sure how it will come out. It’s fine to just enjoy cookbooks. Like travel books, you can enjoy the recipes and the photos and the stories without ever feeling like you have to make every recipe. Don’t worry if you’re a cookbook “tourist”—just let your mouth water over the yummy pictures and clever flavor combinations. But if you really want to use your cookbooks, start by actually reading them. Most cookbooks will have what amounts to a “mission statement” at the beginning—the introduction or prologue will give you a clue about why you should try some of the recipes here. Maybe it’s historic, like Jeff Smith’s great Immigrant Ancestors series—an exploration of where we came from and how we changed when we got here. Or Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (seriously, this guy will teach brides how to boil water, he’s that thorough). Or maybe it’s one of those must-haves, like Julia Child, who breaks everything down into minute steps and careful...

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