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Devouring Pages By Nightlight

Nov 18, 2009

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Right now, three books are on my nightstand.

Cherries In Winter by Suzan Colon is the one I dipped into last night. It's the story of how magazine editor Colon is weathering the industry's massive downsizing (which included her losing her own job, and dwindling freelance opportunities) by turning to her grandmother's recipes, and the stories that go with them.

Over the weekend, I dug into Beard on Food, a collection of James Beard's columns. They invite reading aloud, and after a few, my s.o. and I tried his fish poaching method (delicious), failed miserably with his recipe for garlic aioli, and resolved to tackle his oxtails.

And, finally, a remnant from the Julie & Juila insanity, Julia Child's My Life in France, paired with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, of course*. I've just barely cracked the cover on this one. I keep saving it for that perfect rainy afternoon, but somehow, on each rainy afternoon I'm madly running errands or something mundane like that. But soon, Julia, soon!

All this to say: I can't get enough of Adam Gopnik's article in The New Yorker, "What's the Recipe? Our Hunger for Cookbooks." He's got me pinned, and my nightstand library might look a lot like that of the imagined man in his article, reading before bed. Take a look, and while you may take issue with some of his assertions ("Anyone who cooks knows that it is in following recipes that one first learns the anticlimax of the actual, the perpetual disappointment of the thing achieved."), you may also see yourself.

*I know that makes four, but technically, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is on the shelf in the living room, at the moment.

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