I just dug up this draft I started 3 years ago. I decided to tidy up what text there was, add some notes, and publish it.
I missed my cookbooks when they were in storage for five-plus months. The cookbooks were one of the first things I dug out of boxes when we moved into the bigger new place. Our little place was only big enough for one guest, yet I daydreamed about dinner parties. Now I could fill in the details of my daydreams by perusing recipes.
In the first days at the big place, when we had no internet, I read the cookbooks. Many have introductory and interstitial text that you never encounter if you stick to reading only the index and the recipes. I decided then that I would set out to read such cookbooks from start to end, only skipping through the most mechanical bits. I have started with Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia. I have been reading it a few pages at a time for about a month. [Editorial note from 2017: I did finished it. I don’t recall if I read any other cookbooks after that.]
I woke up with a great idea. I went to the local Bioladen (organic grocery) because that is the only thing open near here on a Sunday. I bought what I could i.e. no dill, and green onions instead of chives. When I got home, I spent an hour prepping, cooking and assembling breakfast.
A few weeks ago it was the height of blackberry season, and the weather felt cold for the first time, and I felt like something dark and rich. So I Googled “crispy duck blackberry sauce”, scanned the details of the top hit and decided it was exactly what I wanted.