Friday, August 14, 2009

Mastering the Art of ________ Cooking

I went blueberry picking this afternoon. I managed to snag four pounds of blueberries for $8. Score!!! Deal of the century, considering a pint is like $5. It was hot as hades outside, but it was just too gorgeous to not be out and about. Besides, there are few better ways of spending a workless Friday than amongst blueberry bushes and beautiful scenery. The fact that everyone else is working just makes it that much sweeter.

So, after nearly melting amongst the blueberry bushes I decided to go to the movies and steal some AC. I went and saw Julie and Julia. The movie itself was okay enough. Nothing I'd rave about and say "you simply must see it! It's the best movie of the year!" Um no. But it was an entertaining way to sit in the AC for two hours without having to mess around with buying one of those contraptions and wrestling it into the window.

Anyway, as I was driving home with the AC cranked (notice a trend here?) I was thinking that it would be fun to do something like that. To pick a cookbook that you consider really good and just make every recipe in it. So I was thinking.... what cookbook would I choose? I mean, Julia Child is classic but there is no way I'd be able to make all of those dishes. I mean, I'm a vegetarian. There's not a chance in hell of catching me trussing up a chicken or boiling a calf's leg to make the equivalent of a beef jello mold. HELLS to the no.

The only cookbook I could come up with was the Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano. Two of the goddesses of vegan cooking. This book has it all, and and they do it without using butter or eggs to boot.

Now, at this point I'm sure y'all are thinking "ew" and "no butter or eggs? then what's the point?" To which I reply, if it weren't good, do you think I'd be raving about it? As my brother will tell you, I'm the queen of sucking the fat out of something and replacing it with something less...tasty. But I'd also never serve that crap to anyone but me. If I had to come up with an impressive dinner party and needed to serve something fancier than lasagna, you can bet your bottom dollar I'd turn to these lovely ladies for guidance.

Anyway. I was thinking as I was driving home: I can turn my blog into a cooking blog! I can make all the recipes in the cookbook and post pictures and write about it and be in the NY Times and have Isa and Chandra say disparaging things about me not taking it seriously and... then it all seemed like too much work. Besides, everyone would say it had been done before and I was just ripping off this Julie chick. On top of that, Isa and Terry's website has a very large following and I am quite sure I would not be the first person to make all of the recipes in one of their books.

Besides, some of their recipes call for beets. Um, no.

So instead of cooking my way through their book, I'm just flipping through it an marveling at their creativity. And for lunch this week, I'll be having the French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme (p. 141) and for dinners the Mushroom and Spinach Strata (p. 72/3).

Bon Appetit!

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