I've decided to cut my time with Around My French Table ten days short for a couple of reasons. One is budgetary. We're trying to cut back a bit, and whole pod spices and slabs of gruyere seem like a reasonable place to start. Another reason is that a bunch of the remaining recipes that I'm most interested in involve Fall-type seasonal produce (pumpkins, apples) or heavy beef stews. Besides that, though, I feel like I'm ready to move on. I know I love this cookbook. I've liked or loved 33 out of 47 of the recipes I've tried, which sound like pretty good stats to me. I will be cooking these recipes for the rest of my life. The purpose of this blog is to decide if the cookbooks I own are keepers or not, and this one is most definitely a keeper. I do still plan to participate in French Fridays With Dorie, so at least I know I'll have one Dorie meal a week, even as I cross my fingers and move on to...
The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. God help me.
This book excited me when it came out. The Amazon reviews of it are phenomenal. From the way people talk, you'd think that the staff of ATK were culinary gods, churning out flawless masterpieces. I asked my brother for the book for Christmas, and spent the following afternoon reading through it on the couch. At the time, I was trying to lose my baby weight and thought it would be a good tool. I liked their claim that this is not a diet book, in the sense that it's low carb or low fat, etc, but that it makes beloved meals healthier, without compromising taste. Yeah, right.
The handful of meals that I cooked would have been totally and entirely flavorless if I hadn't quadrupled the amount of spices and improvised my own seasonings. Spices don't add calories. There is no reason that healthy food needs to taste like unseasoned ground turkey. In fairness, I was picking the lowest cal recipes I could find, which I won't be doing this time, so maybe that will make a difference. I sure hope so. I figured this was a good book to do next, because it's one that definitely has potential to be tossed.
As I change books, I've also decided to retool the amount of time I devote to each book. Two months turned out to be a strain, even with a book I enjoy. After my introductory run with Dorie, it's clear to me that one month is plenty of time to get a good handle on the value of a book, so one month it shall be from now on.
Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.