My days of mediocre meals are over. Of the dishes from 365: No Repeats that I made, the only stand-outs were Everything-Crusted Chicken Rolls Stuffed with Scallion Cream Cheese and Turkey Cutlet Parmigiano with Warm, Fresh Grape Tomato Topping, Pesto, and Mozzarella. I've been trying to pick meals that sound interesting and flavorful (and that don't include mushrooms, because Matt hates them. There are a shocking number of mushroom-related recipes in this book), and still, most of what I made is unmemorable and easily shrugged off.
Piling layers of food on top of each other does not make the meal taste better, nor does using every ingredient you can grab in thirty minutes.
I'm feeling some sentimental attachment to this book. I think because it's been part of my kitchen's landscape for ten years. Still, the fact that I'm not interested in making any other recipes is a louder argument for tossing it than sentimentality is an argument for keeping it. (Technically, I wanted to make some Aussie Meat Pies, but I'll be damned if I can find the recipe again. My memory knows it's in there, but I can't find it in the index or in scanning the book. Too much work.)
Sorry, Rachael, but I'm going to have to toss this.
To calm my inner-Bourdain, my next book will be the newly released The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria. This is a book of recipes that the chefs at elBulli restaurant in Spain (largely regarded as one of the world's great restaurants) would prepare for the staff (aka, family) meal before their shift. It makes me very sad that elBulli recently shut down. Interwoven into my daydreams of moving to Europe was the idea that I'd find a way to have a meal at elBulli while I was there. Oh well.
I'm excited about this one.
Oh, and I've decided that Baking, by Dorie Greenspan, is officially one of my long-term projects.