Now that we've moved from Italy, and are settled in our home and our routine in the US, I've been thinking about returning to this blog, in its original format, in which I spend one month cooking as much as I can out of one cookbook in my arsenal, to decide whether the book is a keeper, or should be tossed (aka, donated). Part of my motivation is that I find myself returning to the same books over and over--Curtis Stone's What's for Dinner?, Hugh Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg and River Cottage Every Day, and, of course, Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. All of these books are rock-solid, but I have quite a collection that I've barely used. I do dip around a bit, but I know there are plenty of recipes that I'm not trying, simply because I'm not pushing myself to. While in Italy, I compulsively collected vegetarian and vegan books (I've been more and more drawn to a more veg-centric diet. I'll never go all the way there, but I feel happier when I'm eating more vegetables and whole grains), and oh-so-many books on Italian cooking. And a few Indian books. And, basically, at least one ethnic book for nearly every country we visited while living in Europe. Many untapped resources.
As much as I love Dorie, I just haven't been able to commit myself to baking through Baking, Chez Moi. I still keep an eye on which recipes Tuesdays with Dorie is baking every week, but it's just not good for me to make so much dessert. Matt and Charlie aren't big eaters of sweets, which means that I end up taking down the bulk of it. I'll still cook along with that group sporadically, but I'm releasing myself from the expectation that I'm going to.
I do, however, hope to cook along with a new group that just started today, called Cook the Book Fridays, which will cook it's way through David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen. This group is stemming from the same group that worked through Around My French Table. Same group of home cooks (though anyone is welcome to join), still exploring French food, but with a different author.
That said, I have to skip the first week's recipe, because it's for Winter Salad, which revolves around Rocquefort cheese. I'm pregnant (just about six months!), so am supposed to avoid soft, moldy cheeses. Sounds good, though. I'm pretty excited about Week 2's steak and frites. GET IN MY BELLY!
To start, I'll dive into The Food52 Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs. The book is lovely to flip through, and has lots of tasty-sounding recipes, but I am perpetually put off by books that are organized according to season instead of meal. I find it hard to wrap my brain around what's inside when the meals are scattered all over the book. It's not a dealbreaker for me, but it is certainly one of the reasons that I've barely touched this book in the time that I've owned it.
I'm going to be out of town for a week this month, so I'm tacking an extra week on to this book's month.
Hopefully, I'm not biting off more than I can chew. If I can't keep up with it or start to get bothered by cooking primarily from one book, I'll probably say, "Oh forget it" and give myself permission to psychologically abandon the blog. Fingers crossed it doesn't come to that.