Sorry for the long absence. I’ve been traveling, and my home computer crashed while I was away. I have all my notes and photos on this machine, so my grand scheme of writing blog posts while driving the pacific coast was thwarted. I had an amazing vacation, but I’m happy to be back to my kitchen, and to commune with the internet once again.
I’ve decided that it’s unfair of me to write about how great a dish turned out and not give you a recipe. I’ve been doing my best to link to the recipes on Epicurious, but not all of them are there. I could retype all of them, but beyond being a huge pain for me, it may run afowl of fair use / fair dealing laws (reproducing a set of instructions such as a recipe is fine, but reproducing large segments of a book of recipes may be a violation). The happy medium may be to only retype the outstanding ones. So, from now on, I’ll be posting the recipes for five mushroom rated dishes if they’re not available on Epicurious.
I’m over 1% of the way there! Just 1279 recipes to go. You can now keep track with the progress bar on the right.
The point of this project is to prepare the recipes in The Book. If I fool around with those recipes then I haven’t really prepared The Book’s version. It would be quite unfair of me to give a recipe a failing grade when it was my playing fast and loose with the ingredient list that caused the problems. But what about personal preference? I’ve found that The Book goes too heavy on the salt, and too light on the Garlic for my taste most of the time. Since I’m the one eating all of this stuff I’m allowing myself to make minor changes in quantities to suit my taste, and to occasionally substitute an ingredient for a close cousin if it’s not to be found. I’ll be sure to tell you when and where I’ve cheated, and let you make up your mind about weather it still counts. If you leave me a comment letting me know you think I’ve improvised too much, then I’ll happily redo it.
A couple years ago I was given a copy of The Gourmet Cookbook. Prior to the arrival of The Book my kitchen repertoire was heavy on the student staples, and big batch cooking I could eat for most of a week. I wasn’t really taking the time to think through what I was making or how it would taste, counting on intuition and luck to create something worth serving. This led to four quarts of marginally edible “curry” more times than I care to recall.
At the time The Book came into my life it was one of only four cookbooks I owned, and after making a few dishes from it I realized it was far and away the best of them. My parents are longtime Gourmet Magazine subscribers, and in our house The Magazine was always the go to source for special dinners, or shakeups of the weeknight dinner routine. I’d been out on my own for a while before The Book came to me, and I was ready for a shakeup of my culinary world. I decided that not only would I become a kitchen wizard, I’d teach myself by preparing every one of the 1000+ recipes in The Book and blogging about it.
Of course, there are shakeups and there are shakeups. I was soon informed that my brilliant idea had been scooped by Julie Powell who had already done this to Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking ( buy it! ) only she did the whole thing in a year. My blogging dreams deflated. However, my desire to explore the possibilities of my kitchen didn’t.
Since the summer of 2006 I’ve been cooking my way through The Book, and although I won’t finish it in a year, I will prepare every single recipe. At last count I had 70 done, and couldn’t think of a good reason not to be blogging about this project, so I’m planning to write up the backlog, as well as new dishes as they’re prepared.