I love cookbooks. In fact, some (like my husband) might say that I’m obsessed with them. When I get a new cookbook, I like to go through it several times, noting which recipes I want to try, getting a feel for the style of cooking that’s presented, figuring out whether there is anything new to be learned from this cookbook.
One thing I often obsess about is cooking every recipe or nearly every recipe in a cookbook. For some cookbooks, like Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything or The New Best Recipe, this isn’t really practical. These gigantic tomes better serve as reference books for looking up a particular recipe or technique when it’s needed. For instance, last weekend I had a great coq au vin when we went out to dinner. I had never attempted it myself and I wanted to try it, so I turned to the Best Recipe. Of course, there was a recipe for coq au vin, which I plan to try out this weekend.
For other cookbooks, the recipes and often the photographs inspire me to try most of the recipes in the book. Such a book is Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster. Foster’s Market is just up the road in Durham (check out their website for a new recipe every month, and Sara Foster also has a video blog there). It’s a popular place, especially for breakfast. When I saw the cookbook, the beautiful four-color photographs of fresh, seasonal dishes immediately seduced me into buying it. And once I started paging through it, I wanted to try making almost everything.
The recipes are simple with a Southern flair, but with enough new ideas to keep me interested. They are based on using fresh ingredients in season and are aimed squarely at the home cook. There are lots of great tips scattered throughout, such as the suggestion to use leftovers from the roasted mashed sweet potatoes I plan to make for Thanksgiving in the sweet potato biscuits.
Over the next few months, I intend to cook quite a bit out of this book. I’ve already picked out several Thanksgiving-style dishes, not just the sweet potatoes but also pan-roasted carrots and Italian-style green beans. Stay tuned for the results!
Tagged: Sara Foster