re-peat o-ffender.

So, there's this blogger I know, and the last time I saw her she offered to lend me any cookbook in her collection, because she's moving across town, actually very close by, and I could just return it to her after she landed in her new nest.

I was extremely tempted, because she has tons of great cookbooks, including a few on my imaginary Most Wanted list. But I, in an unprecedented moment of Mature Thinking, declined, because "I don't take very good care of cookbooks". She seemed the slightest bit puzzled, like "how bad it could it be?", but Mara reassured her that I wasn't kidding.

Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is a cookbook that we've gotten a lot of use out of, but almost exclusively as a reference or inspiration point: cooking times, best methods for specific ingredients, etc. There are a couple of really memorable desserts that Mara has made out of it, and that I very much wish she'd make again (Gabrielle's Lemon Squares, please), but beyond that, nada.

Of course, as I'm finding out more and more, I am not unique in this regard: eGullet has a thread about this that, among other things, discusses the truly successful recipes from the book, the ones that people use regularly in real life. The thread also reveals that many people received their copy as a gift (as did I, thanks Uncle Richie), and that nearly everyone's copy has degenerated into a cracked-spine pile of difficult-to-use rubble like mine (shown above), which means that at least this time it's not my fault.

Anyway, the successful recipes: I'll summarize for my own benefit below. Eventually.



Klary Koopmans said...

I was already convinced that you "don't take very good care of cookbooks" when I saw the pic in the zarelessons post... :)

MEM said...

Yeah, that was a bit excessive...it was out of spite, though. That cookbook just rubs me the wrong way. I'd never be that brutal to a loaner.