The Cookbook Project: Chapter two

Boy, it's been awhile since I posted here.

It's taken me almost four years from Kevin's death to relish cooking again. This renewed enjoyment is in no small part because I've moved in with Charley, my chapter two (a common term in the widowed community for the love who comes after the love who died), and cooking for him is reminding me of how much I enjoy it.

At first I cooked the things I know how to make. Simple stuff mostly, like roasted chicken, stew, or soup. In the last few months, however, I've started wanting to expand my repertoire. I don't have the cooking skills I used to; my sense of seasoning isn't the same since Kevin got sick, so I rely on recipes more. Mostly I go online and find something that looks interesting, but online recipes aren't always tried and tested plus it becomes a rabbit hole and by the time I find a recipe I find intriguing the desire to cook may have passed. Knowing this, I began to think about how I could cook with more variety and resume my education as a cook with reliable results.

I have a lot of cookbooks. I've blogged about this before and yet never really could figure out what to do about it. In the past I've set lofty goals about using cookbooks and getting rid of those I never open, but that worked about as well as you think it might. So... here is another lofty goal, but maybe a more achievable one.

I'd like to cook from cookbooks twice a month and document it here. Charley is excited about this project. He certainly enjoys eating what I cook, which helps. He is also an excellent sous chef, and it's more fun to cook together.

To that end, I'll select a cookbook and a recipe one week, then cook it the next. That gives me a chance to think about why a given cookbook is interesting to me and to muse on the stories it evokes. I get to be a writer, a storyteller AND a cook. By blogging about it I have a system of accountability and can share the recipe and results with you. While I have no interest in beating myself up if I lag, knowing you are reading will help me remain excited about the project.

Next week I'll introduce an old friend cookbook and the week after we will share a meal. I hope you'll come along with me on this ride. It should be tasty.

(c) 2018 Laura S. Packer

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