I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately.
Well, that’s not true. I have always thought a lot about food. I spend a great deal of time each day imagining what I am going to eat next.
Getting to choose what I eat each day is one of the very best parts of being a grown-up.
Kin insists I wait until after breakfast before asking “what’s for dinner?” Of course, for the longest time “what’s for dinner?” meant “where are we eating?” and not “what are we eating?” Now that I’m cooking again, I can plan my meals weeks in advance. (I don’t. Come on. That would be silly. Cough.) I know exactly what we’re going to eat.
Or at least, I know what I am going to try to cook.
Picking up cooking nightly again after almost a decade of hardly cooking at all has meant a couple of things: first and foremost, refurnishing the kitchen with various appliances and gadgets (do I need an Instant Pot?), and second, buying recipe books.
Oh sure, I realize that you can find recipes for most anything online these days. But I find too often that what Google surfaces are sites with the best SEO rather than those with the best recipes.
I bought (again) an old favorite – The Moosewood Cookbook because I thought I liked Mollie Katzen’s recipes for hummas and pita bread – but to be honest, I wasn’t pleased how either turned out when I made them. So I asked Twitter for suggestions of what would be the one must-have cookbook, and based on the responses, I bought the latest version of that classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook as well as Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
My friend Dale also mentioned Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – I’m not sure if he knew that a new Netflix documentary, based on the book, was going to start the following week. I binge-watched the series, and I bought that cookbook too.
I’ve been re-learning how to cook – or maybe learning how to cook for the first time. I’m not sure. Samin Nosrat has given me a lot of confidence to taste more, to salt more. (I went right out and bought a box of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt.)
At the same time as all this book buying, I’ve also been listening to Michael Ruhlman’s book Grocery, as I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the history of our food habits, particularly as encouraged by the changes to how we shop – that is, to the history of the grocery store. I’ve been thinking a lot about my history of the grocery store – that is, AG Thriftway, formerly Fred’s Town & Country, formerly White Stop & Shop, the grocery store my family had owned and run for decades until 1986 when, due to the competition from giant chains like Safeway and Albertsons, my grandfather, great uncle, and father decided to closed its doors.
I don’t want to turn this website into a food blog, but I’m probably going to start writing more about my grocery store memories, my kitchen memories, my dining room table memories, and my current cooking experiments.