I have every cookbook ever sold. Or so Phil tells me every time I inch my way through our door with a new one. "What’s in the bag?" he asks, "And can you still return it?" Cookbooks impart a great sense of comfort to my otherwise unruly life. They soothe my nerves and make me feel as if any task in my life, any worry, can all be annihilated by whipping up a tray of this or a pan of that. Comfort food, indeed. Mind you, I don’t even need to compose the dish or blend the drink to feel better. Just knowing that I’d know exactly how to go about assembling a lemon crostada is salve enough.
Our kitchen is chockablock with everything from Nigel Slater, Alfred Portale, and Charlie Trotter, to Chef Interrupted and Barefoot Contessa, to Canyon Ranch and The French Culinary Institute’s Salute to Healthy Cooking. Having them around makes my house feel like a home. Oh, but I do admit, I feel the same way about art supplies and a loaded pantry. It’s not that I plan to make anything with five boxes of cake mix, but to open the cabinet and see the boxes there, all aligned and waiting for the day when I’ll be the type to bake, makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together.
Today a book comes out that I’m over the moon about–HUNGRY GIRL: RECIPES AND SURVIVAL STRATEGIES FOR GUILT-FREE EATING IN THE REAL WORLD. Lisa Lillien has managed to take her insanely popular free daily email www.hungry-girl.com and create the definitive recipe book. Her Frozen Margarita is my fave. I only wish I were in New York for her book signing at Borders in Columbus Circle tonight, Tuesday, at 7pm (same place I’ll be reading from MOOSE on June 4th) and meet Hungry Girl. She’s someone I call friend, as will you once you meet her.