I haven’t been doing much original cooking lately but relying on time-tested recipes to get us though the holidays. I’ve made apple-walnut cakes till they’re coming out of my ears, glorious lemon Charlottes much to the delight of friends, ganache-covered brownies to please my grandchildren, pomegranate jello molds that decorated several holiday tables and an enormous tray of sticky toffee pudding that put a huge smile on grandson number one’s face. But tackle a new recipe? Nah. I was on remote control, doing what’s familiar.
Since we had a bit of down-time, our television was tuned in to all the American and British cooking shows, and recipes came flying out of my printer faster than you can say “hors d’oeuvres.” They piled up on my desk inviting me to put them to the test. And there they sit today – words on a page waiting to be turned into food on a plate.
James Martin’s mulled wine poached pears. Mary Berry’s beef stew or blue cheese and fig tartlets. The four boxes of mushrooms I bought for sherry-laced mushroom soup are still on my refrigerator’s shelf and Julia Child’s and Jacques Pepin’s Pommes Souffles, an experiment that’s been hovering in my “chefy” head is still hovering.
It’s time to send my ennui packing and start cooking, and with the beginning of this new year my resolution is to cook my way through that stack of recipes. No piece of paper moves from my desk to the binders of recipes I collect until I’ve tackled the words. No more reading and salivating, but rather reading, cooking and echoing that word every cook loves to hear: YUM!
My tiny, zero counter-space kitchen is getting back into gear, and when I hit on a dish that’s worth sharing, you’ll know about it.
Watch this space…