For a couple of years I practically stopped buying cookbooks. I felt I owned quite a few and wanted to get better acquainted with those before acquiring new ones. But recently the temptation has been too great, so I’ve ended the moratorium.
I am hugely excited by April Bloomfield’s A Girl and Her Pig, which I’d awaited impatiently since my first meal at The Spotted Pig quite some years ago. The book lives up to the high expectations. It’s lovely, design and photography wise; it’s personal, from the introduction to the headnotes and of course the recipes themselves. For a mouth-watering preview, check out Lottie + Doof’s timely rendition of the rhubarb fool with cardamom cream, as well as the Amateur Gourmet’s enthusiastic post about curry, which Adam unabashedly calls The Best Curry of Your Life, though, in the book, April simply calls it ‘My Curry.’
Recently, I really enjoyed Joe Beef chefs Frédéric Morin and David McMillan’s interview in Lucky Peach magazine, all the deadpan talk about the grueling and sometimes outright unsavory realities of restaurant life. Had I known about the restaurant when we were in Montréal last summer I would have loved to go, though admittedly, as with another long-coveted Montréal dining experience Au Pied de Cochon, I would probably not have made a reservation in time anyway. For now I have the inspiring cookbook. And I am plotting to go back and be better prepared.
Have I mentioned how much I like Kurt Gutenbrunner’s restaurants? His beautiful recent cookbook includes the most beloved recipes — creamed spinach that is reason alone to go to Blaue Gans, the quark and paprika spread liptauer that should accompany every summer apéritif, gulash for the colder months… — but also unexpected stunners: ramp spaetzle! It is high time to acquire a spaetzle hobel.
And a happy surprise arrived right around my birthday a couple of months ago when my mother sent me Jennifer McLagan’s Odd Bits: How To Cook the Rest of the Animal. As the name clearly states, it’s all about cooking cheeks and tripe and brain and kidneys and such. Brilliant. Especially since a very real butcher recently opened very near us, one that receives entire carcasses and cuts them up right in front of you, tongue, head, trotters, and all. A truly accessible world of nose to tail eating lies ahead.