Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day 46: Cookbook Hero

The best cookbook, possibly of all time, I just discovered at the library on complete accident. It’s called “Unplugged Kitchen” by Viana La Place, and it’s a true back-to-basics cookbook. Billed as “A Return to the Simple, Authentic Joys of Cooking,” La Place praises plain, preferably organic, vegetables and fruits and cheeses with tiny twists on traditional presentations that make them both comforting and new. I stole — and adapted slightly — the following recipe, which is a good example.

Breakfast from the Garden
“Cooking is a living, breathing act that defies codification or regimentation. One peach may be saltier than your salt.
The act of cooking always contains elements of surprise — it is changeable and variable, like all that comes from nature. Think of how a rose in bloom changes every day. How clouds move and change shape.
Cooking, above all, requires responsiveness and being in the moment (p. 8).”

Farmer’s Cheese with Chives
8 oz farmer’s cheese
1/8 c. snipped fresh chives
A little extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
Black pepper

Mash ingredients together with about 3 T of olive oil, or enough to make the cheese creamy, and salt to taste. Mold cheese on a platter and top with ground black pepper. Cool to room temperature before serving. Substitute lemon thyme, or tarragon and flat-leaf parsley, all chopped fine.

What I ate today. . .
4:15 a toasted whole wheat English muffin & peanut butter
7 a 1/2 c. black tea with whole milk, 1 oz cheddar, 3 RF ritz crackers, a clementine
9:15 a grande chai
10:30 a 3 slices leftover mushroom pizza (luckily it’s hand-tossed)
6:20 p scoop of cottage cheese loaf, 1 c. carrots, 1 c. veggie sauce and apple stuffing, 1/4 c. espresso drink

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