Thanks Oaks for the invite...it's always nice to trade notes with other food types. I've been cooking for almost three decades now, starting at about 5 years old. Yikes! I'll share some favorite recipes soon, but for now, here are some of my favorite cookbooks/cooking magazines. It's a bit of an obsession, and I've been collecting cookbooks for the last decade or so.
The go-to: The Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition. As Alton Brown puts it, "The only book on earth that tells you how to make marshmallows and skin a squirrel." The only thing it doesn't cover is cooking kangaroo. Yeah, I've got other standards, but this is the one I open again and again.
The book I'd save from any burning building: A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Vincent and Mary Price. Yes, that Vincent Price. Basically, he and his wife sweet-talked a bunch of chefs out of their signature dishes and then adapted them for home cooks. Amazing recipes, and the restaurant menus included are a great look at the past.
Anthologies worth finding at estate sales (and giggling when you can get the whole thing for 10 bucks): Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery and Time Life's The Good Cook. Both are incredible resources and great reads. The Good Cook also has great step-by-step photos of techniques.
The one magazine to which I will always subscribe: Cook's Illustrated. Excellent step-by-step instructions and photos, and they've tested the heck out of the recipes. I've yet to have one fail.
Enough of that...on to the food. It was cherry-smoked tri-tip for dinner last night. A bit of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, slapped on the smoker for a bit over two hours...yum. I threw on some mushrooms the last hour, and they'll be wonderful with some fresh pasta in a parmesan cream sauce. I hope. I'm beginning to think a smoker should be standard backyard equipment. The disaster for the evening was the apple-cheddar lasagna. An hour making spiced pasta for it, and the whole thing still sucked. Oh well. More next time!
"When wine enlivens the heart, may friendship surround the table."