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I’m a librarian and a menu planner for a residential co-op. I like pretending to be a foodie, reading Latin American literature, and working on my webcomic that I will never actually publish. Currently busy embarrassing myself by attempting to juggle and learning to speak Spanish.

This blog was inspired by aversion to cookbooks that require a lot of the home cook. Inside these pages you won’t find very many recipes, nor will you find many innovative new techniques. My goal is to liberate you from your need for recipes, from your attachment to always needing to make a meal a special attraction. Some cooks adore spending time in the kitchen, and love complicated recipes. Fine, there are recipe books out there for them. But there are other cooks who look in their cabinet, don’t see the ingredients necessary to put together a three course gourmet dinner, and so they open up the freezer instead and rely on a frozen standby. Many recipe books encourage this all or nothing technique, not intentionally, but by their very nature of their design. No sensible marketer is going to write all over the cover:

Warning! These recipes all have more than 7 ingredients and take hours to prepare! Intended only for special occasions!

No, instead they’ll have complicated salads with 3 types of greens, two fruits, a nut, freshly-baked croutons and a homemade dressing, and assure you that you can whip it up any day for lunch. Then if you don’t succeed at creating a perfect lunch salad in the 10 minutes the recipes says that it takes to prepare this, you feel as if you’ve personally failed.

That being said…

I really do enjoy cookbooks. (Yes, I know I just gave an epic rant against them, but bear with me.) They need not a be a mass list of recipes veiling an endorsement of consumption (in all its forms). Their photographs can be inspirational, as can their innovative pairings of flavors. Some authors are culinary geniuses and are still expanding the boundaries of cooking– even after humans have been doing it for millenia! In their cookbooks, you can find techniques that you’ve never tried before or indispensible tips for how to efficiently chop an onion. Lastly, cookbooks can be used to preserve cultures, by recording and sharing traditions that may have never previously been seen outside of grandmother’s kitchen. These books often reveal more than how long to saute broccoli, but also the accompanying superstitions, tales of berry picking and mushroom hunting, and other cultural artifacts from the author’s life. Cookbooks certainly do have their place and we can use them to expand our knowledge of our culinary world.

I’m a hypocrite, I realize that. But I’m a well-fed yet lazy one, and that makes me a pretty happy person.


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