Two good Times articles
The New York Times has two interesting articles in the Dining and Wine section today. The first is written by Andrew Scrivani, a food photographer, and it’s about how useless cookbooks have become, and how they’re more useful on a coffee table than on a kitchen counter. He’s right. We have books here in the library that are too heavy and too expensive to expose to flames and oil, and not everyone has a copy machine (I frequently just copy recipes from fancy books and then abuse the copies as I please).
Scrivani’s message is that everybody loves to read about and look at pictures of food, but that nobody has time to cook anymore. Especially us New Yorkers who work way more than forty hours a week and have busy social calendars. I force myself to cook almost every night by buying groceries. If I didn’t have ground lamb getting smellier by the minute in my refrigerator, I might be less tempted to go home and cook. As it is, though, even if I get home at 8 or 9 o’clock, I get my narrow ass in the kitchen and put something on the stove, even if it’s just pasta and vegetables.
The other article, by Mark Bittman, extols the virtues of cooking with cast-iron cookware. Thanks to okadots, I bought my first cast-iron skillet (the pre-seasoned Lodge model for $10) a few months ago. I’ve used it almost every day since for everything from fish cubes to french toast (I learned my lesson about cleaning it thoroughly after that sequence). My favorite way to cook now is to put something (especially split chicken breasts) in the pan to brown, then to stick the pan in a preheated oven until it’s cooked through. It’s hard to screw up.