Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finding Inspiration

Last fall I received a copy of Michelle Maisto's Gastronomy of Marriage, a food memoir studded with recipes and insights into a fellow foodie's kitchen.

This week I got in a copy of Cathy Erway's The Art of Eating In, a book about her experiences while Not Eating Out In NY -- that was the blog she began when she started her two years of not eating out in New York City. It was an experiment of sorts that emerged from the realization that although she enjoyed eating out, she also enjoyed cooking. And cooking in in NY was better for her budget.

The book is something of a companion piece to the blog -- one can follow the blog and read posts there and then pick up the book for an extra behind the scenes look at what else was going on while the blog was being written. Or if you were late discovering the blog (I came across it a few months back if I remember correctly) then you can read the book and then find the corresponding posts on the blog with recipes. And there are recipes in the book as well. Recipes I plan on trying.

It's still a food based memoir of sorts, but it's also a look at the food scene in New York from a different set of eyes. Sure, Cathy is cooking in for herself, friends, and family, but she also comments on the state of the various lesser known food movements -- lesser known to me anyway.

I'm not even sure if some of these things are going on in the Boulder/Denver area. Underground supper clubs and crazy cook offs are definitely something I'd like to look into. Her mention of various charcuterie and other classes she attends are definitely inspiration for me to seek out some of the same in my area. And her toying with no knead bread has ensured that I will be trying that very shortly. I wonder how high altitude effects it? Hopefully not at all -- note to self, find a high altitude baking class as first to attend : )

Not sure that I'll ever delve into urban foraging, short of berries I mean, and I will definitely not be embracing freeganism, I am enough of a germaphobe that it plagues my sense of safe and clean food -- yes, I eat raw fish, but no, I can't cook meat without washing my hands a million times in the process. Go figure. And I do eat cookie dough, but the idea of digging a day-old bagel out of a sack on the curb makes me cringe. I have a hard time eating yogurt but no problem eating a rare steak.

So, if you're a foodie like me. If you follow food blogs daily (I do, multiple ones) and if you get inspired to try new things in the kitchen, I definitely recommend checking out Erway's book and blog.

I'm thinking I won't be able to go whole hog for two years like Erway did, but I've been trying to cook in more now that I've got the produce delivery going on. And I'm seriously inspired to try something a little different. Will let you know how that turns out.


Jennifer said...

"digging a day-old bagel out of a sack on the curb"??!!!

Now that's just unsanitary, you have no idea who touched it or licked it or god knows what.

Good luck with the no knead dough, let me know how it works.

Becky LeJeune said...

Yeah, I understand that it's all about waste and everything, but I'm not sure how they dispose of things in NYC. I don't think I'd ever got looking for produce or anything behind any of the grocery stores in Louisiana, though!

Becky LeJeune said...

I did it folks. I signed up for a cupcake class that's supposed to have high altitude in mind -- and since cupcake disasters are my forte these days and have caused me to permanently give up on them, hopefully I'll get some use out of the class.