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The Cookbooks

November 4, 2011

Matt and I are trying to grow and raise most of our own food.  An expected result of this has been my approach to the age old question “What’s for dinner?”.  Pre-farmette I would think of what I wanted for dinner and then buy the ingrediants for that dish and make it!  Now when I think of what to make for dinner I head to the cupboard and see what I have.  Instead of making what I want I make what I have available to me – I look through the cupboard and put a meal together.

This approach has been a pretty radical change and very different than our culture of having what we want at the moment we want it.

I have found my cookbooks to be invaluable when it comes to this.  Sometimes there are things in the cupboard I have never cooked before and I have no idea where to start.  My go-to’s are Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything cookbooks. I owe some of my greatest meals to him!

Our turn toward simpler food living has also sent me into Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book from the 50’s.  A seminal classic this cookbooks has yielded some of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted.  And who knew that Ice Coffee was not only a beverage in the 50’s but it was a special drink for certain events!  I love to open this book on a Sunday and make a yummy treat to go with desert that evening.

When I purchased 1/2 a pig this past March from Broadturn Farm I was surprised when I opened the bag and found two pigs feet as part of the package.  I have not yet done anything with them and I knew I was going to need a special cookbook to figure out what to do with ALL of the pig!  This is where Fergus Henderson’s The Whole Beast comes in.  The cookbook ” hark back to a strong rural tradition of delicious thrift” – in other words making use of ALL of the pig.  This cookbook will be my go-to when the pigs come back from the butcher this fall and I have more pig trotters than I know what to do with.

How did I come across that book you ask?  Well it was recommended by Sam Hayward the chef at Fore Street, and if there is anything I love on this earth is Fore Street (and L.L.Bean and Jeep’s:))

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