Sunday, December 18, 2005

The most inept that ever stepped

Well my Christmas cookie curse struck again. I tried to make amareti, from the King Arthur Flour cookie cookbook, but I disobeyed an apparently important step. Rather than chilling over night, I chilled for one hour. So rather than getting happy little hill shaped cookies, I got wafer thin flat disasters. Better luck next time. My sis-in-law was kind enough to give me Baking Illustrated, from the Cook's Illustrated people. This cookbook holds your hand throughout the ingredient selection and preparation of each item. This is important for me I think. They have a recipe for apple pandowdy which makes me think of the last of Updike's Rabbit books. Rabbit, trying to bond with his sister over a favorite memory, mention apple pandowdy, but she can't recall what he is talking about. It's a bummer. Nonetheless, I still want to eat it.

On the topic of food, I am reading The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten. It is a collection of his essays written for Vogue. His curiosity drives his topic selection, he will fixate on something and apply a crazy energy to answering whatever question he has asked himself. Not all of the essays are great, but there are plenty of good ones. In books like these you just skip to the next. If his taste test of 32 ketchups doesn't ring your bell, maybe his discussion of why so much supermarket fruit is flavorless will.

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