I taught graphic design to high school students for years. In that class, I teach that you judge a book by its cover. Ok, if you are in high school you judge a book by its size first then its cover. When I first started to get into cooking, a cookbook cover caught my eye. It was just a big bright red book with large white serif lettering. The last word was in italics for emphasis. Its title was a mighty bold statement.
I picked it up and stared to read. Well, I looked for specific recipes. No way will he have a recipe for scrambled eggs or toast bread. I was wrong.
Now, I don’t write my cooking blogs to show my cooking prowess. I write my cooking blogs for the exact opposite reason. I want to learn how to cook. Most of my cooking in the twenties consisted of putting some seasoning on meat and throwing it between a Forman grill. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Yet, when I tried a few online recipes to cook something a little more complicate, and that would also allow me to eat a few days off of it, I found out I actually enjoy doing this. When I received How to Cook Everything as a gift, I started to do more. I started to experiment more. I started to cook things without a recipe.
I have a ton of cookbooks now, but How to Cook Everything is my cooking bible. It is written in a plain language for people who aren’t experts in the kitchen. Mark Bittman, the author, rates the recipes for difficulty. There are drawings to show you how do the simplest of things such as mincing garlic. He, correctly, assumes that plenty of people who buy his book come with very limited kitchen backgrounds. The first time I cooked a meal for a large group, I used this book. Everybody had seconds.
Considering the size of the book, I’ve made very few of the recipes in the book. And no, I will not be doing a Kurt and Mark blog. However, I have made quite a few and a few I memorized. To me, that’s the sign a great cookbook. Also, there are iPhone and iPad apps for the cookbook as well.