Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas & Birthday Gifts

Between Christmas and my birthday, I am now the proud owner of WAY more food-related books than I was earlier this month, mostly courtesy of my mother-in-law, who for some reason, felt badly that she gave me so many books. But I couldn't be happier about it - I'm really not just saying that. I love reading about food...and new books give me weeks worth of stuff to blog about. Expect reviews of the following:

Barefoot in Paris by the fabulous Ina Garten (actually, I've already finished this one, and I only got it a week ago. LOVE it. Tonight I am making her Steak au Poivre for my sister, who's coming over to spend the night.)

Fudge Cupcake Murder and Peach Cobbler Murder, both by Joanne Fluke

Out of the Kitchen: Adventures of a Food Writer by Jeannette Ferrary

Is There a Nutmeg in the House? by Elizabeth David

Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays by Jay Mulvaney and the ever-perky and hospitable Lilly Pulitzer (I have the first Lilly entertaining book and love it. The recipes are all super easy and I can't get enough of her stories of fun, crazy past parties.)

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (I got this yesterday and I'm already halfway finished. I love it. Julie Powell is nothing like me - she's way more jaded and bitter, more into the whole NYC thing and definitely has a more vulgar mouth (my grandmother would have a heart attack if I wrote a book like hers). But she is also very funny. And anyone who takes on a challenge like cooking her way through Julia in just one year MUST be admired.)

The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller (Two weeks ago, I stood in Barnes & Noble and salivated over this book. It is the very definition of food porn.)

And...finally...the piece de resistance: my mother-in-law's old copy of Escoffier. It wasn't exactly a gift. At the end of the evening last night, while we sat in her family room and I drooled all over the French Laundry book, she casually pulled it down from a bookshelf, saying, "If you'd like to take this home...." I'm considering it more of a long-term loan. I'm almost positive every recipe in it is over my head, but I'm absolutely positive that I can't be a self-respecting aspiring food writer without at least reading it.

For the next few weeks, I imagine I'll have my nose in a book most of the time. I'm terrible about getting on with my life when I'm reading something I like. I'll do my best to split my time evenly between the books, the kitchen, and the laptop...we'll see how it goes.

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