Friday, February 15, 2013

Pop that Cookbook in the 8-track Player

I am typically about ten years behind technologically, as anyone who saw my word processor in college knows. So why not invoke the venerable 8-track player as I swoon about my current favorite cookbook? In this age of Epicurious and similar recipe web sites (and apps), as well as Kindles, I feel like singing an 8-track ode to my favorite cookbook at the moment. Or reversing the imagery and suggesting that this book is my "French life soundtrack." Few things right now document my version of Paris better than my handwritten notes on the glossy pages of Béatrice Peltre's "La Tartine Gourmande." Oh, Beatrice, you are like my Edith Piaf and Julia Child rolled into one!

In the last week alone, I've made Peltre's Carrot and Red Lentil Soup, Millet, Oat and Apple Muffins, Walnut, Lemon and Ricotta Pesto Tartines with sautéed Mushrooms (pictured above), and, the pièce de résistance, Eggplant, Lamb and Winter Squash Crumble. This last one was divine, never mind that it took almost three hours to make start-to-finish. That's what Valentine's Day is for, right? I just had some savory crumble left-overs for lunch today and it took much self-control to leave a tiny sliver for Malanga Papa to enjoy again this evening. Its presence in the fridge is nagging at me as I type this.

In addition to cooking, I've been spending these gray winter days doing some serious "rest of my life" plotting, agonizing over Malanga Girl's Kindergarten future, reading the enormous stack of back issues of The New Yorker that my friends AH & CF so generously saved for me, and trying to figure out what I most want to translate next. There was a semi-amusing, semi-terrifying mouse chasedown incident in our kitchen last month. It caused me to go on a short cooking strike and to become intimately acquainted with the rodent-related devices and products sold at local hardware stores. The ensuing family drama also prompted my purchase of the delightful children's book Anatole for Malanga Girl. Thankfully, Anatole is now the only mouse to make a regular appearance chez nous.