“Is this a case of the rich getting richer?” J asked me when he saw me happily engrossed in Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I think the answer would have to be unabashedly yes.
I have now also added Plenty More to my growing cookbook collection, courtesy of my thoughtful sister at Christmas. Despite less and less free time to read over the years, I’ve continued to amass quite a few books, as my poor family and friends can attest after all the times they have had to help me move them – sometimes across the country! (I have a hard time letting go of my books, academic or not). Cookbooks have come to occupy more and more space in that library, despite the wide availability of resources online. There is just something so engrossing about flipping through pages of beautiful pictures and recipes – recipes occasionally accompanied by others’ stories, but which also call out to be contextualized in new ways, in my own kitchen.
I would love to have a wall to wall library (like Belle in Beauty and the Beast!) someday. A walk-in closet would also be nice, but I think J will really accuse me of being one of those “rich getting richer” if I insist on that.
Despite all of the zigzagging I’ve done on planes since college, I have yet to really travel the world. Cookbooks are my window into other places and countries, a chance to discover other cuisines and cultures through taste, texture, and smells. I’ve been fortunate to live in metropolitan areas rich in ethnic restaurants and cooks adept in translating the tastes of their homelands, but I know nothing compares to actually traveling there.
I recently made shakshouka* and this celery salad with feta and soft-boiled egg from Ottolenghi’s Plenty and Plenty More. Both were fantastic, and I can not wait to try more recipes (I may or may not have bookmarked almost the entire book 😉 ). I love the vibrant simplicity and bold flavors of both – delish!