I’m sick. I’ve been sick. It’s a long story that doesn’t really need to be gone in to (which has never stopped me before, mind you), but I’ll spare you this one time. The only pertinent point is, I feel awful – so awful that I can’t even make myself soup to feel better. This morning, I had a plan. My day was etched out to include cleaning up the kitchen from the night before, a trip to the grocery store, and making something I could share with you all. However, I’ve been sick for awhile now, and even as I was formulating said plan I knew it would be difficult if not impossible for me, and not at all worth trying. What I needed (and need more of still) was rest.
And so, I scratched my laborious plans of shopping and cooking for something I could handle.
The other night over dinner The Boyfriend told me he had a cook book, one which had a lot of interesting and helpful information about how food and cooking works, and that if I were interested I could read it. What? I said, you have a cookbook? More than one, he told me. What!? Where were these ‘cookbooks’ he spoke of? Where was he hiding them and why had he kept them from me? The gall! I was astounded.
He led me into the kitchen, where he showed me, tucked away behind the dog treats, there were indeed cookbooks. As he pulled the book he’d been telling me about from its walled-off nook, I began to feel a flutter of excitement.
“This book is dedicated to everyone who has ever wondered “Why?” ” – Shirley Corriher
The book of which he spoke was CookWise: the Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, by Shirley Corriher.
Corriher has the perfect mix of classic French culinary training paired with expertise in biochemistry, endowing her with magical powers of knowing things like why acidity will keep fruit from oxidizing, or how if you refrigerate cut potatoes for 24 hours before baking them some of the starches turn to sugars and they’ll end up browning and caramelizing better.
I’m under the impression that anyone who’s a fan of Alton Brown (in fact, Corriher has made more than one appearance as a food-consultant on his show ‘Good Eats’) or who has read anything by Harold McGee, would love this book. In fact, I’m under the impression I will love this book. And that’s why I’m gonna read it!
What better way to spend time, if not cooking or eating, than reading and thinking about cooking and eating? On top of gaining useful information, there’s the added benefit that, just maybe, The Boyfriend and I could pick a recipe from the book and he could go out to do the shopping – I may feel like crap, but give me the right ingredients and I can still cook! Besides, I hear standing over the stove or oven while spiking a fever is good for the soul.
But, in the meantime… back to reading!
(Also, an interesting note, Corriher has a second book titled BakeWise, similarly information-packed and recipe filled)