As if The Kitchen Counter Cooking School wasn't enough. I have a new beloved cookbook.
I think Tamar Adler might be changing my life as much as Kathleen Flinn. (Noreen, you have to get this one too!) I am trying really hard to change how I cook and how we eat, and these two women and their books are helping tremendously.
Adler's book is very different from Flinn's. It's not a memoir, really. It's almost a James Joyce-esque look at cooking and food. Her voice is soothing as she tells you how to test for doneness in roasted vegetables or how to make pesto. It's actually quite moving.
What I like about both Flinn and Adler's books is that they are pushing me beyond the way I normally cook. Last weekend, according to Flinn's recipe, I made chicken stock.
Adler has me rethinking parsley.
I've never been a fan of parsley, really. To me, parsley brings to mind that suprefulous sprig you find on the side of the seafood platter that you get at, well, a seafood platter place. Adler has a different sense of the stuff. One thing I learned from Flinn and The Kitchen Counter Cooking School is that a splash of vineger dashed on at the end makes a dish taste more alive. Adler says the same of parsley. She contends that dishes need parsley (or any herb for that matter) "to make them all brighter and more present and because you will feel more present when you eat them."
She seems pretty trustworthy to me. Ever-duitiful, I purchased my parsley and picked the leaves from the stems. Adler suggests doing this just to have parsley on hand. You're more likely to use it that way. I used the stems for my chicken broth (how's that for resourceful!) and my fridge has a bowlful of parsley, waiting. As luck would have it, and because the universe works that way, Adler was featured in this month's Everyday Food. Carmelized onion soup. It was a perfect meal for a sick boy who loves soup, and besides rainy nights are always perfect for soup. The parsley, well, that was pretty nice sprinkled on top.