Mystery House



Something Different

I need a change from posting Eye Candy on Fridays.  Oh, I like Eye Candy, but I think I like it better on other people’s blogs.  At least at the moment.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I like having options and changing my mind without warning.  Keeps things interesting around here.  (If you hear mumbling, that’s the M.E. in the background saying, “Boy, does it!”)

So.  The other night I was working on menus for the week.  I’ve been in a rut, one of those ruts that all cooks get into with weeknight meals.  Regardless how skilled you are, you latch onto ten or twenty different things you feel comfortable making and keep cycling through them until you realize you’re stuck in the mud and decide to do something about it.  Something other than picking up takeout, that is.

The M.E. looked at my cookbook shelves and said, “You know, if you made one recipe out of each book every night, it would take you a couple years to get through all of them.”  I looked at my cookbook shelves and realized he was right.

That’s most of them.  There’s another half a bookcase on the other side of the room, and we won’t talk about magazines, computer files or recipes clipped out of the newspaper.  We just won’t.  I, um, sort of collect cookbooks and recipes.  They just come to me.  It’s like yarn.  I can’t help it.  And I do love to cook, but I admit I haven’t been making the most of my collection.

Now, I know myself.  There’s no way I’m going to make a new recipe every single night for a couple of years.  But the M.E.’s comment did give me an idea.  What if I more or less randomly chose a book each week and made one new recipe from it?

Thus was birthed the Mystery Cookbook Challenge.

It starts next week.  I have the first book picked out.  It’s one I love to look through, but I haven’t yet tried the recipes:  The Artist’s Palate, by Frank Fedele.  This was a thoughtful gift from my brother the Very Serious Professor one Christmas.  Beautifully produced, as all DK books are, it includes portraits of significant painters and sculptors, stories about their relationships to food, and recipes.  Some of the recipes were contributed by the artists, others were reconstructed from their journals or other sources–including an actual grocery list written by Michelangelo–and a few were imaginatively created by master chefs based on the particulars of the artists’s lives.

“Cookbooks featuring recipes by creative people” is one of my favorite subcategories in my collection, and this book is the best of the best.  It’s gorgeous, and the recipes appear to be well adapted.  There’s almost too much to choose from.  Should I make Wayne Thiebaud’s Corn Soup?  (I’ll wait until the local corn is in.)  Marisol’s Japanese Noodles?  (This requires a search for fish paste.)  Rufino Tamayo’s Coloradito?  (Serious contender until I remembered that I have to order a part for my blender.)

I’ve just about settled on a choice, but you’ll have to come back next Friday to find out what it is.  I’ll try a recipe sometime during the week and post a picture on Friday.  If you get inspired, please join in.  I’d love to see what you have in your cookbook collection!

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Comments

  1. * Big Buttons says:

    I vote for Marisol’s Japanese Noodles. Sounds yummy!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  2. * Big Buttons says:

    I vote for Marisol’s Japanese Noodles. Sounds yummy!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  3. * kmkat says:

    I have considered the uselessness of having cookbooks from which I use only one or two recipes. Your brilliant solution may have inspired me. Only time will tell.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  4. * Jeanne says:

    That sounds like a fabulous idea. We are in a rut too, but neither of us like to cook, so we’ll probably stay there.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  5. * Chris says:

    LOL – I’m so not even at this level. I have to break out of the popcorn for dinner rut. 🙂

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  6. * Chris says:

    LOL – I’m so not even at this level. I have to break out of the popcorn for dinner rut. 🙂

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  7. * Deb says:

    Does your book have Suess’s “Green Egg’s & Ham”? What a great idea – plus, I have a significantly smaller collection!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  8. * Deb says:

    Does your book have Suess’s “Green Egg’s & Ham”? What a great idea – plus, I have a significantly smaller collection!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  9. * Kitt says:

    Great idea! I’ve got a similar collection (alas, all in crates for now). Your idea also is a good way to get you to pick a book and really look through it each week. If you’re like me, you probably have a number of books you’ve only glanced through once, if at all. They’re just nice to have.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  10. * Kitt says:

    Great idea! I’ve got a similar collection (alas, all in crates for now). Your idea also is a good way to get you to pick a book and really look through it each week. If you’re like me, you probably have a number of books you’ve only glanced through once, if at all. They’re just nice to have.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  11. * Kitt says:

    Great idea! I’ve got a similar collection (alas, all in crates for now). Your idea also is a good way to get you to pick a book and really look through it each week. If you’re like me, you probably have a number of books you’ve only glanced through once, if at all. They’re just nice to have.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  12. * Olga says:

    the promblem is I hate to cook and even looking at cook books for fun is…ack. Maybe your new venture will inspire me….

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  13. * Olga says:

    the promblem is I hate to cook and even looking at cook books for fun is…ack. Maybe your new venture will inspire me….

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  14. * Olga says:

    the promblem is I hate to cook and even looking at cook books for fun is…ack. Maybe your new venture will inspire me….

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  15. * Olga says:

    the promblem is I hate to cook and even looking at cook books for fun is…ack. Maybe your new venture will inspire me….

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  16. * Amy says:

    Oh, I want to join! My cookbook collection isn’t as big as yours, but I need to bag the rut too–besides, I do have access to a rather large cookbook collection at work. 🙂

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  17. * Amy says:

    Oh, I want to join! My cookbook collection isn’t as big as yours, but I need to bag the rut too–besides, I do have access to a rather large cookbook collection at work. 🙂

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  18. * Eikon says:

    Oh you are a peak into the future. I’ve instituted a one cookbook every 2 months and keep a hand written one of recipes that I have successfully made four times. Check out our blog if the opportunity arises. : )

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  19. * Eikon says:

    Oh you are a peak into the future. I’ve instituted a one cookbook every 2 months and keep a hand written one of recipes that I have successfully made four times. Check out our blog if the opportunity arises. : )

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  20. * kitkatknit says:

    Of course Wayne Thiebaud is one of my favorite artists so I vote for his corn soup!!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  21. * Kelle says:

    I’m not much for cooking myself, my cook books wouldn’t even fill half a shelf. But I do have many knitting books and I’ve had a similar thought about how long it would take me to knit at least one pattern from each book. I can’t even imagine the magazines. Perhaps once I get all my books logged on bookthing.com/Ravelry I will figure that out.
    Good luck with the one book, one recipe each week plan, it seems like a good idea.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  22. * Kelle says:

    I’m not much for cooking myself, my cook books wouldn’t even fill half a shelf. But I do have many knitting books and I’ve had a similar thought about how long it would take me to knit at least one pattern from each book. I can’t even imagine the magazines. Perhaps once I get all my books logged on bookthing.com/Ravelry I will figure that out.
    Good luck with the one book, one recipe each week plan, it seems like a good idea.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago


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