It just dawned on me that perhaps one of the reasons I have always enjoyed reading cookbooks so much is that I have a short attention span. Ooo! Ponies!
Sometimes I like to know more than you do, but I’m lazy. Because of my above mentioned short attention span, I often hear an itty bitty factoid that turns into a huge internet research time suck for me. Sometimes I actually find full books on that itty bitty factoid. I don’t always have time for 100 pages. Or 50. Or 5. I can read a few lines of The Carolina Housewife and sound like an expert on some obscure Carolina Lowcountry cookery trend of the 19th century. And since this book ranks #439,883 on Amazon’s bestseller’s list, my guess is that you haven’t read this.
Sometimes I just like to look at pictures.
Sometimes I just want to quickly prove that Pavlova is the national dessert of New Zealand. When I travel, I like to pick up a local cookbook from the place I visit. It’s a fun little memento that won’t get me locked up abroad. But sometimes, I don’t need to know how to make every significant regional dish in a massive country like New Zealand. I just want to be able to wow my dinner party guests with a lovely pavlova, point to the photo in a real live book and say, “See, I didn’t make this up. In a tiny corner of the world, people proudly call meringue their national dessert!”
Earlier this week, I was thrilled to see the Outlook: What’s ahead for Cookbooks in 2011 list from Publishers Weekly. Cannot wait to get my paws on Lantern chef/owner Andrea Reusing’s first book, Cooking in the Moment and Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones, and Butter. Cooking in the Moment is filled with pretty pictures and laid-back, seasonal recipes that a lazy cook like me can probably manage and Blood, Bones, and Butter just sounds like a totally unpretentious look at a chef’s life. Rad! Now all I have to do is twiddle my thumbs until the books are released this spring.