Recipe: A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, in utensils you don’t own, to make a dish the dog wouldn’t eat. ~Author Unknown
I have an old cookbook, The Cookery Year, with 240 pages of recipes from around the world, tips for buying, tips for basic cooking methods, and a variety of useful bits and pieces to help any cook or wanna-be. The hardcover, shown below, has been a part of my culinary collection for thirty odd years. Each chapter is a month of the year, showcasing the ingredients that are in season. For example, let’s start with January. It gives a quaint old saying “Good husband and huswife, will sometimes alone, make shift with a morsell and picke of a bone.” It sounds like January is a month devoted to leftovers. Foods in-season are interesting…conger eels, grey mullet, sprats, winkles, oysters (not only native, but Portuguese, as well), woodcock, just to name a few. Now, I confess that I have no idea, never did, and never cared, actually, where to find these ingredients. At one time, I did live in an area where I possibly could have, but, it was always far easier to just skip the January pages. Perhaps I could find a woodcock or two here in Colorado, but I don’t think it’s a pressing need at this time. The ribbon bookmark attached to the spine has remained in the month of October pages throughout the years. Whenever I feel inspired to create an international fare, I search through the pages of beautiful color photographs. My efforts are futile. I stumble unwillingly into October, because that’s where the bookmark is. I have gathered other cookbooks that were of no use to me or interest for that matter and sent them to the thrift stores. This one will probably remain on my shelf, because I truly believe it makes me look like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen.
One more thing, there is a section that provides information from the connoisseurs on recommended wines and how grapes matter. That’s fine and dandy. However, if I have learned anything throughout the years, I know it’s best to keep things simple. It either tastes good or it doesn’t. The following is excellent advice that I will share: