Read Fine Cooking magazine. I used to watch the weekend lineup of cooking shows on PBS like it was my version of mass for shut-ins (you’ll have to ask Ben about that one). Then one day I picked up a copy of the Better Homes and Garden cookbook because it was a good deal and because I thought that I should have a basic cookbook around you know, for when I felt like slumming it. Really, I used to cook all kinds of stuff.
However times have changed. I can tell by looking at the dog-eared pages of the BHG cookbook that is now almost permanently in the kitchen. The recipes are simple and I have come to terms (mostly) that it’s now my go-to book for recipes that are quick and simple. Oh, I’m still picky about the quality of ingredients but the relatively short lists of ingredients and straight forward instructions keep me coming back and homemade is homemade. Not to mention that I referred my husband to it for a recipe for birthday cake and for the first time ever it turned out to be a delicious chocolate cake (instead of the usual giant birthday cookie).
I can’t explain it. I’m just barely competent in the kitchen these days. I can’t wing a spaghetti sauce anymore. I used a recipe to make one on Sunday and it actually turned out like… well, sauce. Even though I would swear that I follow exactly the same process when I make it on my own lately I just can’t pull it together. Either the consistency is off or it tastes just ok. I fancy myself a good cook, I do but I’ve decided to go back to basics. At least until this brain burnout wears off.
I still buy Fine Cooking and Saveur too for that matter but mostly they just pile up at my bedside unread and sad. I’d watch cooking shows too if they were ever on. I think PBS is going for mostly pledging with a little programming at the end of each quarter. I still make pfeffernusse at Christmas too.