I sure have been boring mcboring today, yes? You know when you just feel subdued, tamped down? Not bad just kinda blah. Tuesday found me this way; such is life. But, I just received a beautiful new cookbook, Heart of the Artichoke, that I'd ordered last week so am psyched to start perusing it. Do y'all know David Tanis? He is the chef at Chez Panisse (6 months a year; spends the rest in Paris!) and also writes a column (relatively new) in the NYT Dining section. I've liked many of his recipes that I've tried, and this book was well-reviewed in addition to the fact the food pics in it are gorgeous (except for one of a bowl of fingerling potatoes which actually gave me whiplash the first time I saw it because it looks like a bowl of penises). Bygones.
The pages are matte which is a nice visual reprieve- they come across softly, as if they're inviting you to cook what will surely be nourishing, satisfying dishes. Things are simple, most of the ingredient lists pretty short. In his writing, he seems to have fun with cooking, to not take anything all too seriously, which is nice. You feel as if you could cook one of his recipes for the first time while with a group of friends and do so without stress.
Tonight we're going to enjoy the gumbo, and I'm considering making my family's stink-stank garlic bread too. I call it that because it is stinkily redolent of the many cloves of garlic mashed with butter, parsley, and paprika to make a stanky, unctuous slurry that you spoon all over a split loaf of French bread; you close the bread back up, wrap it in foil and cook until the fragrance coming from the oven is too much to stay away from: think Odysseus and the sirens. Stink-stank garlic bread is super-indulgent but I've never known anyone who could resist having at least 4 pieces.