I wish I thought of lentils more. Not just in my day dreams alongside Brad Pitt in a skimpy apron, but when I’m making grocery lists & attempting easy week night recipes. For some reason I have a mental block against them, like long division & dark chocolate. I’m sure there is some Freudian explanation, like I I’m really just pretending to like them & my subconscious knows it, or my great aunt Betty didn’t love me enough as a child, or I associate them with all that dang long division.
Santa-like jolliness is coursing through my veins like the buzz off a good mulled wine. Visions of cheese platters and frosted snowmen cookies prance around my brain and cloud my vision as I deal with every day “important” things like work, cat food (homemade, of course– what am I, a monster??), and health insurance (l’chaim, ObamaCare). Pandora has crafted the perfectly festive musical accompaniments, Deb is motivating me to be craftier, and ugly reindeer sweaters…well, they’re just a fact of life because there isn’t a fire vast enough to burn every last one.
I am in the throws of an intimate relationship with Ottolenghi. I take it to bed, fall asleep with it in my arms, and think about it when I’m strolling through my day. As much as I hate the use of this word to describe anything related to food–it sounds so damn pretentious and snobby– the book is approachable (ahh, there it is. And now you can hear the local sommelier going on some preachy diatribe about approachable tannins and relatable mouth feel..blah blah blah). But in all seriousness, Yotam Ottolenghi & Co simply deliver recipes and techniques from an unfamiliar culture to me in a way that excites and delights. So frequently I find cook books to be an exclusive conversation between a chef and his mirror, an arrogant array of feel-good notes about how great that sourdough starter was one time at band camp. I do not like that.
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