March 25th, 2009
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what I have learned from orangette

I have just a few minutes to write before my guy wakes up. But I had a few thoughts I wanted to get out. I am reading Molly Wizenberg’s (aka orangette) new book, a homemade life. You all know and love her as I do, so I won’t gush too much. The book is a wonderful journey through her life, as explained through the wonderful recipes that mark each passage. It is incredibly tactile, saliva inducing and cozy feeling. That is the best way I can explain it. This is not a recipe book for everyday cooking (though it does contain a few to put into regular rotation). But more for a cook who is also a reader. I honestly don’t know how she does it but she somehow shapes a simple dish into something VERY special. Take her recipe for Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille for example. As an avid cook, I have always found Ratatouille a little, dare I say…boring (and much too acidic in the way that burns your tongue). Her version is actually spectacular, and it has all the same ingredients as other versions. But it is all in the way she puts it together. Molly has taught me a lot about cooking in the last couple of years, just by me reading her blog. Many of her recipes are in regular rotation in this house (channa masala, baked pasta, chickpea salad and many more). the main things I have learned,
1. do not rush things. in the past I was always one to skip steps to get it ‘done faster’.
2. how you prepare things affects the flavor. this means size, shape, timing all count. slivering garlic tastes much different that using a press. I am reformed. press be gone.
3. quality of ingredients is crucial. all chick peas are not the same!
as I look at this list I realize that these things apply to life too. someone should write a book on that subject. I would but I’m a bit too busy with other things.
on another note I just found out that apparently I’m a “cult phenomenon” (or my book is at least). read about it here. you have to scroll down a bit. one of my secrets about what I’m working on is revealed.

 
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