by Laura Shapiro published in The Atlantic
Read original on The Atlantic's website
Shapiro reviews Sam Sifton's new book, "The New Yo...Show description
Posted 702 days ago
I really resonated with Shapiro's take on a cookbook "without recipes." As she says:
Well-meaning but uninspired cooks—and believe me, we have been legion since the dawn of time—long for specifics. Our least favorite phrase in the English language is season to taste.
That's pretty much exactly me: I bake more than I cook because I use a scale and get to measure ingredients down to the decimal. Anytime part of the recipe says just to do something, I get nervous and realize I don't like cooking as much as I think I do. I cook for much the same reasons as Shapiro and am glad she articulated them for me:
Some cooks will be delighted to know that they can jettison all those fussy details. But others cling to those very details. We cook from scratch doggedly, on principle. It’s a chore for us, not a romp, but it’s the only affordable way to eat well and avoid total domination by the food industry.
I sometimes go on the NYT Cooking blog and have found some amazing recipes that I stick with. But I need structure in the kitchen, and Sifton's book is defintely something I'll stay away from.