Monday, January 01, 2007

On cooking, reading and BTVS

Most people who know me know that I'm alternately obsessed with many diversions - this week 24, Law and Order and scrapbooking - but two of the most steadfast ones in my life have been Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cooking.

I saw the subtitle of the book below, which included the word recipes, and thought, this sounds good.

Julie and Julia
The book, "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen" was first the blog of a very funny woman who loves BtVS, hates Republicans and lives in New York. (Ah, well, one out of three ain't bad.) Her blog eventually garnered enough attention to generate a book deal, and you can still check out the blog itself.

I suppose that much of what I find fun about the book is that it's chicklit, but much brainier. She is funny and sarcastic, but she's talking about something. It's not like Shopaholic or Bridget Jones, in which I find myself wanting to smack all the characters for exhibiting lunatic behaviour and poor decision-making skills. Julie Powell seems like a real person. And airbrushed as the picture may be, in theory she is.

It sounds ridiculous at first - who, when eating a nice dinner of potato leek soup, would decide to cook through an entire 524 recipe cookbook in a year? Without real breaks or exceptions? Who wants to cook mussels and sweetbreads? But the book is nonetheless the clever end result of someone getting a idea that's so crazy, it's brilliant, and then following it through. It almost makes me hate her - her project is the kind of thing I think I might be tempted to try if I had any free time at all.

Anyhow, if you like chicklit, or if you've ever tried to flip an omelette properly, the book is certainly worth a first read. The proverbial test, of course, is whether I would read it again. I'm not sure yet.

But now, I must confess, when I make a hideous mess of my kitchen and find myself shouting really loudly about the improper birth of various kitchen implements (I don't use the F-word as freely as she does) I feel that I am certainly not alone. Somewhere else, someone else is trying to turn ingredients into a lovely, pleasant-smelling and yummy work of art and is likely having as much difficulty as I.

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