Wow, it is funny how I start a post three days ago routinely and can’t get it together enough to complete the post the same day. I started this post earlier this week while doing some Amazon searches.
The cook in me obsesses over the opinions held by a certain Chris Kimball – host of America’s Test Kitchen and my favorite person from Vermont who I have never met. I know that Chris has a legion of followers (as well as his share of detractors as he discussed on his radio show). I know that there are many who love him, but I did not know the extent of his influence till I read his top ten cookbooks list in an email that came my way. You see, I get Chris’s intermittent ramblings in my inbox, it’s so nice.
I’ve been clamouring to get Eduoard de Pomiane’s book French Cooking in Ten Minutes. I remember reading about it one of my foodie magazines recently (I think it was recommended by Thomas Keller or someone of that stature to a culinary aficionado who was visiting Napa Valley) and now it has appeared in Chris’s top ten. I dig a book that gives such nonspecific instructions so simply. I know that I’ve been posting up recipes here but that is pure convention. When I am cooking I need to know the general process and the major ingredients, and the rest is improvisation. I have no idea what I’d be getting into with de Pomiane’s book, but the simplicity with which people way he discusses cooking appeals to me greatly.
Anyway, the reason this post is called “Interweb Wonders” is that I had no idea how powerful Chris’s list is indeed. When I ran my Amazon search, not only did de Pomiane’s book show up, but Amazon users had also clicked on/ordered/seen each of the other ten books on the list. I bet that the authors and publishers of these books are glad they got Chris’s accolades, they probably got thousands of sales based on that blog post/email from Chris alone. Amazing.
So now I can’t order any of these books yet, I need to see if the new reviews stand up to the hype, and the truth is that when I get a cookbook, as much as I “heart” them and enjoy viewing them, I rarely get the opportunity to use them. The tried and true book that I always use is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. This book I find indispensable in learning cooking techniques on the fly and making general American cuisine. It also has an awesome almond orange cake recipe.
The other wonder of the Interweb I’m experiencing is about to happen in 3 minutes. About 10 years ago I was an Americorps member working with the Philadelphia Health Corps in a group called the Enhanced Parenting Program. My memories of that year with the Health Corps are among my fondest of “youth” – I really found myself during that year and made a set of amazing friends with whom I am very close today – three of us had babies within a few months of each other so I am excited for the time when they will meet. I also really enjoyed working with the population I knew in Philly.
The cool thing about all this is that now, as a pediatrician at the Philadelphia Health Department, I work with the students in whose shoes I once stood. I am taking every opportunity I can to help out the Americorps members as I remember that it really helped shape my own life later on. They had a meet and greet networking event today but imagine this: when Baby L was still in the womb I expected that a month into his life I’d be perfectly willing to leave him home with mom and venture ot the city on a rainy day to talk with colleagues.
Ok must leave, baby is starting to cry and I am trying to piece together dinner. It was very hard to put baby down on his back today – he loves being on his tummy when he is close to people and he is so refluxy and spitty that tummy time while asleep is something he would love to have. But when mommy’s not there and watching it’s not safe for SIDS risk and all that. Erg, now I know what parents to through when they hear my recommendations and then have to make decisions based on them!!