A few days ago I suddenly felt this desperate need to buy a book on fromage. I really don’t know anything about cheese except that I know I love it. I love everything from creamy camembert to stinky roquefort and even processed American cheese. However, there’s so much more I want to know, like how and where it was made, unique characteristics, and different food pairings. Learning about something makes the experience of getting to know so much better and more memorable. So I paid a visit to La Librairie Gourmade, a fantastic cookbook shop in the 2nd arrondissement, and got Le Guide des Gourmets: Fromage. It looks like a great handbook, covering not only French varieties, but also those around Europe and other parts of the world. It has a brief introduction on the history of cheese along with a good discussion of how it is made and the different categories. The text is in French, so it will take while awhile to get through that part, but at least I’ll develop a strong fromage vocabulary! So, in conjunction with my new “studies” I’m starting a fromage series on JDP. Maybe it’ll inspire some of you to try something new or find interesting cheeses in your local area!
It’s cookie season right now, which means smells of chocolate and peppermint or green and red sprinkles should be filling the kitchen counters. Instead, I decided to make the most spring inspired cookie in the book. Maybe my head skipped Christmas and I fast forwarded to Easter. These purple dotted shortbread took me to warmer days and sunny skies, where the smell of grass is fresh and pastel hued flowers have just started to bloom.
I never got around to writing about what we ate at the mini road trip my friends and I took before I left New York. Week after week passed and when November hit and I decided to, a little absentmindedly, participate in NaBloPoMo, I tagged this recipe in my head for that one day when everything falls behind and it’s almost midnight and I still don’t have a clue what I’m going to write about. I was pretty organized that first week. I made something during the day, wrote about it at night, and posted it the next morning. But this week has been a bit of a struggle. I’m not at that point where I want to tear my hair out and beat myself over the head for doing something crazy like promising to post every day for one whole month. Somebody told me today to post a picture of a fried egg, but I won’t go that low…yet.
Here in New York it already feels like the beginning of fall. The mornings are crisp and the evenings are cool. There were a couple days of rain, but overall I’ve really been enjoying the weather. However, despite the cooler temperatures, it is officially still summer. So to celebrate the last few weeks of bright sunny days, I thought I’d share with you a nice refreshing dipping sauce.
The recipe comes from a cookbook called Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham. Hopkinson is a well known British chef and food writer. In 2005 this book was given the title of “most useful cookbook of all time.” I bought Roast Chicken about a year ago and read it during commutes on the subway. The cookbook is resourceful but also exceptionally entertaining. Throughout the pages, Hopkinson shares little anecdotes and thoughts that allow a greater appreciation for food. The chapters are divided according to ingredient and the beginning of each section is adorned by witty illustrations by Flo Bayley. I have yet to read his follow up book Second Helpings of Roast Chicken but am sure it is just as delightful as the first.