January 14, 2012

Movin' On


Sorry to say that January 7, 2012 is the final post for Cookbook Fetish in this location.

Please find the updated blog at:

Hope to see you there!

January 7, 2012


It's a new year, so time for some new things to happen to Cookbook Fetish. 

While you're waiting, turn some music on and have a piece of Bea's Cherry Pie.

Add a cup of coffee or tea. 

Revisit some of my favorites from last year.
And in the meantime, I'll see if I can get Ivan and Jasmine to work a little.

January 4, 2012

Great Food! Easy Recipes! Maybe.

A few years ago I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, and frequented a place called McKay Used Books & CDs. It was a rundown jewel of a place, and I spent hours rummaging around. 

Then they moved. 

The new location didn't have the dilapalated funkiness of the old place, but the space increased significantly. Picture two side-by-side basketball courts packed full of books.

And the cookbook aisle? 

Let's just say I spent a lot of time in that cookbook aisle. So very, very much time. 

One of the cookbooks I picked up at McKay's was The Working Stiff Cookbook: Great Food! Easy Recipes! written by Bob Sloan with illustrations by Michael Klein. I never really used the book much, but kept in in my collection. And finally decided to do something with it.

The book is a visual feast, with a vintage feel: pastel orange, green, blue, yellow. The design is carried throughout the book, and -to me- it's what makes this a special cookbook. Even if I rarely cook from it. 

I tried the Pork Chops with Orange Glaze and that worked out A-OK. Beautiful. But I'm not a good judge of when meat passes that magical place of being just right and moves into desert dry territory. Thank goodness there was orange sauce and rice pilaf. 

Pork Chops with Orange Glaze and Rice Pilaf
The premise of the book is simple: you've been working all day. It's 8pm and you just walked in the house and are famished - now what? The cookbook offers many suggestions for quick and easy sustenance, plus clever writing. To wit:
Whack the [chicken] breasts with the flat side of a meat pounder, invoking the names of any personal or professional nemeses that might fuel your strength. (p. 38)
Sometimes I'm sitting at my desk in the late afternoon trying to straighten a paper clip and then restore it to its original shape (a metaphor for the existential dilemma all of us live with) when I have a surge of a panic about what to make for dinner. Then I remember--it's pork chop night--and my worries cease. (p. 58.)
I also made the Mexican Lasagna which was colorful, but didn't measure up in the taste department. Besides, I kept thinking of an old recipe I got in the '90s for a similar dish that's much better.  

Mexican Lasagna with Red Sauce and Cheese
While I appreciate the premise and humor throughout the book, the pale orange page numbers are a challenge to read against the dark green background. 

If you don't already know it, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I always look for a dessert section. There isn't one. Instead, a handful of desserts are weaved through the book. 

I planned to try another recipe, but then it was time for Christmas. Then it was quickly back to work and wondering what to cook for dinner after a busy day. Can't say I'll reach for this cookbook again.