"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gourmet Bloggers Meet in Three-Dimensional Space!

Regular readers will know that Cooking Gourmet was featured in the Wall Street Journal not too long ago in an article about "cook-through" bloggers--folks who are cooking through an entire cookbook, and writing about it. The Gourmet Cookbook was referred to as a "culinary Everest" and we three intrepid, mountain-climbing bloggers as overachievers (I prefer "task-oriented") with the most impressive blogs of all.

We three meaning Teena Gerhardt (post-doc math prof at Indiana Universtiy), Kevin Casey (grad student in neuroscience at McGill) and yours truly.

I check in on Teena and Kevin's blogs from time to time, and I noticed that Teena had been cooking a lot of her recipes lately from Somerville, MA. Folks, that's 40 minutes from my house.

So I wrote and suggested we meet halfway for coffee. Great idea! said Teena.

Yes, I brought the cookbook with me. Yes, I know I'm a geek.

Readers, we had a blast. We spent two hours leafing through the book, exclaiming over some recipes (we both loved La Brea Tar Pit Chicken Wings--what's wrong with you, Matty?), and encouraging each other over others. I rhapsodized over the Grapefruit and Coconut Angel Pie. Teena assured me that even though it seems like a complete waste of time to make honey candy, crush it, then melt it in butter for the Ricotta Hotcakes--it was totally worth it.

We had similar problems with some recipes. We both had inexplicable weeping issues with the Lemon Meringue Pie--both our plates filled up with water and had to be drained.

I liked somethings Teena didn't--Orange Buttercream Frosting and Candied Grapefruit Peel. (Make the peel for old people, I advised her. They love stuff like that.)(That's not to say that I'm old, though I am older than Teena, by more than I was expecting!)

We both knew the book like the back of our hands, flipping through the pages with assurance to find recipes we were referring to.

We talked about our respective challenges: I am surrounded by people who hate coconut, so have to chose my coconut moments carefully. Teena is in Indiana during most of the year, where the seafood selection is poor at best. My eaters at work are elderly, and I have to stay away from recipes that involve hot peppers. Teena is kind of finicky (no bitter greens! anise--yucky!) but fortunately her partner is "a garbage disposal" so nothing goes to waste.

We discussed some of the pricey recipes. Morels are in season now, I told her. I saw them at the Fruitful Basket for $36/lb. but they're light! We flipped to the recipe to see how much it called for. Oh. A pound.

That's nothing, said Teena, as she flipped to the recipe for Fois Gras Terrine. I looked up online how much the fois gras would cost for this--$200.

Maybe we can get Gourmet to underwrite it, I suggested. She is, I imagine, paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. Kevin probably is too, or will be soon.

Or maybe, she said, we three could get together and make it.

As our final recipe, I said. A celebration.

Readers, stay tuned. It might be five years from now, but that will be a grand party.


georgia said...

Melissa, congratulations on the WSJ article. I am going to read it this evening.

I love your new hair color!

Also, have you visited this food blog - http://www.thefoodpornographer.com/ - the photos are sensational.

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

No, I've never seen that site! Great photos, though--something I'm still working on. ;-)

Theresa said...

Just recently came across your blog through WSJ. I'm going to backtrack and read through it. By the way, yes morels are expensive at $36 but I recently saw them at Dean & DeLuca at $70 a lb. - now that's obscene.

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Theresa, welcome! And--$70/lb.!!! Holy cow, I guess I should stop complaining. :-)

Jessica said...

I'm cooking through The Joy of Cooking and there are some similar problems--such as, what do I do about the game recipes? How does one get bear? I've been taught in food safety classes never to eat bear--but I like to complete projects.

Morels are funny--I'm from Iowa and people just forage for them there :)