I realize that — short of admitting that I dislike most flourless chocolate cakes and hamburgers generally don’t do it for me — this is going to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever said but here it goes anyway: sometimes I forget to taste all of this delicious food.
So, I’m cheating. I really wasn’t planning on cooking just yet. You see, I spent a whole lot of the last few weeks of pregnancy honing in on cookbooks that focus on simpler, but uncompromised cooking (and I will absolutely do a post on these, soon), bookmarking the kind of recipes I could imagine assembling with one hand tied behind my back (or you know, holding a squawking newborn) and even banking a decent amount of recipes, such as that date spice loaf and the stuffed eggplant, and a few other things I have even told you about yet. And I don’t need to cook either: Our fridge is filled with homemade matzo ball soup, spaghetti and meatballs, endless bagel fixings, pickles galore, fruit, sandwich bread, lunch meats, milk for cereal and you name it (did I tell you our families were awesome or what?). Do you hear me? There is no reason on earth that I need to be pulling down the pots and pans right now. And yet I did. Because there was something — one tiny thing, perhaps — that I had not anticipated when I mapped these early weeks out in my head.
Let me tell you about something that always happens, and it’s the best thing, ever: A month or so ago, a reader emailed me and asked me if I’d ever tried a tomato pie. No, not the Italian-American tomato pie seen in New York and New Jersey — a thick, bready pizza dough slathered with sauce and broiled with Romano cheese on top then served in squares — but a Southern thing, baked in a pie shell. Where I’m from, “tomato pie” is the Italian-ish thing I’ve described it above, thus I responded that I’ve never heard of it before and added “but mark my words, not two days after I send off this email, I will have heard about it three times.”
More than six months ago, I had a dinner party and auditioned a then-new recipe for one of my favorite middle-of-the-freezing-winter dinner party dishes (short ribs) that was so good, I still weep a little when I recall it. I made a tarte tatin that was… well, it needed a little more cooking, and perhaps a Molly intervention And I made this onion tart, and we ate it with the cheese “course” and it was perfect in every way.
I don’t think I have ever met a galette I didn’t like. In fact, my only grievance is that I do not have more galette recipes on this site. Two years ago there was a wild mushroom and stilton galette and last year there was a butternut squash and caramelized onion galette but since then? Nada. Let me serve to fix that right now.
The strangest thing has happened to me this summer; my obsessive pining for the next new recipe has waned. Gone are the days when the thought of cooking something I have already made was enough to make me not cook at all. Instead, it seems that this site is finally working for me: I have an archive of recipes I adore, largely ones that work as they should, and the answer to “What should we have for dinner?” is now, quite frequently, “Ooh, those kefta meatballs were so good. Let’s have them again!”
I am not proud of this, but I’m really just a one trick pony in the language department. Sure, after four years of high school French and the shortest exchange program ever, I can get by in Paris and because of this, can occasionally make sense of written Italian or Spanish, but Czech? German? I couldn’t be further from makings heads or tails of it.