Live Real. Eat Real.

The Spoils of the Holidays

And by “holidays” I mean my birthday (December 22), Christmas, and our anniversary (January 2).

It’s okay – after 49 years, I’m used to it.

But anyhoo, here’s what I got:

Starting at the bottom left and going clockwise:  Michael Symon’s Live to Cook and the Joy of Cooking for my birthday; spice grinder and meat grinder for Christmas; the Essential Pepin and Hunt, Gather, Cook cookbook for our anniversary.

You know you’re jealous.

The spice and meat grinders work really well – I’m thrilled with both.  I’ve already written about Joy, and Michael Symon’s book is interesting, as well (the Braised Pork Belly I posted Monday was based on a recipe in Live to Cook and a couple of others I found online).  I haven’t had much chance to peruse Hunt, Gather, Cook yet, although I’m willing to bet it’s going to be fascinating; it was written by Hank Shaw, author of the blog Hunter, Angler, Gardner, Cook.  As you might guess, Hank hunts, fishes, grows and forages as much of his food as he can and his blog is as interesting and informative as it is aesthetically pleasing.  Oh, and he was a James Beard Award nominee for Best Food Blog in both 2009 and 2010.

I’m sort of leaving Hank’s book for last, if for no other reason than Beloved has taken an interest in it (in fact, he found the blog and ordered me the book) and am working my way through the Essential Pepin.  I don’t know how I’d overlooked Jacques Pepin for so long – I mean, I knew who he was, naturally, but I’d never really paid much attention to him, which is really a shame.  His recipes are beautiful without being overly complicated, and I am slowly working my way through it front to back, marking many I want to try. Yes, even with my wonky diet, I can cook from “mainstream” cookbooks.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my haul.  What did Santa bring you this year?

From the blog