site stats
November 11, 2018 |

Archive for » November 11th, 2018«

More recipes to try out with Instant Pot

<!–
–>

Photo by Amy Phelps
Shredded Buffalo Chicken cooked in the Instant Pot makes good sandwiches.

I would say that someone sent me a bunch of cookbooks to test because they knew I got an Instant Pot, but I actually received all of the ones I’ve been now trying out pre-Instant Pot! Apparently the Instant Pot is hot right now, and there are lot of new cookbooks out there to try!

“The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook” by Coco Morante comes with 200 recipes for home cooks to try out in their new favorite kitchen appliance.

The book has a helpful section on how to use the Instant Pot (wish this had been the first book I had received, it would have been really helpful when I was a brand newbie!) I also enjoyed the section on all of the accessories you might want for your Instant Pot (and am already making my Christmas list!)

The recipes themselves are divided into nine chapters: Breakfast; Beans, Grains and Pastas; Soups and Chilis; Vegetarian; Seafood; Poultry; Pork, Lamb and Beef; Vegetables and Side Dishes and Drinks and Desserts. There is also a section on pantry items you can make in the Instant Pot as well.

Breakfast contains dishes like Pumpkin Spice Steel-Cut Oatmeal, Crustless Quiche Lorraine, French Toast Casserole and Mixed Berry and Yogurt Smoothies.

Beans, Grains and Pastas include recipes for White Bean Dip, Indian-Style Rice with Turmeric and Cashews and Penne alla Marinara.

Soups and Chilis include dishes like Pasta e Fagioli, Beef Pho and Hearty Corn and Potato Soup.

Vegetarian dishes offer Shakshouka with Couscous, Black Bean Burrito Bowls and Smoky Vegan Eggplant Jambalaya.

Seafood dishes include Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Rolls and Cod Fillets with Lemon-Dill Sauce.

Poultry offers dishes such as Chicken Meatballs in Plum Sauce, Chicken and Sausage Paella and Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf.

Pork. Lamb and Beef has dishes that include Pork Ragu with Pappardelle, Lamb and White Bean Tagine and Ground Beef Stroganoff.

Vegetables and Side Dishes offer Broccoli with Bacon, Creamed Corn and Orange-Braised Fennel and Shallots.

Drinks and Desserts end thing with Hot Cocoa (my youngest recently called it Pot Chocolate and thought it was gross to make it in something you make dinner in and not in the Keurig) as well as Chocolate Bread Pudding and Fudge Brownie Cake with Toasted Walnuts.

I made Shredded Buffalo Chicken one evening for dinner. One of the things I love the most about the Instant Pot is that there is a lot of put the things in the pot and leave recipes, and this is one of them. You put the chicken in some liquid and go. It cooks pretty quickly, cook time is 15 minutes, but you’ve always got to add on at least 10 minutes for the machine to come up to pressure. Then after the chicken cooks, you use the pot to make the buffalo sauce, then toss the chicken back in. It is that easy, and if you really wanted to, you could not make the sauce and just buy bottled sauce and toss the chicken.

Also, there is a variation below the recipe to use the chicken to make a buffalo chicken dip, which sounds really good.

Another night, I decided to get out the little 7-inch springform pan I bought for such a use, and make the Triple Chocolate Cheesecake. Right away, I ran into trouble. Despite my putting out the cream cheese before dinner, and making this after dinner, the cream cheese was STILL not softened enough. But I pressed on. I enjoyed that the recipe uses the food processor, my other favorite kitchen appliance – well other than the Kitchen Aid. And the Keurig. The food processor not only is used to process the graham crackers and butter to make the crust, you clean it out and then make the cheesecake filling in it. That was really nice. The filling then goes into the crust, and the whole thing goes into the Instant Pot, seated on a steam rack (the little wire thing you get with your Instant Pot) over some water. It then cooks for 33 minutes, which as anyone who’s ever cooked a cheesecake before knows, is A LOT less time than usual. You are then supposed to make a chocolate ganache to top it with, but I stopped, just wanted to be done with it for the day.

The next day I tried it out. As I feared, I didn’t let the cream cheese sit out long enough to soften, so there was chunks of cream cheese in it and not the smooth filling. Those that do make successful cheesecake at home, tell me, how long do you let it set out for? Hours? A day? However, I cannot blame the Instant Pot on that, it was all my mistake. I thought it was a good cheesecake, I would have never guessed it was done in something other than the oven. Also, I thought the size that it turned out to be was the perfect amount. It seems like everyone gets tired of cheesecake when I make the big one, but this one disappeared pretty quick, big chunks of cream cheese and all.

The next thing I want to try to make is a little Bundt cake in the Instant Pot, but I need to buy the Bundt pan first.

“The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook” is published by Ten Speed Press. It is $29.99.

***

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com

QA with Author Coco Morante

* Why should people get an Instant Pot?

It’s an extremely useful, versatile appliance. Mine stays out on the counter all the time, and it has taken the place of a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer pot, and dutch oven in my kitchen. I can’t remember the last time I pulled out a stock pot, either. With a programmable, electric pressure cooker, the results are consistent and predictable, which I love.

* What is a recipe in your book you would recommend novice cooks try?

Succotash (page 246) is a good one for beginners. It’s one of my favorite vegetable side dishes, and it’s made from a short list of mostly freezer and pantry ingredients. The combination of lima beans, corn, and tomatoes is classic and delicious. I do find that frozen baby lima beans can sometimes be hard to track down, so feel free to substitute shelled edamame if those are easier for you to find.

* What is your favorite recipe from the book?

With 200 recipes, it’s so hard for me to choose! Some are recipes shared by friends, some are adapted versions of dishes from my childhood, and there are so many comfort food classics. Shepherd’s Pie is definitely up there for me. Creamy mashed potatoes on top of a savory meat-and-vegetable filling really hits the spot, especially in cold weather. My recipe includes the traditional ground lamb, but you can substitute ground beef if you prefer. Oh, and the potatoes cook on top of the filling, so that’s one less pot to wash.

* What is the must have accessory for the Instant Pot?

There’s a whole section in the introductory pages of my book going over all of the tools and accessories I use and love. My most recent must-have is the Silicone Pressure Cooker Sling from OXO –they came out with it earlier this year. I use it any time I’m making a pot-in-pot recipe (like cheesecake or brownies), since it makes it so easy to lower and lift pans and dishes into and out of the pot.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Disposable Dinnerware Market Research Report: Market Analysis on the Future Growth Prospects and Market Trends …

Global Disposable Dinnerware Market report mainly focuses on Disposable Dinnerware industry in global market. The major regions which contribute to the development of Disposable Dinnerware industry, mainly covers North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India. The Disposable Dinnerware report helps to develop knowledge about Disposable Dinnerware industry to new entrants who are looking to enter in the industry.

Disposable Dinnerware market is valued at USD XX million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of XX% between 2017 and 2025

Get PDF Sample of Disposable Dinnerware Market Report @ https://www.industryresearch.biz/enquiry/request-sample/11139907  

The Disposable Dinnerware report analyses the crucial factors of the industry based on present situations, market demands, business strategies adopted by Disposable Dinnerware players and their growth scenario. This report analyses the Disposable Dinnerware based on the key players, Type, Application and Regions.

On the basis of product, Disposable Dinnerware Market report displays the production, revenue, price, market share and growth rate of each type, primarily split into

  • By Material Types: – Foam Plastic
  • Biodegradable Plastics
  • Wooden; By Product Types: – Plates
  • Bowls
  • Trays
  • Cups
  • Cutlery

On the basis of the end users/applications, Disposable Dinnerware Market Report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, consumption (sales), market share and growth rate for each application, including

  • Household
  • Restaurant
  • Hotel
  • Other

For Further Details, get in Touch with our expert @ https://www.industryresearch.biz/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/11139907  

Next part of the Disposable Dinnerware analysis report speaks about the manufacturing process. The process is analysed thoroughly with respect three points, viz. raw material and equipment suppliers, various manufacturing associated costs (material cost, labour cost, etc.) and the actual process. Disposable Dinnerware competition by top manufacturers, with production, price, and revenue (value) and market share for each manufacturer as per following;

This report includes detailed profiles of major key players of Disposable Dinnerware Industry

Biopac India Corporation Ltd., Mozaik, PrimeWare, Hefty, Belix and More….

Price of Report: $ 2900 (Single User Licence)

Purchase Complete Report of Disposable Dinnerware Market [email protected] https://www.industryresearch.biz/purchase/11139907

After the basic information, the Disposable Dinnerware report sheds light on the production, production plants, their capacities, global production and revenue are studied. Also, the Disposable Dinnerware growth in various regions and RD status are also covered.

Global Disposable Dinnerware Report by Key Region: “North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India”

Further in the report, Disposable Dinnerware is examined for price, cost and gross revenue. These three points are analysed for types, companies and regions. In prolongation with this data sale price for various types, applications and region is also included. The Disposable Dinnerware Industry consumption for major regions is given. Additionally, type wise and application wise consumption figures are also given. To provide information on competitive landscape, this report includes detailed profiles of Disposable Dinnerware key players. For each player, product details, capacity, price, cost, gross and revenue numbers are given. Their contact information is provided for better understanding.

Other Major Topics Covered in Disposable Dinnerware research report are as follows: Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders included in Disposable Dinnerware Industry: Market Effect Factors Analysis, Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers in Disposable Dinnerware Market, Manufacturing Expenses, Market Drivers and Opportunities, Mergers Acquisitions, Expansion, Key Suppliers of Raw Materials, Research Findings and Conclusion, Market Size (Value and Volume) analysis of Disposable Dinnerware Industry.

The founder of the site, a lover of writing and publishing press and poetry.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

White dinnerware preferred – Arkansas Democrat

It’s entertaining season, and maybe you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. Or maybe you’re getting married and merging households. Whether planning a dinner or planning for the future, you’re going to need dinnerware. And experts agree: Choose white.

Interior designers, cookbook authors, food stylists and home design bloggers choose white dishes because of their timelessness and versatility. “White is the perfect option because it always looks fresh, and it’s so easy to add to or update, or keep it fancy or make it everyday, because you can go every direction and it’s never off-putting to anyone,” says Michel Smith Boyd, an interior designer in Atlanta and one of this year’s style spotters for High Point Market, a home furnishings and design event. “You can add personality with bread plates, glasses, a charger. If you have a basic set of white, it will take you so far.”

Just as there are many shades of white, there are also many different types of white dinnerware, so we asked tastemakers for their advice and recommendations.

“I’m obsessed,” says Boyd about Crate Barrel’s stackable porcelain Loganbowls ($44.95 for eight, crateandbarrel.com). “What I look for more than anything for daily use is something sturdy that will mix with what I already own. These bowls stack, with an almost-three-inch rim… They’re kind of contemporary.”

Pieces of the Logan collection are sold individually or in sets of eight (eight dinner plates, for example), and eight four-piece place settings would run $179.80. To set a trendy table this season, Boyd says to think about white dinnerware mixed with two other elements: Muted neutral pottery and wooden serving spoons or, if you lean modern, black cloth napkins and accent dishes in a primary color.

Nik Sharma, food blogger, food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of the cookbook Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, loves color in his food, not in his dinnerware. “I like color, especially in vegetables and salads. Sometimes ingredients like balsamic vinegar are so dark, and then when you put them on a dark plate, you can’t see them. I like to see them,” he says. He likes a warmer white for entertaining, and uses the stoneware textured dinnerware set from West Elm often ($129 for four place settings of dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and mugs, westelm.com). Each type of dish from the set is also sold in sets of four; dip bowls are also available.

To Myquillyn Smith, advocate for “cozy minimalism,” white is the obvious choice for dishware. It can be dressed down for everyday use and dressed up for dinner parties, just like a great pair of jeans. “I want a simplified collection of dishes that stack easily, look great together and take a beating from our family,” she says, recommending the Avesta stoneware from Project 62 ($19.99 for four three-piece place settings of dinner plates, salad plates and bowls, target.com). As the North Carolina blogger writes in her new book, “Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff,” “the home exists to serve the people and not the other way around.”

Apilco’s Tuileries dishes will “last a lifetime,” says Katie Jacobs, an entertaining expert from Nashville, Tenn., and author of So Much to Celebrate: Entertaining the Ones You Love the Whole Year. “They’ll never scratch. They’re restaurant-grade.” ($383.80 for four place settings of dinner plates, salad plates, soup plates, cups and saucers, williams-sonoma.com). For holidays, she’d pair them with a paper tablecloth, a big bowl of Christmas ornaments and a handmade place card, “an additional touch that makes your guest feel special.” Some pieces are also sold individually and in sets of four.

Newlyweds Elyse Maguire and her husband had a shortlist when they registered for china: It must be dishwasher-safe, slightly edgy and fancy enough for dinner parties. Together, they agreed on Spin Ceramics’ reinforced white bone china in the Free Loop pattern ($135 for one dinner plate, one salad plate, one soup bowl, one cup and one saucer). “They are very simple but have an organic, asymmetrical design,” says the Parsons School of Design graduate and textile designer who founded a knitwear company on Cape Cod. “They make an elegant place setting for dinner parties but they’re still practical enough to use every day.”

High Profile on 11/11/2018

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

A handwritten recipe falls from my grandmother’s cookbook: “Pizza for 1 Person”. My heart shatters

I’ve been getting to know my grandmother. This is not as easy as it sounds, since she died when I was 20. I never knew her as an adult, and I’m not all that sure I knew her as a child either. She wasn’t the kind of grandmother who hauled you up on her lap and showered you with kisses. Unlike my other granny, she didn’t have a kitchen drawer full of chocolate, or any desire to learn to ride a skateboard. But she was entrepreneurial, fearless, witty and, I suspect, frustrated. She took books seriously, especially books featuring women who escaped the bonds of domesticity.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times, with food-related content in all our sections, plus reader events, competitions and exclusive content at irishtimes.com/foodmonth

I’m afraid I’d have lost her voice by now, forgotten her mirthful eyes, and her sharp wit, if it wasn’t for a battered book that sits on my kitchen shelf – her ancient copy of the novelist, broadcaster and cookery writer Maura Laverty’s iconic cookbook, Full and Plenty.

In the days of my grandmother and Maura Laverty, cookbooks were not the equivalent of scatter cushions for your kitchen, accessories designed to make your shelves look smart, while hinting you were the kind of person who might once have paid $27 for avocado toast overlooking Sydney Harbour. Recipes were not about tossing in a fistful of this or lashings of lovely jubbly that, but were precise, efficient, thrifty. Her generation didn’t suffer from the need to fetishise food the way ours does, or pretend that whipping up a crispy squid with mashed avo was easy-peasy. Maybe that’s where we’re going wrong, with our 15-minute recipes that take two hours and 37 pieces of equipment, and our rows of pristine, pastel-spined cookbooks.

We obsess about food: photographing it; watching other people eat it; queuing for doughnuts; reading about the latest place to find the best pizza. But we don’t spend much time cooking it, or even eating it. At the most recent count, I own more than 70 cookbooks, and for the last decade and a half I have produced meals from a repertoire of roughly five dishes.

My grandmother’s Maura Laverty is not an accessory. It’s a serious, hardworking cookbook, now held together with tailor’s elastic, the dust jacket curling at the edges like burnt toast. There are pages stuck together with flour, handwritten recipes, and little nuggets of advice on how to prune roses (never, ever after St Patrick’s day) or get boot polish out of carpet (carbon tetrachloride).

Newspaper clippings

Some of the oldest newspaper clippings are for beginners, like the ones for stew from the Daily Mirror “for the lady who claims she can’t boil water without burning it.” As my granny became more confident, her own recipes get more ambitious, the quantities larger, her notes in the margin more uncompromising. I can hear her, firmly admonishing Delia Smith for potato scones that turned out “a little bit flat”. I imagine vast, loud, family Sunday lunches of lamb and salmon with veg and creamy potatoes, and Victorian sponge for after.

Near the end, a sliver of paper with a handwritten recipe falls into my hand, and momentarily shatters my heart. “Pizza for 1 Person”, it says, in her careful script.

The gently scolding surveys that come out every year all say the same thing: that kind of cooking is almost gone. We’re relying more than ever on quick, heavily processed, hits of calories. To be fair, if you spend all day sautéing in an office, and then sweating on a long commute home to a messy house and tired children, not even Maura Laverty would chide you for not attempting to braise a housekeeper’s cut.

But still, we’re missing out. Food has always been about more than just fuel. Food, prepared by someone who loves you, is not just about nutrition or taste. When we don’t have any words, we turn to food. When someone is sick, we say ‘I’m thinking of you’ in a currency of tray bakes and desserts. When things are tense at home, my husband’s roast chicken with lemon and chorizo cuts straight through any silence. When I want to say to my children that I’m sorry for the long hours, and the perpetual distraction, I apologise with lasagne. Everyone thinks their mother’s apple tart or scones are the best in the world – and the truth is, they’re all right. (Except for my children, whose mother – to her shame – hasn’t made scones since 2011.)

Food is our most fundamental way of communicating, an endlessly rich lexicon of joy, apology, desire, memory, tradition, friendship and love. My grandmother wasn’t given to declarations of affection. But it’s there in the book I inherited, in the care with which she curated 50 years’ worth of recipes and life hacks.

Maura Laverty saw in cooking a poetry, and a kind of mindfulness – the “neurotic”, she writes, should try rubbing butter into flour for scones and feeling “the purity of flour, the cool velvety feel of it, the gentle, incessant calm-giving motion of the fingertips”. I’m going to give it a go this weekend – but I’ll start with my grandmother’s recipe instead. The key is to place the tray on an inverted Swiss roll tin on the second shelf, just so you know.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

A handwritten recipe falls from my grandmother’s cookbook: “Pizza for 1 Person”. My heart shatters

I’ve been getting to know my grandmother. This is not as easy as it sounds, since she died when I was 20. I never knew her as an adult, and I’m not all that sure I knew her as a child either. She wasn’t the kind of grandmother who hauled you up on her lap and showered you with kisses. Unlike my other granny, she didn’t have a kitchen drawer full of chocolate, or any desire to learn to ride a skateboard. But she was entrepreneurial, fearless, witty and, I suspect, frustrated. She took books seriously, especially books featuring women who escaped the bonds of domesticity.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times, with food-related content in all our sections, plus reader events, competitions and exclusive content at irishtimes.com/foodmonth

I’m afraid I’d have lost her voice by now, forgotten her mirthful eyes, and her sharp wit, if it wasn’t for a battered book that sits on my kitchen shelf – her ancient copy of the novelist, broadcaster and cookery writer Maura Laverty’s iconic cookbook, Full and Plenty.

In the days of my grandmother and Maura Laverty, cookbooks were not the equivalent of scatter cushions for your kitchen, accessories designed to make your shelves look smart, while hinting you were the kind of person who might once have paid $27 for avocado toast overlooking Sydney Harbour. Recipes were not about tossing in a fistful of this or lashings of lovely jubbly that, but were precise, efficient, thrifty. Her generation didn’t suffer from the need to fetishise food the way ours does, or pretend that whipping up a crispy squid with mashed avo was easy-peasy. Maybe that’s where we’re going wrong, with our 15-minute recipes that take two hours and 37 pieces of equipment, and our rows of pristine, pastel-spined cookbooks.

We obsess about food: photographing it; watching other people eat it; queuing for doughnuts; reading about the latest place to find the best pizza. But we don’t spend much time cooking it, or even eating it. At the most recent count, I own more than 70 cookbooks, and for the last decade and a half I have produced meals from a repertoire of roughly five dishes.

My grandmother’s Maura Laverty is not an accessory. It’s a serious, hardworking cookbook, now held together with tailor’s elastic, the dust jacket curling at the edges like burnt toast. There are pages stuck together with flour, handwritten recipes, and little nuggets of advice on how to prune roses (never, ever after St Patrick’s day) or get boot polish out of carpet (carbon tetrachloride).

Newspaper clippings

Some of the oldest newspaper clippings are for beginners, like the ones for stew from the Daily Mirror “for the lady who claims she can’t boil water without burning it.” As my granny became more confident, her own recipes get more ambitious, the quantities larger, her notes in the margin more uncompromising. I can hear her, firmly admonishing Delia Smith for potato scones that turned out “a little bit flat”. I imagine vast, loud, family Sunday lunches of lamb and salmon with veg and creamy potatoes, and Victorian sponge for after.

Near the end, a sliver of paper with a handwritten recipe falls into my hand, and momentarily shatters my heart. “Pizza for 1 Person”, it says, in her careful script.

The gently scolding surveys that come out every year all say the same thing: that kind of cooking is almost gone. We’re relying more than ever on quick, heavily processed, hits of calories. To be fair, if you spend all day sautéing in an office, and then sweating on a long commute home to a messy house and tired children, not even Maura Laverty would chide you for not attempting to braise a housekeeper’s cut.

But still, we’re missing out. Food has always been about more than just fuel. Food, prepared by someone who loves you, is not just about nutrition or taste. When we don’t have any words, we turn to food. When someone is sick, we say ‘I’m thinking of you’ in a currency of tray bakes and desserts. When things are tense at home, my husband’s roast chicken with lemon and chorizo cuts straight through any silence. When I want to say to my children that I’m sorry for the long hours, and the perpetual distraction, I apologise with lasagne. Everyone thinks their mother’s apple tart or scones are the best in the world – and the truth is, they’re all right. (Except for my children, whose mother – to her shame – hasn’t made scones since 2011.)

Food is our most fundamental way of communicating, an endlessly rich lexicon of joy, apology, desire, memory, tradition, friendship and love. My grandmother wasn’t given to declarations of affection. But it’s there in the book I inherited, in the care with which she curated 50 years’ worth of recipes and life hacks.

Maura Laverty saw in cooking a poetry, and a kind of mindfulness – the “neurotic”, she writes, should try rubbing butter into flour for scones and feeling “the purity of flour, the cool velvety feel of it, the gentle, incessant calm-giving motion of the fingertips”. I’m going to give it a go this weekend – but I’ll start with my grandmother’s recipe instead. The key is to place the tray on an inverted Swiss roll tin on the second shelf, just so you know.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

A handwritten recipe falls from my grandmother’s cookbook: “Pizza for 1 Person”. My heart shatters

I’ve been getting to know my grandmother. This is not as easy as it sounds, since she died when I was 20. I never knew her as an adult, and I’m not all that sure I knew her as a child either. She wasn’t the kind of grandmother who hauled you up on her lap and showered you with kisses. Unlike my other granny, she didn’t have a kitchen drawer full of chocolate, or any desire to learn to ride a skateboard. But she was entrepreneurial, fearless, witty and, I suspect, frustrated. She took books seriously, especially books featuring women who escaped the bonds of domesticity.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times, with food-related content in all our sections, plus reader events, competitions and exclusive content at irishtimes.com/foodmonth

I’m afraid I’d have lost her voice by now, forgotten her mirthful eyes, and her sharp wit, if it wasn’t for a battered book that sits on my kitchen shelf – her ancient copy of the novelist, broadcaster and cookery writer Maura Laverty’s iconic cookbook, Full and Plenty.

In the days of my grandmother and Maura Laverty, cookbooks were not the equivalent of scatter cushions for your kitchen, accessories designed to make your shelves look smart, while hinting you were the kind of person who might once have paid $27 for avocado toast overlooking Sydney Harbour. Recipes were not about tossing in a fistful of this or lashings of lovely jubbly that, but were precise, efficient, thrifty. Her generation didn’t suffer from the need to fetishise food the way ours does, or pretend that whipping up a crispy squid with mashed avo was easy-peasy. Maybe that’s where we’re going wrong, with our 15-minute recipes that take two hours and 37 pieces of equipment, and our rows of pristine, pastel-spined cookbooks.

We obsess about food: photographing it; watching other people eat it; queuing for doughnuts; reading about the latest place to find the best pizza. But we don’t spend much time cooking it, or even eating it. At the most recent count, I own more than 70 cookbooks, and for the last decade and a half I have produced meals from a repertoire of roughly five dishes.

My grandmother’s Maura Laverty is not an accessory. It’s a serious, hardworking cookbook, now held together with tailor’s elastic, the dust jacket curling at the edges like burnt toast. There are pages stuck together with flour, handwritten recipes, and little nuggets of advice on how to prune roses (never, ever after St Patrick’s day) or get boot polish out of carpet (carbon tetrachloride).

Newspaper clippings

Some of the oldest newspaper clippings are for beginners, like the ones for stew from the Daily Mirror “for the lady who claims she can’t boil water without burning it.” As my granny became more confident, her own recipes get more ambitious, the quantities larger, her notes in the margin more uncompromising. I can hear her, firmly admonishing Delia Smith for potato scones that turned out “a little bit flat”. I imagine vast, loud, family Sunday lunches of lamb and salmon with veg and creamy potatoes, and Victorian sponge for after.

Near the end, a sliver of paper with a handwritten recipe falls into my hand, and momentarily shatters my heart. “Pizza for 1 Person”, it says, in her careful script.

The gently scolding surveys that come out every year all say the same thing: that kind of cooking is almost gone. We’re relying more than ever on quick, heavily processed, hits of calories. To be fair, if you spend all day sautéing in an office, and then sweating on a long commute home to a messy house and tired children, not even Maura Laverty would chide you for not attempting to braise a housekeeper’s cut.

But still, we’re missing out. Food has always been about more than just fuel. Food, prepared by someone who loves you, is not just about nutrition or taste. When we don’t have any words, we turn to food. When someone is sick, we say ‘I’m thinking of you’ in a currency of tray bakes and desserts. When things are tense at home, my husband’s roast chicken with lemon and chorizo cuts straight through any silence. When I want to say to my children that I’m sorry for the long hours, and the perpetual distraction, I apologise with lasagne. Everyone thinks their mother’s apple tart or scones are the best in the world – and the truth is, they’re all right. (Except for my children, whose mother – to her shame – hasn’t made scones since 2011.)

Food is our most fundamental way of communicating, an endlessly rich lexicon of joy, apology, desire, memory, tradition, friendship and love. My grandmother wasn’t given to declarations of affection. But it’s there in the book I inherited, in the care with which she curated 50 years’ worth of recipes and life hacks.

Maura Laverty saw in cooking a poetry, and a kind of mindfulness – the “neurotic”, she writes, should try rubbing butter into flour for scones and feeling “the purity of flour, the cool velvety feel of it, the gentle, incessant calm-giving motion of the fingertips”. I’m going to give it a go this weekend – but I’ll start with my grandmother’s recipe instead. The key is to place the tray on an inverted Swiss roll tin on the second shelf, just so you know.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

A handwritten recipe falls from my grandmother’s cookbook: “Pizza for 1 Person”. My heart shatters

I’ve been getting to know my grandmother. This is not as easy as it sounds, since she died when I was 20. I never knew her as an adult, and I’m not all that sure I knew her as a child either. She wasn’t the kind of grandmother who hauled you up on her lap and showered you with kisses. Unlike my other granny, she didn’t have a kitchen drawer full of chocolate, or any desire to learn to ride a skateboard. But she was entrepreneurial, fearless, witty and, I suspect, frustrated. She took books seriously, especially books featuring women who escaped the bonds of domesticity.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times, with food-related content in all our sections, plus reader events, competitions and exclusive content at irishtimes.com/foodmonth

I’m afraid I’d have lost her voice by now, forgotten her mirthful eyes, and her sharp wit, if it wasn’t for a battered book that sits on my kitchen shelf – her ancient copy of the novelist, broadcaster and cookery writer Maura Laverty’s iconic cookbook, Full and Plenty.

In the days of my grandmother and Maura Laverty, cookbooks were not the equivalent of scatter cushions for your kitchen, accessories designed to make your shelves look smart, while hinting you were the kind of person who might once have paid $27 for avocado toast overlooking Sydney Harbour. Recipes were not about tossing in a fistful of this or lashings of lovely jubbly that, but were precise, efficient, thrifty. Her generation didn’t suffer from the need to fetishise food the way ours does, or pretend that whipping up a crispy squid with mashed avo was easy-peasy. Maybe that’s where we’re going wrong, with our 15-minute recipes that take two hours and 37 pieces of equipment, and our rows of pristine, pastel-spined cookbooks.

We obsess about food: photographing it; watching other people eat it; queuing for doughnuts; reading about the latest place to find the best pizza. But we don’t spend much time cooking it, or even eating it. At the most recent count, I own more than 70 cookbooks, and for the last decade and a half I have produced meals from a repertoire of roughly five dishes.

My grandmother’s Maura Laverty is not an accessory. It’s a serious, hardworking cookbook, now held together with tailor’s elastic, the dust jacket curling at the edges like burnt toast. There are pages stuck together with flour, handwritten recipes, and little nuggets of advice on how to prune roses (never, ever after St Patrick’s day) or get boot polish out of carpet (carbon tetrachloride).

Newspaper clippings

Some of the oldest newspaper clippings are for beginners, like the ones for stew from the Daily Mirror “for the lady who claims she can’t boil water without burning it.” As my granny became more confident, her own recipes get more ambitious, the quantities larger, her notes in the margin more uncompromising. I can hear her, firmly admonishing Delia Smith for potato scones that turned out “a little bit flat”. I imagine vast, loud, family Sunday lunches of lamb and salmon with veg and creamy potatoes, and Victorian sponge for after.

Near the end, a sliver of paper with a handwritten recipe falls into my hand, and momentarily shatters my heart. “Pizza for 1 Person”, it says, in her careful script.

The gently scolding surveys that come out every year all say the same thing: that kind of cooking is almost gone. We’re relying more than ever on quick, heavily processed, hits of calories. To be fair, if you spend all day sautéing in an office, and then sweating on a long commute home to a messy house and tired children, not even Maura Laverty would chide you for not attempting to braise a housekeeper’s cut.

But still, we’re missing out. Food has always been about more than just fuel. Food, prepared by someone who loves you, is not just about nutrition or taste. When we don’t have any words, we turn to food. When someone is sick, we say ‘I’m thinking of you’ in a currency of tray bakes and desserts. When things are tense at home, my husband’s roast chicken with lemon and chorizo cuts straight through any silence. When I want to say to my children that I’m sorry for the long hours, and the perpetual distraction, I apologise with lasagne. Everyone thinks their mother’s apple tart or scones are the best in the world – and the truth is, they’re all right. (Except for my children, whose mother – to her shame – hasn’t made scones since 2011.)

Food is our most fundamental way of communicating, an endlessly rich lexicon of joy, apology, desire, memory, tradition, friendship and love. My grandmother wasn’t given to declarations of affection. But it’s there in the book I inherited, in the care with which she curated 50 years’ worth of recipes and life hacks.

Maura Laverty saw in cooking a poetry, and a kind of mindfulness – the “neurotic”, she writes, should try rubbing butter into flour for scones and feeling “the purity of flour, the cool velvety feel of it, the gentle, incessant calm-giving motion of the fingertips”. I’m going to give it a go this weekend – but I’ll start with my grandmother’s recipe instead. The key is to place the tray on an inverted Swiss roll tin on the second shelf, just so you know.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off