Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Recipe Book

Some women get shoes or dresses for Yom Tov (holidays); I buy books. So I went late last week to buy books to treat myself with during Pesach (Passover), which will arrive in two more weeks. In addition, I bought a Passover cookbook. [Anyone who knows me and books will ask “Why so early? Won’t you dive into them before the holiday?” The answer is that from now to Passover I will be too busy to go shopping. I manage to stay away from the books by putting them up in the boxes with my Pesach dishes where they are rather inaccessible.] The cookbook I allowed myself to peek into, because I would need to buy the needed ingredients if I planned to use the recipes.
Now a note on me and cooking... I don’t mind on occasion spending time and energy to cook something nice, especially if it is for holidays, and if guests are expected. Other then that, I usually go for simpler foods, simply because of time limitations. Also, even on holidays I will only fiddle around with a few things, because if I am cooking for a large crowd, I have limited time and energy. (Especially since I will want to dive into a new book as soon as possible….) This is surely true on Passover, when nearly everything has to be made from scratch, since few foods are produced for Passover with an excellent kashruth (kosher) supervision. You shouldn’t think my family starves on Pesach. My standard repertoire of Passover dishes, besides soup, fish, and meat, include various salads, eggplant spread, mayonnaise, and apple jelly.
So even though I have one very good down-to-earth Pesach cookbook, I purchased another one, to give me some new ideas and variety, including even a few fancier things for Yom Tov (the more important days of the holiday).
Well, I must say I was a bit disappointed in the end. Almost everything in the new cookbook was fancy (few normal recipes), but worst of all, several calling for ingredients I would not use nor obtain for Passover. (Many called for margarine or butter. I have never even HEARD of Passover margarine. Butter I can get, but it makes the food “milky”, which is not suitable to use along with meat meals, which are customary on Yom Tov.) Add to that the fact that 95% of the meat recipes all called for an oven, and I don’t have a kosher for Pesach meat oven. I am hoping tomorrow to take a second, closer look at the book, but I think I will need to stay with my standard fare and down-to-earth cookbook, which I do certainly enjoy.
But then, if I get one or two really good ideas, and suitably impress my daughters-in-law, maybe it will be worth it? (But then what will I do with the awful pride that will result…?)

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