You know the feeling: you constantly hear about a book, movie or TV show that you have to read, watch, DVR (no but seriously, if you aren’t watching Downton Abbey, get with it).
The book An Everlasting Meal had been popping up on my culinary radar for the past few months. Described more as a cooking philosophy and less as a cookbook, writer-turned chef-turned author Tamar Adler has a distinct approach to cooking. She articulates (better than I ever could) that preparing one’s food is an integral part of living and not an act exclusive to professionals. Evoking famed food writer MFK Fisher, Adler lays out principles that anyone can adopt.
I consider myself to have one foot in professional cooking and one foot in homecooking. As a personal chef, I visit clients’ homes once per week. These one-off visits make it nearly impossible to implement much of Adler’s tips – rolling over leftovers into other meals and evolving ingredients over time (i.e. roast chicken > chicken stock) . In my ‘real life’ however, I practice this philosophy out of necessity (it saves a ridiculous amount of money). Here are some of my favorites:
- Set aside an hour or two per week to stride ahead. Roast a few pans of veggies, boil a big batch of lentils or farro, caramelize a pot of onions. Meals simply unfold from these staples.
- Toast can be a meal. One of my favorite things to eat is good toasted bread, rubbed with garlic and topped with whatever I have lying around. Quickly sauteed greens, avocado, an egg – whatever. It’s the ideal vehicle for odds-and-ends. And drizzle of olive oil, always.
- Don’t discredit soup. Almost anything can be made into soup. And they only get better after a few days in the fridge.
If you’d like to hear more about the book, check out this interview on Heritage Radio.