After a week away and a week of eating out too much and eating too much, I’m eager to return to my kitchen and my cooking.
Mostly our eating is quite simple, fresh produce, grilled meats and fish, and balanced meals usually with a small side of a grain or carb. Dinner can usually be prepared in under an hour.
Reading David Tamarkin’s “Don’t Save Me From Cooking” editorial in the 6/2/19 NYT reinforced what I already know: home cooking is healthier and cheaper than going out or ordering in. A food writer, Tamarkin spends one month a year preparing everything he eats from scratch to show the increasing number of meal-in-a-box delivery services that home cooking isn’t as time consuming as these companies want consumers to believe.
Time is our most valuable commodity. Yet throwing together a simply meal can take little effort. Admittedly, I’m not working full-time. Plus I’m from the school that likes to select my food at the market—whether it’s smelling cheese, pinching a melon, or examining meat. I like scouring recipes – in cookbooks, on- line, magazines and newspapers. While I have more recipes than I have a lifetime to cook, I still enjoy collecting and experimenting.
We’re not purists. We do succumb to the occasional pizza or other take- out options now and then.
Then there’s baking. The world lost Maida Heatter, known as the “Queen of Cake” this week. My sister Madeline gave me one of her books, Maida Heatter’s New Book of Great Desserts years ago. She’d received her first cookbook, a Maida cookbook, as a Hanukkah present from our mother when she was ten. Others have chimed in, noting their favorite recipes, sending images of batter splattered pages from well-used cookbooks. Heatter was a self-taught baker who espoused the health benefits of baking. “Baking cookies is a great escape. It’s fun. It’s happiness. It’s creative. It’s good for your health. It reduces stress.”
There’s nothing like homemade cakes and cookies. A friend from Australia and one of my nieces are coming this week for dinner. Maida Heatter, here I come.