The Cookbook Addict Strikes Again

February 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

Rob Gardner

For those obsessively following the Local Family, you know that the Local Beet has been in negotiations longer than health care reform with the maternal member of the family to begin posting under the byline, “Cookbook Addict.”  Some day soon, not in the spirit of the Year in Local collection that never came but more along the lines of the Anniversary special edition that will come out, the Cookbook Addict will share information from her vast collection of materials.  When she does take to the Internets, knowing my wife, she will present herself as a humble addict.  What will come across is not so much my wife’s cookbook addiction, but her addiction to being included in helping out.  We’re talking a woman who’s motto fit neatly on a mug we saw a few days ago, “stop me before I volunteer again.”  She would never relate this.

Yes, she would, must, admit to a collection of cookbooks that exceeds the physical limitations of the bungalow.  They exist in pretty much every room, including both bathrooms, the basement and even our root cellar in the sky.  You might be fooled into thinking all of these books are simply a design element for the house.  Oh, what mess?  We meant it that way.  The books all serve a purpose.  They are her reference library.  Before she goes fourth and cooks tzimmes for 150, she consults the twelve or so Jewish, I mean Jewish holiday books she owns for insights (the fuller collection of Jewish cookbooks includes Sephardic, Jewish-Italian AND Jewish-Sicilian, Jewish-Indian, Israeli, etc.).  Other times, within her vast collections, she finds that one recipe.  Oh how she does that I have no idea.

I mean the other day, I was walking through the kitchen.  I noticed a book still open, one probably not in your collection, A Midwest Gardener’s Cookbook by Mariane K. Towne.  Something I can tell from the jacket that she picked up for a bargain ($4.98).  She had found in this book, a recipe using like exactly what she needed to use.  A recipe using spaghetti squash, ham and frozen peas, plus cheese.  Because in our basement lay a spaghetti squash actually from last season yet very much usable with a slight edit.  In our fridge a large hunk of Slagel ham that a friend just reminded us that we still owe her money for, and in our freezer the many peas she insists on buying when the price is right.  And she baked it all up in a casserole that had none of the blandness that spaghetti squash is prone.   The Cookbook Addict had struck again.