Lately I have been doing a bit of catching up on my reading. My most recent audiobook is Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, read by the author. For those of you unfamiliar with the book and /or new movie, Julie Powell was a young New Yorker in a dead-end job and seeking some sort of meaning in her life. When her husband suggested she attempt re-creating the recipes in Julia Child's massive classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julie dedicated the next year making 524 dishes from the book. In addition she wrote a blog detailing the joys and trials of the process, which earned Powell a number of online readers.
While I found the details of preparing classic French cuisine interesting, I think my real fascination with the book was the way Powell doggedly dedicated herself to the project, a quest if you will, and the way it changed her. I think we all hit points in our lives when we feel "stuck" and frustrated with our lives. Julie & Julia is a marvelous example of how to channel those frustrations in creative and life-changing ways.
And so, why I will never master the art of French cooking. As a working mom, I find it difficult many days to even get dinner on the table, let alone take several hours (and a lot of butter) to do it. I find myself drawn not only to meals which can be prepared with some expediency, but also to more homegrown fare. The cookbooks I use most frequently? Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (mine is a dog-eared paperback, but several well-illustrated hardbacks are available throughout the system) and Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Feasting With Your Slow Cooker. Another new favorite is The Garden-fresh Vegetable Cookbook, which is great for all the fresh produce available right now.
Whatever your taste, sample your library's vast collection of cookbooks soon--and bon appétit!