Good read: An Everlasting Meal

I found myself tasting a pot of almost boiling water, then I waited a few moments and tasted the fully boiling water, as advised by chef and writer Tamar Adler ( who got the idea from Julia Child). The water did taste different. Try it.

Though I have always rolled my eyes at the term, I’m trying to be more mindful. Yep, I’m getting old and trying to get wise. But not by meditating on a mountain–I’m hoping to learn mindfulness while cooking, standing in front of the stove. I count myself lucky that I’m guided by the words of Tamar Adler, who has written a great book called An Everlasting Meal. Her message is how to make something last, how to carry meals over to the next meal, how to not waste when cooking. I love her writing style–careful, full, beautiful–which is so unlike my messy way. Take this passage about shopping: “And always (buy) a few bunches of dark, leafy greens. This will seem very pious. Once greens are cooked as they should be, though: hot and lustily, with garlic, in a good amount of olive oil, they lose their moral urgency, and become one of the most likable ingredients in your kitchen.”

Adler is a professional cook with so much to teach the home chef, reading the book is like having a cooking teacher whispering suggestions in your ear. Things like how to roast vegetables, poetic methods for thinking about how to cook beans (“As they cook, beans should look like they’re bathing”), and recipes for using olives, anchovies, and capers–her favorite ingredients, and it turns out mine too. She is a fellow scrounger, who uses every scrap of animal or vegetable to make stock. There’s even an appendix that details how to salvage botched ingredients. Mindfulness, I’m discovering through this terrific book, can be delicious.

I’m looking forward to using some of her recipes tomorrow when I cook for Thanksgiving. To everyone: enjoy the day, the food, the company, the bounty–happy Thanksgiving!

15 responses to “Good read: An Everlasting Meal

  1. MotherLodeBeth

    Tamar Adler’s book is so wonderful and there is even a FaceBook page for it. Love books like hers because they remind us of how our elders cooked and how if we are fortunate enough the lessons have been handed down to the rest of us. The Thanksgiving turkey is one excellent example where everyone I know saves the carcass and puts it in a big pot with carrots, celery onion and slow simmers for hours to make a delicious stock that in our home is canned, and used for homemade soups. And then the bones go into a pressure cooker to be cooked down to a mush which we then use for making homemade dog/cat food. Nothing goes to waste.
    Love when we have enough chicken feet for making stock and the combs from the chickens we have slaughtered are blanched, peeled and sauteed in butter with some minced garlic and then tossed in with homemade, cooked pasta.
    * Happy Thanksgiving from the Sierras*

  2. the only thing those greens are missing are a pinch of red pepper flakes, some bacon and some pasta. served under a thick blanket of fresh ground Romano, they become one of my favorite things to eat…

    glad to hear from you again. how’s the bun coming along?

    I’ll look for this book at the library…..happy thanksgiving!!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. thanks for this post! as always you have such good ideas. Will check the book. I was trying to find ways to rescue bad tea (things to do with leaves that have passed their prime or were never great to begin with) and didn’t want to throw out the rinds of parmesan so now I know what to do!!
    Happy Thanksgiving! and best wishes
    Will also re-order a copy of your book since I gave mine but miss having it!

  6. You had me sold at losing moral urgency. An Alice Waters forward doesn’t hurt, either. I’m really glad you’re back to semi-regular blogging, I loved your book, too.

  7. Thank you for this book suggestion. I hope I can find it in the library.

  8. I will definitely check this book out – thanks for putting it on my radar. I also checked out the NYTimes article mentioned above – really good.
    Oh, and let me know when you’d like that pan of lasagna delivered to your doorstep.

  9. Nice to read that you are back to what you are good at. Your writing style is amazing, no need to underestimate your craft. Your book was assigned for my Fresno City College class and I was so inspired by your real life approach to urban farming. Finals week is upon me and my instructor, Zay Logan, loved the paper I’m writing on Farm City so much she said I should send it to you. Not sure how to go about it, but if my instructor liked it that much I’m sure she’ll help. Look for it soon :)

  10. I’ve been reading Everlasting Meal and I will say I like your style much better, except for your overuse of the word “moxie.” :)

  11. Thanks so much for the book review, it looks like a wonderful read and I am awaitng it from Amazon. Also, I see that your new book with Willow is released on 12/27 (isn’t that the same day that your baby is due? Two babies on one day, maybe?). Good luck and the goddess bless!

  12. I just entered a suggestion to the Contra Costa library system that they buy a copy! Thanks for the tip!

  13. Las Vegas Appliance Repair

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, except before
    ending I am reading this wonderful piece of writing to
    increase my experience.

  14. Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.

    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new
    updates.

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