Monday, January 11, 2010

good cookbooks

This one is a winner. If anyone has been following my blathering in the Q, you'll know all about it. I bought the hardback when I worked in the bookshop (it had a prettier cover) and I have used a lot of the recipes which are not only tasty, they are also relatively easy to make. Ooh, I just found a shot of the hardcover. I guess it depends upon how you feel about asparagus. I'm pining (and salivating) just looking at it. Real Parmesan. Mmmm.

A friend expressed bewilderment at another friend's habit of poring through cookbooks with her brother, just looking at all the recipes. I understood my friend's habit completely! I'm sure you all do, too.

Anyway, of course, going through one of my frequent,What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine phases, I left it in N.Z. when I left N.Z. for Oman. See, the thing with Oman is that I had about a week to pack up and go, so lots of the superfluous, though not necessarily unwanted, was left behind. This included an amazing, quirky dream catcher, which I would have called an art piece, that my friend, Sharon, made, a great book called, "The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America, and that cookbook.

Oh, I also left all my other recipes behind. In my rather transitory life, I had kept them in a sick bag I picked up on a plane when I was 22 or so, maybe my first flight, and for some reason I just thought I wouldn't need those tattered pieces of paper any more. The bag hadn't been used for its intended purpose, let me assure you. I do, generally speaking, vaguely remember how to make things, but having the nitty gritty is nice. Why did I decide not to bring those when they'd held me in good stead for many a year? When they were just pieces of paper I could have stuffed anywhere? I still don't have an answer for that.

I did tell my housemate she could have anything that I left behind and when a tumultuous year later (love affairs do that, don't they? That's all I'm saying) I was back in Australia and trying to get some of my effects together before heading to Japan I asked her to please send it over along with other stuff, it never arrived. Other stuff did. A sleeping bag, something else I rarely use. I guess she either gave it away or kept it. I hope it has been put to good use.

This is a screen capture, so not the best quality. The Thai pancakes are at the front. The crucial ingredients are the green peppercorns and the coriander.
The cover shown above is the paperback cover, and the recipe says it feeds 4-6 people. I actually think it only feeds 2, so double the recipe a few times over if you want more. Serve with a sweet chili sauce (the recipe can also be found in the book), or with a fish sauce (a Cambodian lady I knew made some for me, but I never learnt how to make it. I wish I had. My absolute favourite sauce. A fish sauce, sugar and vinegar kind of number. I knew her in Oman, and she has a story, too. She made me a huge jar which I used with these).

None of the pictures are mine.

A screen capture as well. If you can't read it, leave a comment, and I'll transpose it.


  1. The idea of keeping one's recipes in a puke bag amuses me to no end.

  2. I aim to be whimsical without even trying. ;)