Monday, August 06, 2012

I read and I cook

When former First Lady (and former librarian) Laura Bush was first asked to describe herself to the Bush family, she supposedly said “I read and I smoke.”  I haven’t smoked in years, but I read and I cook. I like to checkout a book from the library and try a recipe before I commit to buying the book for myself or someone else-there is really no need to buy the book if you’re just using one recipe from it. Sometimes, though, it’s fun to just look and dream. The pictures of food can be inspiring all by themselves.

When my children left home, I created a cookbook of our family favorites. Since I have drawers full of newspaper recipes, the binder is a good way to locate a familiar dish.  Many is the hour I’ve wasted looking through those drawers for a loose recipe.

One of the newspaper recipes which did make it into the binder is from Marion Cunningham’s column for the SF Chronicle, “Learning to cook”.  Summer’s fresh produce really enhances this dish.  
Pasta to please (Feeds 4)
This is a build your own pasta, with the following ingredients in separate bowls that so that everyone can help themselves:

  • 6 cloves Garlic, 
  • 1 bunch fresh chopped chives, 
  • 1 bunch oregano leaves, 
  • 4 chopped tomatoes( I usually substitute basil for the oregano .) 

Provide everyone with a heated pasta bowl-they can add their ingredients, then mix with hot cooked pasta and top with olive oil, freshly grated parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.  

Mrs. Cunningham, who died in July at age 90, stressed the value of home cooking, for the cook and the family.  How else would children learn table manners or appreciate the value of dinner conversation and a good meal?   


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