The librarycook has a confession to make. Sometimes, the siren call of recipes that aren’t from Delicious magazine is just too much to resist – the librarycook is only human, after all.
So where did the librarycook’s wandering eye alight? Not too far from home, luckily – it was a recipe in The Saturday Paper, another of the library’s subscriptions, that enticed her from the straight and narrow. And what a recipe! Annie Smithers’ Pot Roasted Chicken promised flavour, warmth, AND an hour or so’s uninterrupted reading time. A little preparation, and then into the oven with some carrots, leeks, thyme, potatoes, prunes, stock and wine, and voila! – dinner was ready. A little taste of France in the heart of the inner west. That hour was put to good use – Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, the conclusion to her magnum opus on the life of Thomas Cromwell, fixer to Henry VIII, is almost as big as a chicken, and it certainly won’t read itself.
But of course, Delicious is the librarycook’s first love, and the July issue was all about Italy – risottos, pastas, gnocchi, tiramisus and semifreddos. First off the rank was the cover recipe – it’s hard to go past an osso buco at anytime, let alone in the depths of winter. Another slow cook wonder – that little bit of prep, then into the oven for two, or even two and a half, whole hours – a C:R ratio to dream of. But. The librarycook is not a fan of the word “meanwhile”, which means, in her mind, something else to do when she could be reading. In this case, semolina gnocchi had to be created – happily, though, this was another relatively quick process followed by an hour where the gnocchi rested in the fridge. So not too much precious reading time was stolen. And the result was worth it – rich, filling, warming and moreish. Perfetto, in fact.
Other recipes were cooked – a couple of disappointing risottos (risotti?), and a very delizioso Pasta al Limone with Prawns and Basil – which tasted as good as it sounds, but which had a depressingly low C:R ratio. The librarycook does admit, though, that occasionally, a quick and dirty recipe can be good too – a lot of reading can be had before the food prep starts.
So. Will the librarycook return to her first love, Delicious? Or will her eye continue to stray to other tempting publications? Only time will tell.