Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Buried in Boxes

The sound of packing tape unrolling is a squeak, squeak, squeak. Sometimes I forget to leave myself a neat end and then it's nearly impossible to get the roll started again. Maybe it's old tape that got left in a hot trunk for too long, but when the piece I'm trying to use sticks to the roll...the trouble begins. I find myself using a fingernail to pry up a corner and ending up with shreds of tape rolling off of the dispenser after I've lost a clean end. Almost like an oversized roll of toilet paper in a public bathroom, it's hard to recover from shreds of tape. Around and around you wind the darned thing and you still get shreds, or a triangular piece of tape that won't spread to the full width of the roll.

Tonight I'm packing up cookbooks. This is as painful as packing the kitchen was. So many memories of recipes gone well and total failures... There are the two three ring binders with the original Craig Claiborne newsletters. My grandmother saved every issue that was ever published. I wonder how they'd do on Antiques Road Show? Next is my paperback Moosewood Cookbook, literally printed from handwritten recipes, that is always accompanied by The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest, its cousin with more sophisticated artwork and typeface. The Joy of Cooking is still a handy reference tool for comfort foods like tuna noodle casserole, homemade lemonade, and chicken divan. I often use it when I'm crafting my own recipes just to confirm oven temperature or cooking time for more standard fare. The Silver Palate Cookbook is totally tattered. So many great recipes for entertaining in this one. Many things that I can whip up early in the day and then pop into the oven right before the guests arrive. There is a rice dish with lots of chopped vegetables, slivered almonds, raisins, chicken stock and cinnamin that goes great with lamb and creates a welcoming smell when guests arrive.

I also have the original New York Times International Cookbook, another book snatched from grandmother, this one is personally inscribed by Craig Claiborne...the spine is cracked, the pages yellowed, and there are identifiable stains next to certain well loved recipes (think: curry stains near the curry recipes).

I'm so sentimental when it comes to my kitchen and its essential tools. I could talk about these cookbooks and favorite recipes within them for hours...another day. Back to my boxes, please.

“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".

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