Today’s blog post brought to you by culture shock! Since early November, we’ve been cooking through the Alice Waters (and related) books in our collection. Alice’s style is so distinctive and iconic. Her insistence on freshness and seasonality, simplicity and elegance has shaped American cooking for the last forty years. Her books are spare, beautifully illustrated and have a lovely energy about them.
Progressing backwards through our alphabetical collection, we come to Weber’s Big Book of Grilling, by Jamie Purviance and Sandra McRae. It’s…not by Alice Waters. It’s…masculine. Big, glossy, no-nonsense, direct, and with a foreward by Al Roker! “I feel really manly,” Roker writes, “It’s about 25°F outside and snowing, and I just came in from the cold with a platter of grilled meat in my hand. Anybody can grill when it’s sunny and 80°F in the shade, but it takes a real man to brave the elements…” Seriously, Al? Well, Nathan grilled in 20°F weather and didn’t brag about reinforcing rigid gender stereotypes.
Sorry. This is actually a fine book. There are about a dozen bookmarks in it, and it’s one of our most referred-to cookbooks. It’s the go-to for tri tip and ribs. There’s nothing terribly innovative or creative in it, but it’s got good solid advice, and this Jamaican jerk chicken recipe that we made was absolutely delicious. It’s very simple – just take green onions, chiles, garlic and spices, whiz ’em up in the food processor. Use this insanely fragrant paste to marinate some chicken, then hand it all over to a man to take outside and grill. What could be easier?
Next up: The Little House Cookbook