I haven’t historically been wonderful at keeping my new years resolutions, but this year, considering all the traveling I will be doing with my book tour (three whole months on the road!) I really wanted to make a commitment to spending time with friends and cooking meals together.
- Select a cookbook
- Make a guest list
- Choose a date
- Pick out a few recipes
- Throw a party with your favorite people!
When I visited my publisher Ten Speed Press, this past summer to talk about my own book, I picked up a few cookbooks, and this was one of them. The recipes from the State Bird Provisions cookbook were unique, inspired, and UMEBOSHI. Pretty much they had me at Pepita-oolong ice cream with apple-umeboshi compote. And flipping through the book I discovered a recipe for Carrot Mochi with Pickled Carrots, Carrot vinaigrette, and Pistachio Dukkah and my mouth was watering.
So Cookbook Club was born. I made a guest list and invited 30 of my friends who love to cook, drink, and appreciate food. I made a spreadsheet (this never happens!), and decided to throw a party around one cookbook four times a year.
I chose three recipes. The Carrot Mochi, Pepita Oolong Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Fermented Turnips.
Little did I realize that I literally chose a very complicated book for my first ever cookbook club! Every recipe had at least 3 other recipes. The Carrots had a special dressing, a delicious Dukkah, mochi gnocchi, roasted carrots. But in the end it was simple to prepare and well written. and DELICIOUS.
Two days before, and only one person had let me know what they were making. I admit I was a little bit nervous. Things had been really stressful at work that week, and I emailed everyone to let them know that the true intention was to get together with friends, eat, drink, and be together.
But the day before, plans really started to come together.
I began the Fermented Turnips on January 20th, and started on the Pickled Carrots, Dukkah, and Apple-Umeboshi compote that weekend. I loved pouring over the delicious recipes, the aromas, and I couldn’t wait for the party.
I have to say, I was deeply impressed by the turn out.
Some people riffed off of recipes and added their own touches.
Cheddar whole grain pancakes with tomatoes and aioli
Tasting the Steak TartarePolenta “elote” with corn salad, tomato aoli, and queso fresco, below. just after being fried.
Our next gathering will be in April, then September, and the final date in December.
I can’t wait to cook from the next book, eat with people I love, challenge ourselves to new flavors. Be together.
What should we cook from? Let me know your suggestions in the comments below!