Our library had a cookbook exchange last week. They had
people bring in our old cookbooks and for every book
you brought in you could pick out another from the ones
that other people brought in. What a great idea! They also
had a lot of cookbooks out that were from previous book
sales, so there was actually quite a bit to choose from.
I brought in 10 of my cookbooks and picked out 9 to
bring home. I have already made 2 of the recipes and
really liked them both. The Colonial Cookbook in the
bottom left corner is pretty neat, with old fashioned
measurements. I wanted it because I am really trying
to learn to cook even more from scratch with as few
"special" ingredients as possible. To me a special
ingredient is anything that doesn't preside in my
cupboard, refrigerator or freezer at all times.
The recipe I made was called Bubble & Squeak.
The only ingredients were green cabbage, a bit of
bacon, potatoes, garlic, salt & pepper. Now that's
what I call simple! It was really good and total
cook time was maybe 30 minutes. You don't
get much more basic than cabbage & potatoes.
I am looking forward to reading more about pressure
cooking too. My sister gave me a pressure cooker and I
know it can really cut down on cooking time and also
preserves a lot of the nutrition in food. And the Thai book?
Oh my word I could eat Thai food everyday and the
ingredients are simple and very good for you.
The library also had demonstrations from different people
going on while we were looking through the books. That
was such a great idea. How often do you get to ask a
professional chef any questions you have about cooking?
The first demonstration was by the chef of a local very
nice restaurant. He showed us how to professionally
cut up a whole chicken into parts. I liked the fact that
he was up on prices and pointed out that buying a
whole chicken is much cheaper than buying one
already cut up. He also demonstrated how to cut
up beef tenderloin into steaks. I think he said it
the piece he was cutting was $11.69 a pound and he
got 8 Filet Mignon steaks from it. His restaurant
charges $34.00 a plate for for those steaks. Like
he said, you can pay me or buy this yourself, cut
it up correctly and save a lot of $$$.
We moved on to learning how to make tortillas.
Easy-peasy. Who knew? I have always bought them
in the store for $4-6.00 a package of 8. This lady
made 8 of them in about 10 minutes total time
for about 75 cents. And the taste--no comparison
to store bought. Plus there are no preservatives
in these (BIG bonus in my book)
Our next demo was also from a local chef that just
returned from 2 months in Italy. He showed how
to make pasta and how to make it paper thin on
a pasta machine. Then we got to taste some
ravioli cooked with meat inside and drizzled
truffle oil he brought back from Italy. The pasta
was so tender it melted in my mouth. The truffle
oil was what I call very Gourmet. It was really
good, but I couldn't eat a whole lot of it. Plus
it was $30.00 for the thin bottle he had.
Then we watched a pie crust being made. This
was a no brainer for me simply because I make it
all the time, but she made some good points and
she whipped together an apple pie in no time.
Then they gave away the pie to someone in the
audience. I was close--they chose it by birthday
but someone beat me out.
And last was a bean dip being made called
Cowboy Caviar. It looked really good, with lots
of cilantro, tomato and onion, but I don't like
things like garbanzo beans and corn in dips,
so I didn't even try it when they passed it around.
Everyone else looked like they enjoyed it though.
Overall it was a very fun evening, free of charge
and I learned a lot. I hope they end up doing
this again soon!