A little while ago, I celebrated a birthday. Sometimes I forget it’s coming since it is so soon after Christmas, everyone is just coming down off the holiday rush and most times I’d really like it to sneak by. But it isn’t THAT close, it’s just far enough away from all the ruckus of December that it gets remembered. And I’m ok with that, I guess.
Of course having a birthday means you get well wishes, a cake, dinner out and maybe a couple presents, so it’s not ALL bad. I have a very good friend at work that always seems to surprise me on my birthday. She keeps track. She is much better at keeping track of my birthday than I am with hers. She keeps her day of birth on the down-low, sneaking it past the radar of everyone, myself included, an unorganized friend trying to make it day to day acting organized and in control. I have not put it on my calendar and it surprises me every year, then I’m embarrassed I forgot. Again.
And to top it all off, she really pays attention to what you have going on. What you like, what you don’t. So her gifts are always spot on. She is the kind of friend that everyone should have in their circle of friends. She makes you feel special, even when you feel ordinary. She makes you smile, even when you don’t want to smile. She is the silver lining in an otherwise drab and gray rain cloud. In the middle of a bad day, she’ll decide we all need a dark chocolate break. Those lovely little dark chocolates of divine goodness come out of hiding and find their way to our desks. And all is well again.
I always talk about recipes, what I am making for dinner, or something neat I saw on Pinterest. When I started messing with the idea of this website, I blabbered on about it at work. Sometimes I feel like maybe I talk too much but they never tell me to shut up. SO – I keep talking. Honestly, I’d probably talk anyway, even if they did tell me to put a cork in it.
So this year, my birthday comes sneaking around the corner, and next thing I know, there is a gift bag in my hand and a big hug to go with it. I really do have the best co-workers, they can make you smile on the crappiest day. It is truly therapeutic to work with these people on those days.
In the gift bag was a book, Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat. It is an amazing book! I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about flavors and procedures and the reason you do some things the way you do them when it comes to cooking and baking. BUT wow. This book. It reminds me of some of the basic ideas I have put aside for whatever reason. It gives you some of the science side of cooking, has these fantastic flavor maps and the drawings are wonderful. This is the first book I have been in love with in quite awhile.
And that’s just the first half of the book. Then there are the recipes. Kitchen basics like stocks and cooked grains, boiling an egg, and vinaigrette. How to spatchcock a chicken to grill or roast, or break it down for frying. Ethnic recipes like Pasta alla Pomarola and Kufte Kebabs. It is a very interesting read for more than the recipes.
I can’t wait to try some of these and report back! It is going to be a great adventure!