And so Thanksgiving has come and gone. I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful break with my friends and loved ones, I am a little sad to see it go.
But honestly I think if I continued to eat like that for another minute I would’ve exploded.
So. Much. Food.
But Thanksgiving got me thinking about a little reading I did over the summer, namely An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. What with Thanksgiving being an everlasting meal of sorts (or it feels that way when you’re eating leftovers for the third or fourth day in a row) I thought it would be a great time to do a little review of the book here on the blog.
What I appreciate about Ms. Adler’s work is the amount of thought given to her meals. According to Alice Waters, Tamar writes “in the thoughtful spirit of M. F. K. Fisher” who wrote books like How to Cook a Wolf, about “cooking defiantly, amid the mess of war and the pains of bare pantries.” What an inspiration for cooking now, when so many of us have no idea how to cook with what is in our pantries, or who have given little thought to those bits and pieces we so easily toss away like garbage, when in reality we could be creating this everlasting meal for which Ms. Adler names her book.
I think what shocked me the most, and what caused me to continue reading in a fit of excited suspense, was her comment about salting water for boiling ingredients. I have grown up in the age of “salt is the devil” and so was pleasantly surprised to see the following:
“Once your water reaches a boil, salt it well. The best comparison I can make is to pleasant seawater…All ingredients need salt.”
Brave words in the era of low-sodium diets, and I appreciate courage in the books I read. Her words have conviction, and she provides great tips, tricks, and overall knowledge of food in order to help the reader “eat affordably, responsibly, and well.”
I’ve noticed a few critics on Good Reads and other sites mention her writing style is simple, and not “good writing”. I agree about the simplicity, but even if you do not find her writing style to be on the eloquent side, you can appreciate, if you forgive the pun, what she brings to the table. This is not a memoir, or just a cookbook, but really a demonstration of a way to live your life. You can choose to live it constantly in a rush, never pausing, always moving, and never giving time to what you eat; or you can take a few moments to breathe, boil a pot of water, and make yourself something deliciously satisfying that will leave you not with garbage, but leftovers to create an even more satisfying meal with later in the week.
An Everlasting Meal gets a 9 out of 10 in my book, only losing one point because I have a small attention span and I can’t ignore that the novelty of the lessons in the book failed to hold my attention throughout the entire 220 pages. But I finished it, happily, and loved it just the same.
I’ll return on Wednesday with a deep dish bowl of comforting Shepherd’s Pie!
Until we eat again,
All Photos And Writing Copyright © 2012 Jessica Gonzalez | On Sugar Mountain