Friday, January 10, 2014

First Things First

When beginning a quest, one should have a plan, lest one get lost along the way. And what is a great planning tool for a culinary quest? Cookbooks. It just so happens that we have been given and purchased quite a number of cookbooks along the way. We scoured them for Italian sections and recipes, and came up with the following five as the ones from which we would primary draw our recipes. Interestingly, all but one of them was given to me by my godmother. I'm truly grateful for her influence in my life for many reasons, but instilling culinary inquisitiveness in me is definitely high on the list. 


 And they are as follows:
1) The Italian Country Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

2) Cooking for a Crowd by Susan Wyler

3) Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl

4) The World Kitchen by Rick Rodgers

5) The New York Times International Cook Book by Craig Claiborne

We have a number of other sources from which we would like to draw, but these will be the primary ones.

 But of course the real first thing in beginning our quest was a little case out "out with the old and in with new." If you're going to have an Italian culinary quest, what's the first thing you need? You got it- FRESH BASIL. 

So, we got ourselves a little sprig of the stuff and planted it in our one plant pot, complete with a frosting knife and twine to hold it up:

But of course that meant that the old plant had to go. Sorry!

We'll see how long it lasts in Bellingham in January, where there is approximately 0 sunlight.

To celebrate the kick off of our Italian quest my husband took me on a surprise date to D'Anna's Cafe Italiano. He literally ambushed me when I walked into our apartment after work, wearing a bowtie and telling me we were going out... somewhere...and then we ended up at D'Anna's.

It was a delicious meal and got me even more excited to start learning and experimenting with some fun recipes. He ate chard, sausage and cheese ravioli and I ate gnocchi, both of which are made in-house.

I think we will most certainly have to go back and try some other deliciousness, and perhaps we can even get the chef to give us a lesson to contribute to our learnings! 

So, with cookbooks and basil in hand, pasta in our stomachs, and ideas in our mind, we set off on our Italian quest! Sono tan eccitata!


AnnaBananna said...

oh maaan, and I'm on a diet! those dishes look delish!

Linda Boose said...

So glad the books are useful. Thanks for your lovely comment. Can't wait to read about the dishes you make.