“I think you and John should write a cookbook based on your travels and romance.”
This suggestion came courtesy of a dear friend who visited over the holidays. A great cook, food preserver and master baker herself, she is no slouch when it comes to knowing her way around a kitchen. That she thinks we have the chops to put together worldwide meal menus, including photos and personal stories about the recipes, kind of floored me.
The trouble is, NOW I CAN’T GET THE IDEA OUT OF MY HEAD!
Yes, just what Pirate and I need is another project. I’ve helped clients create cookbooks, so I have more than a passing idea of what goes into doing them. It is no small task, from the ingredient list confirmation and recipe testing to the food styling and photo imaging to the design and layout of the interior. Let’s not even discuss selecting the recipes you’d use or coming up with a story to go with the recipe.
Of course, as it often happens in our house around any excuse for a holiday (and as many times with no excuse), flavorful goodies ran rampant through the kitchen in the past month. Examples abound:
Having a professional chef’s version of this on a Princess Cruise over a decade ago inspired me. I even bought their cookbook to have a fighting chance at success. Then I found a few more versions, each with something different in the preparation. Now it’s mine and a darned amazing meal too!
Red Mole’ Sauce
I’ve been wanting to try this for a very long time, but the thought of the 40-some-odd steps for a traditional Mexican presentation blew my mind – along with the 2-3 days it would take. John had a chicken mole’ in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico a year ago, and it was SO tasty and delish, though, that when I found a recipe promising the authentic taste without the long timeline, I had to try it. It lives up to expectations and is almost as good as the Ajijic version. (Give me a break, it was only the first time I made it!)
Don’t call this fruitcake, even though it is full of fruit and nuts. I am not a fan of the candied dried fruits typically used in a European or American variety traditionally, plus many gifts of cake go to families with kids so I leave out the rum too. My version has fresh and dried Oregon cranberries, Oregon hazelnuts, local raisins, and gluten-free flour. It never lasts long in our house, which is why the only picture I have is of the little bit we still have in the fridge!
Add to this Costa Rican favorites we are craving in the cold weather and a couple of curries we tried in Canada and rich Polish kielbasa sausage redolent of garlic and my youth and the ever-popular Italian pastas…
Hhmmm, maybe our friend is on to something!
What are some of the recipes you’ve accumulated from your travels and readily share with others along with their stories? And what do YOU think of the cookbook idea?