Saturday, December 09, 2006

News for Curious Cooks

As my friends know, included among the books I buy so compulsively are cookbooks--despite the fact that I rarely cook. Why? I do love to eat. Cooking, however, is a three-part process: (1) You prepare the food--slicing, dicing, mixing, etc.,--and cook it. (2) Then you serve it and consume it. Those are the fun parts. (3) But then you have to CLEAN UP AFTERWARDS. That's the part I hate, and that's why I dine out, or bring home takeout food, as often as possible. The little "cooking" I do generally is limited to heating frozen entrees or precooked food in the microwave.

So why do I love cookbooks? Well, I enjoy reading them, especially those that include anecdotes about the author's life, the history of the recipe, the culture that developed the particular style of cooking, etc. For many of the recipes I'll think, "Hey, that seems easy--I could probably make that!" Of course, I probably never will use it--see (3) above. I'm also interested in the facts behind the food--not just the anecdotes of the cookbook authors, but also the scientific reasons why certain foods behave the way they do.

Thus, I was pleased to discover News for Curious Cooks, which examines the chemical reasons why foods act/react in certain ways. This is about as close to science as I ever get, or want to get, but it's fun.

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