Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hold Your Breath!

Can I just tell you that I'm about to pop! Ina Garten is quite possibly my all-time favorite TV food personality. There was a time that Paula Deen was that person who stood on the pedestal of perfection, but she has fallen off. I still like her and still love her when she goes back to the recipes that inspired my love for her.

In spite of Paula's evolution into stardom, Ina has evolved and yet not changed. She has continued to stay the course and allow what she wants to shape her into being the Barefoot Contessa. My stomach is rumbling with that awkward confrontational feeling I get, please understand that I'm not slamming Paula Deen, I just see a huge difference in how each have embraced the celebrity endorsements.

I'm not a reader. The only book I've ever really read is the Bible (so that would be 66 books, right?) because I'm just not a reader. My Mom is a reader. Having said that, if you give me a cookbook I'll read it cover to cover and absorb every recipe trying to figure out how I can change it to suit my tastes. Do you do that? Do you change a recipe the minute you read it, knowing just how to make it your own? I've read hundreds of cookbooks and even more recipes, thousands of recipes. There's just something about cooking and putting together ingredients that make me feel inspired and full of hope. Love to cook.

Ina's cookbooks have a warmth that make you feel like you are reading your favorite Aunt's cookbook that she mailed you, "in advance" [Ina, if you happen to stumble upon this post and fell the compulsion to mail your...favorite nephew and autographed copy please do not hesitate] she has a great style of writing that invites you into her heat and opens you up to the passion that compels her toward another cookbook. The photography is worthy of a coffee table book and gives you great photographs. Some cookbooks make me feel like another person made the dish, say a food stylist, then dolled it all up like a Glamour shot, it's not real. With Ina's photographs I feel like she made the dish, handed it to the photographer and said, "it's ready."

There are some recipes in her cookbooks that I don't have any desire to cook, as it's not in my palate, but there aren't many of those. I've made several of her roasted vegetables, creme' brulee, brownies, cheesecakes, you name it. I just avoid the dishes that seem exotic or "gourmet" and any that have "ocean" things (salmon, shrimp, tuna, fish blech) just not a seafood fan.

I'll have to count my change and shake the couch out to see if I can come up with $35 plus shipping to get this book. Her web page is advertising the release date and offering a signed book...a signed know that Ina Garten touched my book and signed it...actually put her hand on the page and signed her name...well I'd be giddy just giddy. Not as giddy as when Kendra and I were on our honeymoon and I hit a jackpot on the $.25 slots--that was giddy.

I have few vices and do few things to distract me from the schedule and routine commitments of my life. I don't follow, enjoy, or play sports. I don't "hang out" with anyone other than my wife and kiddos. I just don't do anything except pine away for cookbooks and cooking--that I love. Oh yes, and Ventinonfatnowhipwhitemocha's please stir that's a vice I crave and love love love. There's one other cookbook I've wanted for over 10 years and I just haven't bought it, I've dropped it in many an in basket on Amazon over the years, but never have bought it, why? Exactly, why? I guess it's the guilt I feel of indulging in something strictly for myself. I do that...a lot. I'll pick something up and walk around the whole store just waiting for the time to purchase and get it home only to be overcome with guilt and lay it down secretly, skulking out of the store. I start feeling guilty when I rummage through a store for more than twenty minutes, just looking, because I feel like I should buy something. It's a problem. Just add it to the list.

The Dove's Nest is a restaurant in Waxahachie, TX. I've never been to this restaurant or to Waxawhatever, but I have read this cookbook and devoured many of the delicious recipes within. I'd love to go to this restaurant, but won't make a trip to just do that. Someday. Maybe. My friend and fellow foodie, Kay Runnels who was my favorite person on staff at Heritage/Midtown had this cookbook and let me read some excerpts. I was and have been hooked ever since. To get this cookbook would be amazing. Why I haven't bought this book remains a mystery. Isn't it really cool looking, I just love this french Provencal style. Would love to have my kitchen look just like that (minus the live chickens and bunny running around).

I have started a wish list at and if I ever win the lottery I'll buy it right up. I have to start playing the lottery and get over this feeling of guilt.


Memaw's memories said...

I'm glad you are happy with the school Titus is attending. It makes a world of difference if you are satisfied with the level of learning and security your children have.

As for the cook book, I do the same thing. I love cookbooks, and occassionally I buy one, but I always feel guilty. But I like to try new things, and by the way, I've been using your cookbook you sent me.

sherri (Tied Up In Ribbons) said...

May I just say that the short trip to Waxahachie is VERY much worth it to eat at the Dove's Nest!

the dove's nest said...

I am Cindy Burch, the owner and author of The Doves Nest Restaurant and cookbook in Waxahachie, Texas. A friend sent me the link to your blog and I am thrilled that you love my recipes. As a thank you for posting my book on your blog site, I would love to send you your very own copy. Please send me your address and I will ship a copy to you ASAP. Thanks again and I hope you can visit us in Waxahahcie soon. We were listed in the May issue of Southern Living as one of the best exits off Interstsate 35...from Oklahoma to Laredo. So come on down.....