Several years ago Mr. Mom’s Kitchen and I took a sabbatical for four months to haul our brood through a handful of little country towns in Europe. At the time, our kids were tiny, the youngest just shy of her first birthday. We brought along so much gear — from multiple car seats to a portable crib — we could have opened our own children’s store. I also packed 10 paperback novels for myself, plus a small library of books for the kids, enough reading material, I figured, to entertain us through the summer. So when I tried to cram a couple of favorite, and not especially compact, hard cover cookbooks into the luggage, Mr. Mom’s Kitchen drew the line. No cookbooks, he said. You’ll be fine without them.
And I was. But imagine if that trip had been today with the advent of e-books, how much lighter our luggage would have been, and the dishes I might have cooked.
Although I got on the e-book bandwagon a few years ago, I’ve been skeptical about the notion of e-coobooks, even to the point of saying I’d never go there. Nothing could take the place of my beloved recipe books with their tattered pages, scrawled notes, and the smeared cocoa powder and butter from my children’s messy fingers.
But recently I had the opportunity to have a sneak peak at my first e-cookbook, and much to my own surprise, I loved it. Titled Summer Entertaining by Amelia Saltsman, I found it downright beguiling. I pushed the “Add to Cart” button within minutes of my first trip through its lovely pages, which wasn’t particularly painful considering it’s about 4 bucks a download. Frightening how quickly I can abandon my principles.
The e-book has just three core chapters, quite manageable for a summer of entertaining, which include menus, recipes, and strategies for throwing parties with ease. The book is peppered with tips and includes a tutorial on roasting vegetables and building a tomato salad.
Summer Entertaining is exactly the sort of thing to take along if you’re going away somewhere that might find you in a kitchen, or even if you are going absolutely nowhere. It’s a terrific read, which isn’t surprising since every single recipe I’ve ever cooked from Amelia’s first book, The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Cookbook, has worked just as she said it would. And if that isn’t enough, consider this: she devotes an entire chapter of her new book to recipes that goes with rosé. Hello? Do you know me?
So in August, when I’m secreted away in the beach house we’ve rented with my sister, I figure I won’t need to do much in the way of packing. No heavy lifting this time around. We no longer require all that bulky kid gear, my children manage their own luggage now, and Mr. Mom’s Kitchen can’t possibly object to my bringing along my new favorite cookbook.
Glass of rosé anyone?
P.S. Speaking of entertaining, stay tuned for Mini Summer Berry Cheesecakes, just in time for the 4th of July (and easy enough for the kids to make)