Friday, January 8, 2010

A Brief History of Time

It is an understatement to say that I like books. This is only a small fraction of my collection. We only have two bookcases.

One of the traits I picked up from my late grandmother (who I've mentioned numerous times before) was a passion for books and reading. There are three large walls at my grandparents' home filled with books, all cataloged, alphabetized and filed according to genre. One wall alone is dedicated to historical nonfiction and bibliographies.

The kitchen isn't even safe. Three bookshelves are lined with books about any kind of cooking you can imagine, with the stark exception of veganism. Plenty of vegetarian books (that include recipes with fish) but no vegan. Then again, this is the lady that tried her hardest to get me to eat a steak once a week after I went vegetarian to make sure my iron levels stayed normal.

One of my favorite things to do when I visit my mom is to pick up more books for my collection. Some notables include the very first book my grandmother ever bought with her own money, an Irish and Scottish cookbook and a Duncan Hines baking book. Gigi usually made notes in recipes she enjoyed, so I thought I'd let you peek into the Duncan Hines book and my past...

My grandparents were on their 53rd anniversary when she passed in 2008

My grandfather's favorite. I hate pineapple, and she always "forgot" and made this for my birthday. I think it was really for Grandpa.

Sometimes she was brutally honest.
Another habit I picked up is collecting recipes and putting them everywhere.

She saved the very first cookie recipe I ever made :-) YEAH I KNOW IT'S NOT FROM SCRATCH.

The point to today's post is to highlight a bunch of books Gigi gave me when I first moved into my own apartment in 2004. She had been collecting these for years and each has it's own special inscription. "Happy graduation!" "Happy 18th birthday!" "Congrats on your first apartment!" The one turned around is the beef cookbook. Obviously I won't cook out of it, but I refuse to throw a piece of history away.

The other night I decided to cook from the Italian cookbook. I picked risotto and was pleasantly surprised to see the first non-vegan recipe that didn't call for parmesan cheese and only had five ingredients. The recipe gives different versions of risotto, and I chose the herbed variation where you basically throw dried herbs into the stock. Another plus - you don't have to stand and stir! Here is the recipe, shiny and easy and vegan for you.

Risotto, adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Italian Cookbook circa 1971

1/4 finely chopped onion
2 tbsp vegan butter
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 salt
dash pepper

In a medium saucepan cook onion in butter until onion is tender. Stir in broth, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil; reduce heat to low. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE LID. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5-8 minutes. Rice should be tender but still slightly firm and the mixture should be creamy. Serve immediately.

The risotto is no fuss and creamy as it should be. I served it with Italian baked tofu and roasted delicata squash and the leftovers made a delicious lunch.

1 comment:

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

thanks for the info about the rock/trucking co. Unfortunately, I was in a state of shock, checking to make sure I was "okay" as i literally thought the rock came THRU The glass...and so the trucking co. and truck were long gone before I "came to". Sigh.

anyway your books with all those ancient recipes...oldies but goodies, wow, how awesome for you!!!