The Horror (plus three more cookbooks)

I tore through some cookbooks this week, experimented with a new and very modern workout routine, checked some niggling little things off the To-Do List, and was generally pretty successful as a human, but this morning I woke up with what I am 95% certain is pinkeye so my life is a failure and everything has been for naught and I will be a reviled leper for the rest of my days. How's your Friday going?

May as well revisit the good times before the looming spectre of disgusting goopy crust becomes reality and my eyes are forever closed. (Not by death. Just by gunk. GLUED SHUT FOR ALL ETERNITY.) What say you, Cookbook #68: The Best American Recipes 2000 (Fran McCullough, 2000)? Shall we away to a happier time, a time of clear vision and Tunisian Chickpea Stews?

The colors were so bright, then.

Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. There are quite a few very appealing recipes in this book, so it's a bit of a mystery as to why I chose the one that is essentially canned garbanzo beans with cumin and lemon juice. It was...okay? I maybe should have gone with Caramelized Onion Waffles with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream Sauce? Yeah. I maybe should have done that.

Ah, well. Did I similarly waste Cookbook #69: Quick and Easy Chinese and Oriental Cooking (Grange Books PLC, 2002)? Well, this Indonesian Cooked Salad was not quick, easy, or Chinese, but I guess it was, uh..."Oriental"...are we...is that...a thing that's still okay to say? For a book published in 2002? (Conducts some mid-post research) Aha! "Antiquated, pejorative, and disparaging" in American English, A-OK in British English. (Checks publisher's information) Published in the UK! Very good. Everything's fine.

This salad is not as racist as it seems.

Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Verdict: this was pretty good, but MAN does that title make me uncomfortable. Maybe if I just stick with the Chinese section.

Cookbook #70: Cooking Essentials (Mary Berry and Marlena Spieler, 1999) is another one of those here-is-everything-you-need-to-know-about-cooking collections that I probably should have reviewed about ten years ago when I didn't already have the basics down, but here we are. Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. From a book full of important and sometimes even healthy "Master Recipes" I chose: Bolognese Sauce.

Hell yeah I did.
It was supposed to be tagliatelle, but I clearly do not live in an area with a very high Italian population, as the pasta selection at my HEB can best be described as "one hundred kinds of spaghetti and some shells." The closest I could come was one not-easily-located bag of fettuccine. None of that matters whatsoever, as the takeaway from this dish is all salty fatty tomatoey yum. Verdict: Yes.

You're probably impressed that I managed to get through so many cookbooks in one week, but the girls have been really helpful in the kitchen, so it's not like I'm going it alone.

I mean, each helpful in her own way, of course.