It’s no secret that I like to make food for other people (perhaps even more than I like to make it for myself), and something I’ve enjoyed most recently is putting together items at custom request. Someone dreams up something particular – maybe a little off the beaten path – and I test and experiment and tweak to put it together.
A “glitter Persian cake” was requested, and a glitter Persian cake was received.
Lately I’ve found myself particularly drawn to the idea of themed meals. Some recipes, a carefully chosen cocktail, a bottle of wine, and appropriate music, and my kitchen is transported to another time and place. This stems from the same sort of enjoyment we all get from looking at our glossiest cookbooks; those pictures provide a glimpse into the lives, the culture, the stories, and the rest of the context inextricably linked to the recipes and other food writing in the book.
I’m about to share with you another Italian menu, and it’s no secret that I’ve been spending a lot of time with our growing collection of Italian cookbooks. It’s hard to stay away from scenes of sun-drenched hillsides, freshly caught seafood, rolling vineyards as far as the eye can see, and the ruddy, proud, happy faces of people engaging in the food traditions of their ancestors. It’s also really hard to stay away from this food.