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The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper


Last night, I picked up a cookbook I had bought a while back but hadn’t cooked from yet because I have been too obsessed with my own book. But five months after publication, I think it’s OK to start dabbling here and there into other books (then why do I feel slightly guilty?).
It was love at first scan! “The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper” is fantastic. First, because I admire its co-author Lynne Rossetto Kasper so much (see page 52 in “The Family Dinner” for her wisdom on beans) and second, because it is so chock full of great advice, ideas, recipes, and inspiration. Pouring over a cookbook like this is like taking a mini-vacation to a wonderland. You learn a lot, you relax, you feel nourished.
Lynne and Sally Swift (her co-author) entertain us regularly on their award-winning public radio show, The Splendid Table, and their cookbooks reflect their amazing gifts. Lynne is a walking encyclopedia for cooking, and she can rattle off the top of her head pretty much how to make anything. Listeners call her with questions and she always has the answer. Kind of amazing since I remember nothing and need a recipe even if I have made the dish five times! Their recipes are simple, many just common sense, and the food is always delicious.
Last night, I made sweet roasted butternut squash and greens over bowtie pasta (page 169). As is typical for me, I messed up a few things. I am not cooking if I don’t put in an ingredient out of order or forget one altogether. This time I improvised with herbs I had growing out back, and substituted whole wheat penne for bowtie.
The result: I am not joking, my kids couldn’t stop eating. At one point, I remember saying, “Hey guys, maybe you’re done now!” I didn’t want them to explode. This particular night it was just the three of us, so instead of sitting at the kitchen table, I set the small divider bar with placemats, candles, the pasta and a fresh salad picked an hour earlier from my small backyard garden. My oldest teen was even, dare I say, friendly. The high for me though was running to an event after dinner and leaving both girls in the kitchen, chatting it up and doing all the dishes. Why does that make a mother’s heart so warm?


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One Response

  1. Bobbe says:

    I have to agree with you, it is a great book. I had read it in a book store recently, but since I’d vowed to slow way down on my book buying I couldn’t ring it up. I may have to rethink my commitment…………

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