Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Challenge month

So, this is it. The month when I undertake a transcontinental move. Which is scheduled for the week before Christmas. While trying to keep up with my job. And my five-year-old's hectic end-of-school-year social schedule. And maybe occasionally exchange a word with my husband.

Oh, and when I have a few spare minutes, address 85 Christmas cards.

Clearly I don't have enough to do. Why not a Cookbook Challenge too?

Now, before you decide this is the blog of someone who is certifiably insane, and remove me from your blog reader forever, hear my explanation for this decision.

We have to eat. In fact, we have a kitchen full of stuff that we have to eat in the next couple of weeks. That means I have to come up with creative, yet simple, ways to use up half-empty containers of this and that, at a time when I'm not going to have enough time or brain space to think very long about anything food-related.

Not convinced yet? I wasn't either. How was I going to randomly select a cookbook that made this job easier—and was small enough to pack for the part of the month I'd be doing Challenge cooking in Boston?

Turns out I didn't: Miss B did. I was cleaning up the living room the other night and found that she'd pulled a cookbook off the shelf and left it on the floor—one I'd never seen her look at before.

30-Minute Meals by Rachael Ray.

Yes, the cookbook that spawned a Food Network empire, and a bajillion chowhounds with violent opinions (pro or con). Rachael Ray hasn't really been exported, so I've had very little exposure to her, and when I picked this cookbook up about six years ago, I didn't know much about her. Obviously I've heard a bit more now, but not enough to have taken a side yet. So I'm just going to try some recipes, and see what I think then.

As always, I'd be happy to have some company for the ride. What have you got on your cookbook shelf that needs a second look?

A quick refresher on how the Cookbook Challenge works:

1. Count up the number of cookbooks you have. (Include magazines, clipping binders, electronic folders—whatever you've got that you want to explore further.)
2. When you've got a total, pick a number between one and that number. (Better yet, if you can, have someone else do it for you, to ensure that it's really random.)
3. Count through your cookbooks until you get to that number, and pull out the randomly selected cookbook, magazine, folder, etc. (You could also pull names out of a hat if you want to really get serious, but this is quicker.)
4. Commit to cooking at least one new recipe from that resource in the next month. Five, if you want to really challenge yourself.
5. Tell about what you discovered—send me an email, post about it yourself, comment here (I'll report back on what I found). Did you discover a new favorite? Or is this cookbook just a pretty face with nothing in it you can see yourself cooking?

So what do you think? I bet we've all got a busy month ahead of us…but someone has to make dinner if we're going to get through it without going bonkers or broke.


Celia said... Best Blogger Tips

Lemon, where are you off to? Are you moving permanently? Surely you can't be giving up all that lovely Canberra weather? :)

Cookbook challenge sounds like a great idea! I'm actually not bad at using my cookbooks, but there are certainly some on the shelf that have never been cooked from...

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Celia, yes, I'm leaving Canberra and Australia--and far sooner than I expected (or wanted) to! Read all about it here: http://therovinglemon.blogspot.com/2009/11/somewhere-over-rainbow.html

Maybe now's the time to dust something off and dig into it...?

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