Crossing the Threshold

Recently, I've made a pretty solid commitment to the kind of food I love to eat, prepare and talk about. That food is home-style, simple, unpretentious, about feeding the people I love deep down into the depths of their bellies and making them happy from the inside out.

And now, for something completely different:

I've decided, perhaps insanely, to challenge myself to a cook-the-book project. For those who don't already speak nerd, that refers to cooking one book in its entirety. Cover to cover. Intro to index. The book I've chosen is the delightful title above, A Book of Hors d'Oeuvre, by Lucy G. Allen. I chose Lucy's book for a few reasons:

1. I have to find some way to justify my compulsion to buy vintage cookbooks.
2. Snacking is sort of a philosophy of life for me. I've been known to invite people over because I want to make snacks instead of the other way around.
3. This is the book I used as my ring book, to carry my wedding band down the aisle at the aforementioned wedding to my devoted Sidekick, so I have some pretty warm-fucking-fuzzy feelings about it.
4. As I dig through my vintage archives for inspiration, I find myself picking the same kinds of things over and over again. This is a way to try things I wouldn't normally try and - I hope - find a few new favorites.

The author on Night 1 of cooking the book, smiling, naively, perched above a cocktail.
This might be crazy. It definitely thrusts me over the threshold of a new nerdiness. It's definitely going to get weird. There's going to be meat jelly and aspic and sardines, eventually, which my Sidekick has lovingly agreed to endure - as if he had a choice. It's going to be fussy. There are fluted knives and scalloped bread rounds and piping bags. It's a kind of cooking I've never really tried to do and I'm both really excited and totally terrified. Want to follow along? 

I promise to both keep an open mind and probably curse a lot.


  1. @Mitch - HA HA! No, unless it's made from butter.


    "Butter butter, cream, cheese cheese, cream, butter cream." - from a song I'm writing to explain how I died.

    -Devoted Sidekick