I am not a big fan of the “f” word. I try to not use it, and I don’t encourage others to use it, either, but I will grudgingly admit to you this once that, yes, I am a “foodie.” I really like to cook and I really like to eat and I have been known to stay up late reading cookbooks in bed. But I don’t tend to take it too seriously, unlike most of the people who actually write the hottest new cookbooks.
Therefore it was with some trepidation that I cracked Martha Stewart’s latest, Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home: 52 Quick Meals to Cook for Family and Friends.Two hundred recipes, grouped by season, will appeal to the “local” food eater and to those wanting to chow mainly on what doesn’t carry either a hefty carbon footprint or crazy price tag.
Would the recipes appeal to an admittedly sub-Martha-level cook? Well, yes and no. Entire meals including starters, main course, a side, and a dessert come with a preparation schedule so that all of it hits the table in about an hour. Martha includes it all for you, though she doesn’t include the bowls of plain pasta you’ll be serving the kids while you and your partner enjoy Roasted Parsnip and Chorizo Bites.
Dinner At Home is very much about feeding adults — by other adults who debone their own quail. But if you want those meals to range from mildly to moderately fancy, and you are looking for inspiration as much as instruction? This is for you. And hey, just maybe you can get the kids to eat Rice Pudding with Candied Kumquats. I’d like to see you try. -Barbara
If you’re in the NY area, you can catch the last Martha signing at Borders in Syosset on November 19.