Well, folks, I’ve done it with this fantastic, beautiful, intriguing blog of mine: I’ve managed to keep a blog that isn’t on MySpace going for an entire year with a fairly specific theme, and now I’ve reached the one-year anniversary!
While under normal circumstances this would be a joyous time to celebrate, there is a huge air of solemnity that’s hanging over me due to the current tragedy in Japan. I encourage everyone to incessantly offer prayers, meditations, positive thoughts, and a healing attitude towards Japan to whatever degree one is capable, and to help as much as possible.
That being said, I want to proceed with the challenge I’ve taken upon myself.
It’s no secret that the movie Julie & Julia was an inspiration to direct my blog towards food and eating. In some ways, I intend to replicate the same challenge that Julie took upon herself by cooking through an entire cookbook.
But my challenge? My challenge will be a bit different.
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. The inside flap says that she did for vegetarian cooking what Julia Child did for French cooking.
This book has 1400 recipes in it. That’s 1000 + 400. That’s almost 3 times the number of recipes that were featured in the Joy of French Cooking.
My first understanding about replicating the whole Julie and Julia experience is that I would be unable to do dishes that feature meat, so that took me out of the running of something like the vast majority of cookbooks, including popular names such as Paula Deen, Racheal Ray, the Neelys, and other great names on the Food Network and otherwise.
While at the bookstore with friends, I happened upon Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The first problem is that the book cost $40 at the store. The second problem is that it features 1400 recipes.
So my challenge must necessarily be different. I discovered a brand-new copy of the book online that cost $25 and ordered it. But I hadn’t counted on the 1400 recipes being in it. Even cooking a recipe a day wouldn’t result in finishing the book. Not even two recipes a day. I would have to be cooking almost five recipes daily to finish out the book in a year, and neither time nor finances would allow for that.
Plus the book requires the cooking of squash and corn. Maybe I could make that food for Gigi and Mimi and Bapaw, as I’m sure they might enjoy said foods more than I.
Either way, we’ll see. Maybe I should make this a two-year challenge. Maybe I should make it a weekly challenge. Maybe I should make it a decade-long challenge. Or a half-a-decade long challenge.
Realistic aspects are things to consider here. What I have working against me includes:
- Potential boredom/lackluster
- Recipes that I will want to create more than one time (which means making the same thing 20 times)
- Recipes that I will only half-heartedly create the first time
- Recipes that I won’t want to create at all
- The existence of corn in any form other than corn nuggets
- The existence of squash
- The existence of various kinds of greens that I despise
- Limited availability of some of the more exotic ingredients
As you can see, I’m in a ridiculously complicated situation in which the many forces of the universe have conspired against my attempt to be a good cook.
What we know is that Beaux is going to challenge Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Not only am I going to challenge it, I’m going to write in my cookbook all kinds of notes and ideas and whether or not the recipe was a success or what ingredients I couldn’t find or use.
Also, if a recipe particularly sucks, I will likely white it out in the book to protect my future children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren from ever seeing the abominable flavor combinations.
I keep staring at the cookbook, knowing that Deborah Madison is a kind of kitchen ninja, and that the spatula she has is a sign of her authority and ability to prepare delicious meals. Obviously I have problems since she’s just a picture but makes me feel incredibly down on myself just by looking at me.
To cook through every recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by the end of 2013. How does that sound?
That’s provided that we make it to 2013 without an apocalypse.