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    LADYIRISH317   73,910
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The weekend before a long weekend

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Next weekend we get a three-day weekend for the MLK holiday Every time this holiday comes around I'm reminded of a startling bit of enlightenment my late MIL displayed once. She and my FIL were among the most prejudiced people you ever saw -- they hated every ethnicity but their own (my Irish came in for their venom as well). My FIL made some disparaging comments about Dr. King to the effect that he was murdered because he was a (troublemaker) who got the (Black people) riled up. My MIL thought long and hard (you could hear the wheels turning) and then slowly said, "If he was so bad, why did they give him a holiday?" To my immense delight, he actually had no answer. I had to savor moments like this because they were so rare with them.

I over-indulged this weekend, but not the way you're thinking. First I ordered a new salt shaker and peppermill set from Amazon. Yes, I'm spoiled, but I find preground pepper flavorless, while fresh pepper is such an amazing flavor component. But was that enough for me? Oh, no. I went on Amazon again to look up a cookbook I wanted to buy, Bold Italian by Chopped judge Chef Scott Conant. AKK!!! Their cheapest copy was -- brace yourself -- $147! I like Scott, but not that much. However, while browsing their other Italian cookbooks I found out that Cake Boss Buddy Valastro put out a book of Italian family recipes in November. What can I say -- I've talked here before about how much I like him. Besides, it's not commonly known that he's a fully trained chef as well as a baker. I've seen some of his savory recipes and they're mouth-watering just from the descriptions. (Oh, dear...does it sound like I'm apologizing again?). So of course I went ahead and ordered it.

I'm working on building a collection of good ethnic cookbooks -- Italian, Spanish, Indian, etc. I say I can cook Italian, but I know it's nowhere authentic, which I'd love to learn. And I love Indian food and would like to learn to cook it, although I've been told it's one of the most difficult cuisines to learn due to the skill required with the spicing. But I'm up for a challenge. Hmmm...wonder if the landlord would let me build a tandoor on the patio? (Just kidding -- I can't even have a BBQ).

Five workdays to the holiday weekend...


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SIRIRADHA1 1/17/2013 2:20PM

    I just love those little sprees on Amazon! I think I get as much of a kick out of anticipating their arrivals as I do when they finally get here!

I got my DH a really good Indian cookbook to start with, "5 Spices, 50 Dishes," and bought him the 5 spices mentioned to get him launched. Major success! I think you'd enjoy it.

BTW, do you like Szechwan Chinese cooking? Szechwan pepper has a really distinctive taste that everyone in my family is hooked on. We eat a lot of recipes from "The Good Food of Szechwan."

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LINDA! 1/16/2013 10:39PM

    I am sure that you will enjoy your purchases. Have a wonderful 3 day weekend.

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CURVYCATHY1 1/16/2013 6:11PM

  For Italian food, I strongly recomend Marcella Hazan's The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Her recipes range from very simple to more challenging, and they are excellent. I have cooked with my copy until it's falling apart! And it costs a lot less than $147.

Enjoy your new goodies!

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BALLOUZOO 1/15/2013 12:02AM

    Oh Amazon how I love thee.

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CHEFSOPHIE 1/14/2013 10:36PM

    I am also looking forward to a long weekend. I agree on the fresh ground pepper. I can't believe Scott Conant's book is that expensive. The Spanish Table I like for a Spanish Cookbook. I actually got it for free on It took a while as I was on awaiting list, but the price was right.

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CARRAND 1/14/2013 8:42PM

    I love cook books, too. I like to find them at used book sales.

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BECKYSRN 1/14/2013 7:23PM

    I'm glad you're getting some things to help you with your passion. But $147 for a cookbook???!!!! GACK!!!

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MONETRUBY 1/14/2013 5:45PM

    Enjoy those new purchases! I know you will put them to good use.

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WALLAHALLA 1/14/2013 2:14PM

    I'm guessing your cooking skills are about 1000 times better than mine, which are just a touch above nil. emoticon Enjoy your new culinary adventures!

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LIS193 1/14/2013 11:34AM

    Nothing like fresh ground pepper!

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MPARKER67 1/14/2013 10:34AM

    That is a holiday we don't get. Enjoy. Instead we have a Spring Holiday which coincides with Good Friday but it can't be called that because of being politically correct.
Enjoy your weekend, emoticon

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MRS_TOAD 1/14/2013 8:33AM

    You deserve to have those things. You work hard and have earned the rewards.

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SKIRNIR 1/14/2013 7:30AM

    I also prefer fresh ground pepper. We use Penzey's Peppermills. Have had our first one for a long time now. Not sure how long. But have a second one with a different kind of peppercorn in it.

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CAKAROO 1/14/2013 6:19AM


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SHERYLDS 1/14/2013 2:59AM

    fresh ground spices rule.....
I have a small mortar and pestle that does wonders for me
nothing like freshly ground dried herbs as well.

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 1/14/2013 1:05AM

    I'm with you on the pepper, love it fresh. You deserve to give yourself some gifts.

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 1/14/2013 12:17AM

    You deserve to be pampered! I like freshly ground pepper better, too. Such taste! Probably makes more of an impression since I have to watch my sodium so don't use salt any more than I have to. You'll have to blog about some of the recipes you try in your new book.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAWNFIRE72 1/13/2013 10:47PM

    Congrats on your new kitchen purchases. I am sure you will do fine with learning to cook all the different cuisines you want. For the Indian cooking I am told finding a good quality curry paste will go a long way to getting the flavour right in a lot of dishes (I am too chicken to try my hand at doing any ethnic cooking)

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NASFKAB 1/13/2013 10:09PM

  great job

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1CRAZYDOG 1/13/2013 10:01PM

    That's good you treated yourself to those. I have to agree with you . . . I much prefer the taste of freshly ground pepper vs. the pre-ground pepper. Definitely!

HUGS and here's to a good week.

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BIGPAWSUP 1/13/2013 9:56PM

    congrats on your new items!

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CHEFSOPHIE 1/13/2013 9:51PM

    Glad to hear you so upbeat. Enjoy your Sunday and the 49ers won yesterday.

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