36 Comments

  1. What a flavorful dish you created. I’ve only had buckwheat in crepes in France but have never cooked with it myself. Thank you for the mention…it is much appreciated. I’m happy that my recipe inspired you and that you enjoyed it. 😀

    • Yes, cassoulet! I love this show! I hadn’t seen this one though. Thank you, MD! I can’t wait to see this. I think the person was purging old materials. This morning there was even more….an italian cookbook and some unknowns. My husband and I were texting all morning to decide if we like this person or not and if she’s a woman and if I should go find her and make her my friend. I should post the texts. It’s funny when you’re both at work and trying to figure out a mystery like this. 🙂

      • That’s a great show with Paul Bocuse – he’s been in a lot of food programmes, but I haven’t seen him out of the kitchen before.
        You make me wish I lived in the same building – I’m sure you’d be fun to cook with 🙂

  2. Lovely post, as always, Amanda. I’ve only read the MFK Fischer book on your list, and I agree with you, there is something sad – even unpleasant at times – in her writing style and humor, she often makes me quite uneasy. But she did not have an easy life! And I really enjoyed How to cook a wolf.
    I know how you feel about creating dishes out of stuff that is just lying around, and this sounds like quite a successful, healthful dinner; when I don’t really know what to do, I usually end up making pasta with whatever is on hand (that’s been happening alot these days, though my latest pasta dish was from Plenty more, and it was quick, simple, delicious and so unusual – to me at least; udon noodles with fried eggplant, walnuts, miso sauce and crunchy cucumber on top, yum; you’d love the book!).

    • I’m glad that you agree with me. She seems restrained and a little sad. I’d venture to say I feel a similar, but less sad voice in Willan’s book too. Honestly, the most joyful of all of those books was Julia Child’s My Life in France. There’s something contagious about her, even if it’s cliche of me to say. As for Plenty More, it seems like he’s incorporating some Asian influences in this one. I guess I have to order it…or I could see if my new secret best friend from my building throws it out. S/He clearly loses points for throwing these out, but not as many points as s/he gets for having them in the first place. We’ve been speculating on age and gender. My money is it’s two people, one young female non-cook and the other who came of age in the 70s and is “over it”. They make a great composite person.

      • The first Plenty already has some Asian-inspired recipes. I can’t decide which one I like best; I’ve made so many recipes from Plenty and regularly go back to it, but Plenty More is my favorite of the moment, maybe just because it is a new book! 🙂
        I love how you’ve created a character from the books you found; do you have any idea who it might be? I know all my neighbors (there aren’t many in our 3 story building), and I know from their garbage that they don’t cool and probably don’t own a single cookbook 😀

        • I’ll have to get them both. I’ve seen a few of my neighbors, but I try not to interact. I suspect the woman below me, who I’ve seen carrying pies before, but I think the literary journal was someone else. I like my fake person better.

    • I totally agree with you. It was an odd combo, but it worked. My husband liked it more than I did. I would fill the pancakes with sweet potatoes or seasonal squash next time and serve the turkey over rice.

  3. “This is what dinner looks like when I have no idea what to make, nothing in fridge and limited time.” If that’s true, then you are even more amazing than I thought. When I have no idea what to make you know what it’s called? Take out! I love the idea of layering textures to enhance the experience of the meal. Of course, when you’re feeding a 6 year-old, pointing out such subtleties is a total waste of time, but I think my husband might appreciate it. Interestingly, something about this meal – most likely the buckwheat pancake – evokes Ethiopian cuisine. (Which, if you haven’t been to Queen of Sheba on 49th and 10th, then you haven’t lived. It’s divine. I highly recommend it.)

    • Such a sweet comment. I have been to Queen of Sheba. It’s soooo good. I really like Ethiopian cuisine. So good. I do think textures add to a meal. Your 6 year old may pick up more than you think 😉

  4. Amanda, I am impressed with what you can create with what you have on hand! I usually default to scrambled eggs. You are inspiring! This is a lovely meal, full of texture, color and flavor. Buckwheat pancakes are my favorite – preferably with bananas. Using them in a savory way is very appealing. I’m saving your list of reading, too. A book I read/cooked from and enjoyed was Amanda Hesser’s The Cook and the Gardener, about her time living in France and cooking for a family. I just returned Vegetable Literacy to the library and hope to own it at some point – I learned so much. Thank you for all you share!

    • Thanks so much, Hannah. I”ll put that book on my list! I love reading about people’s food experiences.I have my scrambled egg nights too, but that’s when I’m alone, if I make it past cereal. At least when I”m cooking for someone else I have to pretend I’ve got something good up my sleeve. It’s also an excuse to experiment with new things. :0 Enjoy your weekend!

  5. I love that you made buckwheat pancakes in such a unique way! It’s so refreshing to see a “made up” dinner post. I agree with you about how after following recipes for so long you just sort of improvise and come up with something delicious. This happens quite often with me too. I certainly love learning how to combine spices that are new to me through following recipes, then once I get the hang of the flavors it’s even more fun to improvise and come up with something unique, like your buckwheat pancakes. I relate to your heated pipes! We lived in a couple of old brick buildings here in Seattle and I remember walking around in a tank top when it was freezing outside. I do love radiant heat though and miss it. 🙂 I’m keeping your reading list and making it mine. I know you have encouraged me a few time to read The Sweet Life in Paris…and I will! Looking forward to your short fiction piece Amanda!

    • Thanks so much. Your responses are always so thoughtful. I’m glad you appreciated this post. I felt a little bad that I wasn’t coming to the table with a knockout hit. I also have been reading so much lately that I thought I’d share. In doing so I’ve discovered more. I’m editing the fiction this week, focusing it and cutting it down significantly. I don’t want to test anyone’s patience. As for the heat, you’re right, it has its benefits, like never having to turn the heat on! But it is why I’ll sometimes find myself in the dead of winter wearing a tshirt outside, because it’s so darn hot in the apartment! I’m glad you’ve had that same cooking learning curve, where you find yourself inadvertently making a classic dish because you’ve done it before. xo

  6. Dear dear Amanda – I love that you are secretly in love with someone in your building. I presume – though you never said, that that someone is the person discarding food books and magazines?! And that is the reason you’re in love!
    Also adore the description of the heating pipes and the fact you can’t sleep with a cover – now I have a picture of what your apartment must look like – complete with heat pipes. This as I start to shiver in Kingston and waken at night to the low rumble of the furnace until I get used to it and the sound no longer registers.
    Your reading list is wonderful. Anthony Doerr is brilliant. I must read more of him. I read Four Seasons in Rome and rank in my favourite travel books — a genre I read a lot of. I have The Sweet Life in Paris on my bedside table, and a book of essays from MKF Fisher. There is something a little sad about her writing perhaps but she was a wonderful person and she wrote so beautifully about the intersection of food, hunger, and love – that’s my favourite destination on the planet.
    Glorious photographs and meal – especially like the buckwheat pancake. xo

    • Wow, Lindy. We read the same things. Yes, I am in love with an unknown person because I found her reading materials in piled outside by the garbage. 🙂 Ah yes, you know the radiator noise. My brother was staying with us and was like “what in the world is that noise?” Bang/clank. I don’t think I’ve read Anthony Doerr’s other books, but now I’ll be sure to. It has to patiently wait for me to get through a few more books. I just got one on mushroom foraging. Who have I become? Thank you so much for your wonderful compliments. It really is a great way to start the day. Enjoy the weekend! xo.

  7. What a lovely spur-of-the-moment dish, that’s how the best meals get created sometimes and the spice list is inspiring. I agree, how can anyone throw out some of these? I’d love to have the old Food & Wines and would like to add Stéphane Reynaud and my favourite Roger Vergé, who used to have a gorgeous restaurant in the hills above Cannes in Mougins to your must-have French cuisine literature. Plus Michel Biehn for some Provencal cooking. My shelves are bursting – but not throwing any of these out, ever! Happy Halloween to you, Nicole

    • Thanks, Nicole. The best thing I love about sharing my list is that I’ve gotten so many great suggestions in return. When you read one it leads to another. I actually got a used version of Richard Olney’s “Provence the Beautiful” which is very well-written. This is all such great stuff. I really need to feature a post on Peru too. When I visited there, I was surprised at what they do with their food. It’s unreal. Bourdaine and Ripert did a show on it, but I still don’t think they conveyed just how magical the cooking scene is down there. Have a great weekend. Thanks again. XO

  8. especially love your second paragraph–so true. Dinner is usually whatever can be scrounged from the ‘fridge and I (usually) consider it a challenge to make something healthy, tasty, etc. Your dish looks amazing!

  9. I think I would be taking the rubbish out every day and twice a day, to see what was there! Perhaps someone is clearing an apartment out and isn’t interested in these things. You never know maybe there will be kitchen utensils next. Buckwheat is a wonderful thing, as it is gluten free. Loved reading your post.

    • So funny, Maria. I think i found her. And i think she moved out yesterday. I saw a beautiful long farmhouse table and some nice kitchen surfaces then the open door on my way to work. She clearly knew how to cook! But i think i missed her. I will definitely be checking to see today what she left.

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