filling the empty nest with food
When I started this blog, someone asked me if I was really going to share my recipes with the public. Or rather, she asked in disbelief: “What?!! You’re going to give away your secrets?!”
That is an interesting divide in the cooking world–between those who guard their recipes closely and those who freely share. Obviously, some people need to keep their recipes a secret when their livelihood is at stake. Yet, even so, there are cooks and restaurants who gladly give out a recipe if you ask. And some who refuse.
I love the urban legend about the cookie recipe that Neiman Marcus billed a woman $250 for (when she understood the cost to be $2.50 and they refused to remove the exorbitant charge from her bill). She was so outraged she retaliated by spreading the recipe all over the internet. They really are deliciously rich cookies and deserved to be savored and shared. Plus, their buttery chocolateness gets an extra boost from the satisfaction of believing that a lone individual was able to stick it to the big corporation. Even if only in a fantasy.
Years ago I shared with a good friend one of my tried-and-true soup recipes. It was one I made often when my kids were young and they were willing to eat practically anything I cooked. The soup is simple, tasty, and filling–perfect for our wintry April temperatures!
I don’t get to see this friend often, but she’s told me that she liked that soup so much she makes it every Friday as a family dinner. She gets a delicious and healthy soup for her family and I know that once in a while someone is thinking about me fondly on a Friday night. Can’t beat that return on a decision to share.
What’s your philosophy of recipe-sharing and recipe secrets?
Lentil and Brown Rice Soup (from the 1985 Gourmet cookbook Menus for Contemporary Living)
In a heavy kettle combine the broth, 3 cups water, the lentils, the rice, the tomatoes with the reserved juice, the carrots, the onion, the celery, the garlic, the basil, the orégano, the thyme, and the bay leaf, bring the liquid to a boil, and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the lentils and rice are tender. Stir in the parsley, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and discard the bay leaf. The soup will be thick and will thicken as it stands. Thin the soup, if desired, with additional hot chicken broth or water.
Parmesan toasts are an ideal accompaniment to this hearty soup.