The current issue of the New Yorker magazine (Feb. 13 & 20, 2006, the anniversary issue) contains a funny article about cookbooks, by Nora Ephron. Here is an excerpt:
"Thanks to 'The Gourmet Cookbook,' my mother herself was in the kitchen, whipping up Chinese eggrolls from scratch...The recipe doesn't begin to convey how stressful and time-consuming an endeavor it is to make eggrolls, nor does it begin to suggest how much tension a person can create in a household by serving eggrolls that take hours to make and are not nearly as good as Chinese takeout."
There are a few other good articles in this issue, too, on subjects other than food and cooking. I highly recommend it. Get some of that good Chinese takeout and read a magazine tonight instead of cooking dinner!
That is exactly what I should have done tonight. Instead, I got ambitious and decided to try something new: Let's have grilled swordfish! I wanted to celebrate the sunny, 75-degree dead of winter here in California. The swordfish was awful. I don't know if it had gone bad, or if it was just bad-tasting fish, but the minute I tasted it I lost my appetite and didn't eat anything for dinner. Best to stick with the tried and true: grilled salmon, or better yet, raw hamburger.
If the swordfish wasn't bad enough, I made a dessert that flopped, too. It was cherry cobbler from a mix. You'd think it would be hard to blow it with a mix, but I did a good job of it. It looked fine coming out of the oven, nice and brown on top, but the biscuit topping was runny underneath. I remembered that's why I never make cobbler because that always happens. Stick with the tried and true: ice cream.