Monday, July 2, 2012

My first cookbook came with a doll my mother bought me when I was about 6.
I had recipes for ants on a log (raisins on a peanut butter filled celery stick), "fun-dough", a mixture of flour water, salt and food coloring I used to make a model of a giraffe for my 3rd grade animal project that landed me a pretty sweet "A". None of these recipes required cooking but that was ok. I sat up on my stool with the recipes, ingredients, plastic measuring spoons that I think my mother still has and I loved it.
When I was about 19 I became obsessed with baking (I see not much has changed) and I bought myself a copy of Good Housekeeping's Baking at a second hand store for 3 dollars. I baked and baked and baked and I fell in love with reading book after book on baking. Now I have about 40 cookbooks and am currently writing my own.
My most recent purchase was Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule, a Silicon Valley blogger I have been following for years. Oh my, it is gorgeous and written just the way I eat: simple, seasonal and colorful. The first recipe I made was the Rhubarb Cherry Mini Crisp but I changed it a bit...I added strawberries to the rhubarb cherry mixture and almond meal to the streusel topping and I piled everything in a large dish to serve family-style to my parents and fiance.
The book is separated by color and a single recipe per fresh, ripe ingredient is accompanied by a lovely picture of the finished product. Since the farmer's market is my absolute favorite place to be in the summertime I will be making quite a few of these dishes. Next up, Peach Mascarpone Flatbreads with fresh onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I was involved in a conversation recently inspired by an article I read by L.V Anderson on how cookbooks are out of style and will become obsolete.
False. Curse whoever thinks that the printed word will be replaced by digital formats! People have died for books, protested for and against books. Civilizations have been built on words written in books. I learned how to make fun-dough...from a book! Our lives, with each book we read shapes who we are and technology will enhance it but certainly not replace it. This book is unlike any of the books currently on my shelf and I will be cooking from it for a very long time.


  1. Hi Mariel,

    I'm so glad you've found inspiration in Ripe and hope you continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

    I agree with you -- there's nothing quite like cooking from an actual book, one whose pages you can stroke as you dream of flavors and meals to come.

  2. I need more post! They are too amazing!!


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