We spend more time talking about cooking from cookbooks than we spend cooking from cookbooks, and it’s time to change that. About once a month, we’ll have Cookbook Club—a meal planned entirely from a cookbook or two, new or old, big or small—and we’ll ask our community members to do the same.
Today, we celebrate Laurie Colwin.
Here you see, clockwise: Nantucket Cranberry Pie (made with plums); Rice Pudding; Buttermilk Cocoa Cake; Blue-Ribbon Corn Relish; Inez Fontenez's Succoatash; Spiced Beef; Yam Cakes with Hot Pepper and Fermented Black Beans; Flatbread; Peach Pizza
A few weeks ago, we asked for the Laurie Colwin recipes you love the most so that we could cook from her classic books and share in your admiration.
Well, we finally did it. We compiled a list of your recommendations, divvied them up (and added a few new ones to the mix), invited fellow Colwin connoisseurs and celebrity guests to join us, and got cooking. Then, we packed all of the food up and hauled it to Madison Square Park.
We ate the food on flimsy paper plates or straight out of the deli containers. We were hot, slightly dirty, and fairly hungry. Colwin's recipes are satisfying: The majority of what we tried was not revolutionary or mind-boggling (perhaps with the exception of the green sauce). Most of the recipes required we use cook's intuition—adding salt, choosing marinades, knowing how to stretch and grill dough. And since many of the dishes are explained in narrative form, a reader is asked to do more deciphering work than is required from today's newest cookbooks.
But for all the guesswork, the food was homey and creamy—the kind of food you want to share with the kind of friends who will sit in a hot park with you and eat Spiced Beef. And we had done it! We had assembled a weeknight dinner party and started eating before sunset. Thank you, Laurie.
Here's a rundown of what we made:
Above: Flatbread with nigella seeds and potato salad, heavy on the cucumber.
And don't forget dessert:
What we still want to try:
Our community members also cooked from Colwin's books:
Since you had so much to say about Laurie's recipes, we want YOU to cook from her books, too. Cook from Home Cooking or More Home Cooking and share what you've made with us: Take a photo of your finished dish (or your cooking experience) and tag it with #f52cookbookclub on Instagram.