Friday, July 25, 2008
A sense of humor.
Self-deprecation can be a sexy thing, when used wisely. Mark has it down. Not too much, but just enough to show that he doesn't take himself too seriously. He seems to be a real no-drama kind of guy.
I really appreciate his cooking style. The recipes are simple with little or no fuss. He is reasonable with his suggestions for ingredients, and offers alternatives when available. His book, How To Cook Everything is the go-to cookbook in our house. We use it all the time. It gets perused at least twice a week. It serves as a basic reference guide, as well as a jumping off point for inspiration. Got baby artichokes at the farmer's market - what to do with them? Just turn to page 533 for a great starting point, and move forward from there. You will notice in the photo above, the placement of HTCE, with its bright yellow spine, is within easy reach for emergency references.
As a bookseller, this is the cookbook I recommend the most. Forget Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens. I am always trying to steer people to Mark's book as a better alternative to those two. I think that sometimes the older generation is perhaps put-off by the brightness of the cover. I know that people have recipes that they grew up with and want to pass on to younger generations. But sometimes I wonder when was the last time that grandma actually made that gelatinous pies she recalls so fondly, and if she would still enjoy it now.