One of the pleasant surprises I have experienced since working in a library, is the plethora of cookbooks. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this resource before, but I hadn’t. Another little tidbit I’ll let you in on: the staff at Topsham Public Library talks a lot about food. From good places to eat to “you need to try this recipe!” Not all of us cook, but all of us like to eat and discuss food.
These two things have given me an idea. Once a month, I’m going to choose a cookbook and make something from it. I will tell you, baked goods are a weakness of mine. I will try and mix it up – baked goods, appetizers, meals, and sides, but if I end up heavy on the baked goods, I’m sorry. Well, not really. And let me also say, I’m not a chef, I’ve never gone to cooking school, and in many ways I’m a novice in the kitchen, so, who knows how this is going to turn out.
There are certain things I look for in a cookbook: pictures to go with each recipe, recipes that don’t have too many hard to find ingredients, and clear instructions for various cooking methods and techniques. If it meets these three criteria, I’ll give it a go, and if I find something I like that doesn’t meet the criteria, I’ll still give it a go.
The photo above is of a Boston Cream Pie that I made. I found the recipe in The Perfect Cake published by America’s Test Kitchen in 2018. It was delicious. Initially I borrowed the book from the library, but I did purchase it in the end because it met all my criteria. There are numerous photos – not just of the finished product, but also pictures of methods used in making the variety of cakes. I also made the Lemon Layer Cake (on page 138). It, too, was delicious. The cake itself is a white cake, but in between the layers there is a layer of lemon filling that is divine. The frosting is a type of cooked frosting that reminded me of marshmallow fluff but with a lighter texture. I return to this cookbook time and time again, and my family has been happy with the results.