Sunday, September 6, 2009

What moves you to cook?

I know, I'm hardly the first to blog about this subject, but we saw the movie "Julie and Julia" recently and it really got me thinking. I'd read both of the books on which the movie is based; loved them both, lent them to friends, etc. I really enjoyed the movie, and so did my husband. We came out of the movie inspired to cook even more.

The following day I decided to go get some delicious late-summer strawberries that my local farm grows and make a strawberry tart from Julia's original "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." I've had both volumes for years and have cooked a number of French recipes from them, but I'd never made any desserts. I'm just not the dessert person. Eating it, yes; making it, no. The tart came out pretty good, I think. It wasn't picture-perfect, but my family didn't mind--they gobbled it nonetheless.

Now, I won't reprint the "Tarte aux Fraises" recipe here--anybody with a search engine can find that. I'm not trying to show off my mad cooking skills (OK, Deb, stop laughing, maybe just a little). And I'm not saying that everybody has to run to the kitchen and make a difficult pastry. I've made tarts I've liked just as much from bought pie crust, pudding, and fruit. I'm just saying that I was inspired to cook something out of my comfort zone by someone who wrote something long before I was born.

My point: What are you inspired to cook? What moves you to cook--maybe a change of seasons, a book, a movie, a cooking show on TV? I'd be really interested to hear...


  1. The crisp, cool days of fall (as well as the wonderful variety of local fruits and vegetables available to us in the Northeast this time of year) make me want to hunker down to cook and bake all day every day! In fact, I've got several recipes lined up to try (now if only that USB port would once again recognize my camera).

    Today....sausage, kale and white bean soup. Up soon....a peach pound cake from In Our Grandmothers' Kitchens that I'm dying to try!

    Saturday night's dinner and Sunday morning's breakfast were comprised of 90% local ingredients and I LOVE it!

  2. ps - A slice of that tart would be the perfect complement to my morning cup o' joe!

  3. I'm moved to cook by lots of things--but it's most often, I think, the people I'm cooking for (I know, it should be "the people for whom I'm cooking"). Food is about sharing.

    By the way, congrats, Lisa, your tart looks delectable........

  4. ledaigle@comcast.netSeptember 7, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Thanks, Tinky. I AM a bit of a show-off! And you're right--I love to cook for other people. I love to eat at Summer Shack, with Jasper White's words up on the wall: "Food is Love." Probably strikes fear into the hearts of many, but I adore it. Oh, and Julie? You are COMMANDED to let me know how that peach cake turns out!

  5. Wow, that looks good! Did you get the strawberries at Parlee Farm? I'm going to try to get up there this week (still recovering from the c-section...can't drive yet, and walking long distances isn't exactly a ball, though it's getting easier every day).

    New and seasonal ingredients always inspire me to cook. You should have seen the cooking tear I went on last time I went to Penzey's Spices...I had to try out all kinds of recipes for all my new spices :)