I am on too many mailing lists, and often, instead of simply unsubscribing, I immediately delete. Even the Greenmarket one, which I am probably the most inclined to read, has often suffered my heavy handed impatience.
Luckily this was not so about a month ago, when I idly opened it and read about two new great books, both of which I have since obtained and read, thanks to the wonders of the Brooklyn Library on-line hold system. Of course, the cookbook is now on my Amazon wish list. Two weeks was not enough to peruse it properly, what with recent trips and everyday life getting in the way.
The second I read, and do not need to own or read again. (I have become highly non-acquisitive in regards to non-cookbooks and indeed have a large stack awaiting redistribution at my book club meeting tomorrow night.) But it was a great book, very thoughtful and useful, and I have been recommending it to nearly everyone I see. The recipes themselves are not calling me so much, but the subjects it touches upon (freeganism, foraging, frugality, bread baking, cook-offs, consumerism, consumer waste, dinner clubs, social aspects of eating etc.) are all dear to my heart, and what's more, they might be to yours too. So I am bossily promoting it in a grass roots manner, to the point where I think the Food Coop will likely order copies, and then when I shop there I will feel proudly responsible for having led to its presence on the shelves, due to my own persuasive powers. (It will join the smoked whitefish salad, which I also lobbied heartily for/purchase often.)
But the best thing about the book, for me personally, was the author's fearless embrace of improvisation. I consider myself a proficient cook. In fact I can handle almost anything, given a recipe. But Cathy Erway did not let lack of foreknowledge or specific ingredients stop her, often with excellent results. And I have since started checking in with her blog, which features lots of basic recipes with small twists, just what I need to pep up my own cooking. And letting go too - that has been a big missing ingredient. If I can do it with knitting, why not with cooking? I'm determined to give it a real go.