The good news is, I don’t have to write a cookbook. The other good news is that you can buy Tamar Adler’s The Everlasting Meal Cookbook, Leftovers A to Z and have a better cookbook than I would write. It isn’t a coffee table book filled with artfully photographed food. It is an enormously useful cookbook that suggests uses for almost everything sitting in your fridge or pantry.
As much as I love cookbooks and spend hours reading recipes, I rarely actually cook from recipes. Tamara Adler’s suggestions work just fine for me. This is the rather loose and variable way I cook. For people who follow recipes exactly, Adler’s flexible recipes might induce some anxiety. I still think this would be an excellent cookbook to have in the house regardless. Who hasn’t been faced with aging, forgotten fruits and vegetables? Adler will give you ideas for using the whole celery bunch.
My housemate often exclaims in wonder at my ability to make leftovers interesting. I usually just shrug and say I like to cook. She pointed out one night that her late husband liked to cook too, but he hated leftovers. So I thought about it and realized that I don’t think of food as leftovers. I think of food as ingredients. I even after a lifetime of making meals out of what I have on hand, The Everlasting Meal Cookbook gave me a lot of ideas about how to reduce the amount of food I throw out even more. Now is a good time to bone up on making food stretch, and this cookbook will help.