We wish we could come into all your homes and take care of you. But that’s called “breaking and entering” and apparently it’s illegal?
Cooking is one of the greatest and most consistent joys of my life. Even so, there are times when I have so little energy that the best I can do is the bare minimum. Since I am white knuckling my way through life with chronic depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and a neuro-spicy brain, I have certain staples that I keep on hand to make my struggle meals closer to pleasure than chore. I never really know how to explain this to other people – my struggle meals can appear complex, but they are the a collection of the things I always keep on hand. I’ve developed strategies to make sure food will get in my belly whether I have the energy for 5 minutes of effort or an hour. For friends who don’t enjoy cooking and need to know how to put together low effort meals, The Sad Bastard Cookbook is inviting and useful. I’m so happy I have something to hand people (digitally). It’s free too.
As I moved through the book, the authors, Zillow Novikov and Rachel A. Rosen, and the illustrator, Marten Norr, became some of my favorite people. The writing is clear, compassionate, and funny. I really appreciate that one of the recipes was “Grapefruit No.” the recipe is
- Don’t eat grapefruit if you are on SSRIs.
- Same with blood pressure meds.
The annotations feel like you’re being invited into a community, in addition to adding information. If you’ve spent time with Mollie Katzen’s early cookbooks, The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, the style will be familiar.
I’ve made a lot of these meals (not the ones with raisins, ew). In fact, I ate one of them while I was writing this review. I wasn’t cooking from the cookbook, but I guess I got a hankering for boxed mac and cheese while reading. Oat milk and fake butter work just fine to make the “cheese sauce” and the chili crisp I added hid any sins. The only thing I would have added to this cookbook was a bigger section on sandwiches and salads. My only other tip would be, keep cookie dough in your freezer. There is nothing like eating a fresh baked cookie to make your serotonin sing.
Read this book. Get it into the hands of people who might need it. Ask your local library to buy it.