06 September 2010
Laurie, we hardly knew ye
For years I saw or read or hear references to Laurie Colwin and her books (this one, Home Cooking, and its sequel, More Home Cooking). I don't know why I waited so long to read her myself. Each chapter in the book is about a particular food or meal -- "English Cooking" for example, waxes lyrical about Britain's double cream. Others include the classic "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant", "How to Avoid Grilling" and "Flank Steak: the Neglected Cut". The chapters end with a recipe or two. Colwin's voice is cozy, practical, sharp, funny. When you read her, you wish you knew her so that you too could be invited to her tiny NYC apartment to eat a delicious meal cooked on a two-burner hotplate and help wash it up in the bathtub. The only problem I have with the book is that I know Colwin died of a heart attack in 1992 when she was only 48, and every time she mentions cutting back on salt, I start to tear up. But what is a love doesn't twist a bit of the knife in the heart? I think I will cook a Colwin im memoriam meal on 25 October.