Life-altering?

May 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm (Reviews) (, )

I love cookbooks.  I don’t make too many recipes from them, but I love to read them and look at the pictures.  If not food pron, at least food erotica.  I can and do cook, although I prefer to bake.  Recently I read a review in The Globe and Mail about a new cookbook: Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.  I was so intrigued that I had to google it to read more.  Then I decided I had to have this book.  Ruhlman believes that cookbooks are really recipe books.  What he has produced is something that teaches you the fundamental ratios behind many things.  For example, 3-2-1 pie crust.  3 parts flour, 2 parts fat & 1 part water.  Once you know that ratio, and the technique of making pie crust you can let your imagination run wild…as long as you stay within the ratio.  Want to use some ground almonds with your flour?  Go for it!  Butter instead of shortening?  Why not?  The book is heavy on doughs, but that’s okay.  (See: prefer to bake rather than cook)  I’ve been a slave to recipes my entire baking life, but hopefully no more.  That’s not to say that there aren’t recipes, but the are the relish in this book, not the meat.  The idea is to build you a foundation, and let you go from there.  I LOVE it!  I made gnocchi for dinner the other night, thanks to Mr. Ruhlman.  Tasty, very tasty.  My kitchen may never be the same.

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