I have a van-full of cranky kids, and we’re pulling into the driveway at 4:00. My usual strategy on days like today is to pre-prepare dinner, either with a slow cooker or a casserole that can be assembled early and cooked later. At the very least I will have my veggies prepped and a few other ingredients measured out.
Today, though, I have done nothing. I walk into a cold kitchen with dirty breakfast dishes piled by the sink. I had planned on testing out the chicken pot pie recipe from the newest cookbook* I received in the mail, Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. I reconsider the chicken pot pie and eye the boxes of mac and cheese. But I tell myself that tonight is my only chance to cook chicken pot pie this week, 5:30 dinner-time or not. Chicken pot pie it is.
Dinner: A Love Story falls into the new genre of cookbook memoirs, where the author combines some storytelling, some real-life experience, a few kitchen stories, and some recipes. I’m a gal that keeps cookbooks stacked by her bedside; reads them cover to cover while sipping tea with her feet up. So this cookbook memoir genre is right up my alley. Jenny has a very engaging voice that makes you feel like she’s your big sister. Her passion for family and food oozes out of every chapter as she relates her journey into being a family cook. I read this whole book in a Sunday afternoon curled up on the couch, and I laughed out loud more than once.
Back in the kitchen, I turn on some music to keep me motivated, examine the recipe I am about to make. Like most of the book, it’s simple and straightforward. And then I see a a little footnote referencing a different recipe on page 174. I turn to page 174. And instantly I decide to turn a very-simple-and-doable-dinner-that-is-already-running-late into an entirely different dining experience, personal pot pies….with pie pastry monograms on top!
I have no rational explanation for this decision. It might have something to do with the toe-tapping, dreamy, bluegrass descending on me from the kitchen stereo, but I think there’s something else at work here. A magazine recipe couldn’t have induced me to make that switch. Neither could an e-book or a cooking blog or even 95% of the other cookbooks sitting on my shelf. But this book, with its homey photography, cozy recipes, and casual conversation, made me want to make dinner just a little bit more special. Even if it did get served half an hour late.
And in fact, that is the entire point of this cookbook. Eat with your loved ones. Period.
Dinner’s late? Eat it with family.
Dinner’s burnt? Eat it with family.
Dinner’s a disaster? Dinner’s from the freezer? Dinner’s a take-out pizza? Eat it with family.
Dinner’s a delicious pot-pie, served piping hot with your initial monogrammed on the top in flaky pie pastry?
Definitely, eat it with family.
* Review posts are my opinions on items that were sent to me free of charge. The items were given to me, but the thoughts and opinions are my own. I only provide reviews of items that I find to be truly worthy of recommendation.