With one week left in this kitchen, we probably won't be needing any cookbooks, given packing pressures and the Internet's vast recipe trove. We've packed up Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, Patricia Wells, and Jeremiah Tower, as well as a heap of ethnic and vegetarian cookbooks. Safe to say we won't be making Burmese or Mayan dishes in the next week.
But even as our kitchen fills with packed boxes and our shelves empty out, we can't bring ourselves to pack up two of our favorite cookbooks: Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and Joy of Cooking. Both of these can be depended upon to help us come up with dinner even when the refrigerator is all but empty. (Right now it's practically empty, down to green peppers from the CSA box, homemade vegetable stock, a half-consumed block of Costco feta cheese, and soy chorizo. And the usual dozens of jars of pickles and chutneys.)
Speaking of Bittman, today's New York Times Dining section offers 101 Thanksgiving recipes, most of them fresher and lighter than the usual holiday sludge. Don't get us wrong, we love holiday sludge, but Bittman's recipes add some much-needed spice, crunch, and color to the table.