Thanks to my pal Ellen, I now subscribe to Publishers Weekly's "Cooking the Books" newsletter. In the latest email, there is a brief interview with Ina Garten. The interview isn't all that illuminating, but I did love this quote at the end:
"I think it’s served me well that each of my books has more than just recipes, that it has a story and a reason for being. The thing about a book is that it has a personality, whereas a recipe on the Web doesn’t. There’s a trust that comes with a person."
She hits the nail on the head. I had never been able to articulate that, when it comes to my cookbooks, there is a trust relationship with the cook who wrote the book. For instance, I trust Ina implicitly: she tells me it's good and I should make it...you bet your arse I'll make it. Another example is Jamie Oliver. We're friends and he's done some good things for me...but he's also a pretty flaky friend: he doesn't tell me how high the heat on my stove should be and why, oh why, didn't he give me a specific cooking time? And Jamie doesn't seem to know anything about my life as a full-time working mom in a metropolitan area. So he and I have a rocky relationship: we love each other and then hate each other. Someone else who I trust with the health, pleasure, and soulful nourishment of my family and me? Joanne Harris and Fran Warde (My French Kitchen and The French Market). They have charmed and seduced me, and we have the most lovely relationship these days. I encourage you to trust them as well.
Eat, drink, and develop trust relationships with your cookbooks.
*Yeah, I quoted Titanic in the post title. I still love that movie. Judge away.