Sunday, June 29, 2008

Initial Inspiration

In the days before channels on TV like the Food Network, cooking shows were relegated to late night TV and public television. There were many great personalities. But, the one I liked best was Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet.

He was based in Seattle. I thought that was very cool. Yes, later on he ran into personal issues. Those did not detract, for me, at least, from his cooking.

I purchased a few of his cookbooks. Possibly the one that was the most inspirational for me was The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes You Should Have Gotten from Your Grandmother. This had such great recipes in it. Recipes that allowed me to learn how to cook foods from the various restaurants about town that I enjoyed so much.

The recipe that sticks out the most in my mind is the one for pierogi. At the time, I worked in downtown Seattle near a little Russian restaurant called Kaleenka. Unfortunately for those still living in Seattle, it is now closed. It was there I learned to love Russian food ... especially borscht!

I'm pretty sure this book is long out-of-print. So, buy it used if you see it somewhere. Or, snag it used from (just click on the picture of the book). Lots of folks there are selling it used for a penny. Cheap for what this book contains.

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