I’m a huge fan of my friend Dee, for lots and lots of reasons. She can push out a baby, and accomplish a few other things that day, too. She’s a brilliant systems engineer who knows when to leave a system alone. And she loves the library.
Now, she’s not all uppity about her thriftiness. She’s happy to let me go on buying books, reading them once, and putting them on the shelf. And she doesn’t even gloat when I need to offload some of those same books to make room on the shelf and she grabs them up, gratis.
I’m still obstinate enough to keep buying books, of course (and to sing the praises of people who gift me with Amazon gift certificates!). But every once in a while, I’ll sneak over to the library to grab something that I really want to read, but which I’d rather not pay for. I went by last week because The Wife got me hooked on Heroes, and I couldn’t see paying 45 bucks to watch 9 DVDs that are great, but only once. So the library coughed up the goods, and I’m a happy man.
I grabbed three books, too– the kind that are delightful, and indulgent. They are full of wonderful photos though a little short on words, and so are almost completely expended in about an hour. Which is perfect for a little perusal and a guilt-free return to the big building full of free books.
Happy in the Kitchen is the great new work by the man who gave The Wife and I the best meal, ever. An amazing exploration of a chef who is unbelievably innovative and imaginative, and yet who makes food that tastes just like home, only much better.
No Reservations is a fairly shameless knock-off of Tony’s TV show, which is the best thing on the tube, period. But it’s got great photos, fun travel tips, a feature on the best and worst bathrooms in the world, and some fresh writing by Tony, who is one of my favorites.
My Last Supper brings us civilians into the insider game which has occupied chefs forever: if you were getting the chair tomorrow, what would you want for your last meal? Great full-page photos, and a killer foreword by the ubiquitous Tony.
Me? Wow, that’s a tough question. I need more time. But for now, I’ve narrowed down this important question:
1. Fish tacos. Grilled fish with a tart slaw and fiery salsa and a side of fresh, ripe avocados sliced thin and with just enough pepper and coarse salt that beads of moisture stand on its surface. Served with either Imperial or Pacifico– both of them taste just like the beach.
2. A steak by BIL-Billy: marbled beef, salt, pepper, canola oil, and heat. With a side of bold blue cheese. Served with a big Zin or Cab.
3. A whole roast chicken with roasted potatoes from the Weber grill. With a dessert of halved, grilled peaches, topped with a nice brie. Served with anything.
…but there’s a short list of eager runners-up, to which I offer my apologies:
scrambled eggs with capers