TRUE CHEFS DON'T FOLLOW RECIPES
like most food blogging foodies, i am addicted to cookbooks. and i have to admit, i spend more time reading them as if they were novels than actually following the recipes. my mother (who is from goa, india) recently gave me the 1989 edition of the above cookbook from india entitled "the chef" by isidore coelho. it is a book i remember seeing in my mother's hands when christmas sweet making time came around. indian sweets can be pretty complex, so she would always double check the ingredients with mr. coelho. this photo is actually of her 1964 edition which i prefer to my cover since it is a vivid visual memory from my childhood. it really isn't a book you follow recipes from since it is very vague. for example, the recipe for egg batter is:.....
"beat the required number of eggs and apply to materials for frying" and that's it!
and the definition of cooking is:
"the work done in the preparation of food by aid of fire is called cooking......" which i guess could be considered a concise definition of cooking?!
chapter 7 and chapter 8 are by far the most interesting: "a few medical hints by an experienced doctor" and "home remedies". these chapters include everything from recipe no. 1520 "hints to nursing mother" to recipe no. 1543 "ginger juice for stomach trouble". and i have to confess that after a heavy meal i often make myself a fresh ginger tea. but instead of the salt recommended by mr. coelho, i use honey. it's much tastier!
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