We’re headlong into December and that means we’ve really been eating “comfort food” for 2-3 months now. Now, I’m never against traditional American winter food. Ever.
And clearly: cake. I love cake.
But sometimes, don’t you just feel like all of that just feels so… flabby? I’m not talking about what all that butter and cheese and starch does to my midsection. But just the somewhat flat one-ness that happens when everything we eat is fat, and salt and carbs. It’s about this time in December that I find myself craving salt and vinegar.
Asian Pickles, by the fantastic Karen Solomon, author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It and Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It from Ten Speed Press. (I love Ten Speed. So much. They’re the publishers of my friend Randy Clemens’ Sriracha Cookbooks, both available now.)
The full cookbook will be available next year, but they send me a preview copy of Asian Pickles India, a chapter of the book soon to be available separately in e-book format.
It’s like a breath of fresh, curry-tinged air in the middle of winter, y’all.
One of all– the photography, by Jennifer Martiné. Hi, beautiful. I can smell that chutney already, right?
Secondly, Karen writes beautifully, with a casual but confident expertise that I need in a cookbook like this. I hate when cookbook authors are too cavalier about their extensive knowledge on their subject. The first thing that I always learned about writing factual pieces was that your readers are ignorant about your subject but intelligent– they probably don’t know what the eff you’re talking about, but they’re capable of learning.
Usually cookbooks assume we 1) know as much as the cookbook author on a particular subject or 2) don’t, and are therefore morons. None of that is here with Karen. This entire book is written like you’re getting an in-depth lesson from your knowledgeable and passionate best friend. (Well, my best friend is super knowledgeable and passionate, but not really about pickled chickpeas.)
I know from using Karen’s previous cookbooks that all of her recipes are/will be easy to follow and incredibly straightforward. She is excellent at telling you how much of your day each adventure will take, and its’ pretty accurate, even for hotheads like me who think we’re whizzes in the kitchen even though we’re all thumbs. First order of business will be making her South Indian Coconut & Cilantro Chutney. That’ll take me out of gray and dreary LA for certain.
I’ve always been obsessed with chutneys, but have never made one. I eat them like an uncouth chutneymonster whenever I go to my favorite Indian place here in Silverlake. I’m sorry. But I have to.
The e-book Asian Pickles: India by Karen Solomon will be available from e-book retailers December 17th. You can pre-order it on Amazon, at the very least, for $2.99 and I highly recommend that you do.
And check out the other titles from 10 Speed Press here.