Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Feed Me.

Work is kicking my ass up one side and down the other this week. My pile of stuff to do keeps growing, despite the fact that I am frantically working as though my life is in danger. I am doing all of the things that they've specifically forbidden us to do here, including coming in early, going home late, eating lunch at my desk while doing piles of frantic and obscure research, and taking work home with me at night. The air conditioner is broken, and I am uncomfortably sweaty in addition to being stressed right the eff out.

That might have been what Dan refers to as "an over-share."

That being said, I am writing a blog entry while snarfing down leftovers from dinner last night. Dan made it. It's this fantastic chicken dish he made from the "America's Test Kitchen Home Cookbook," possibly the best cookbook ever. And I would know.

I always sort of looked down my nose at collectors. I throw things away compulsively--sometimes things that I later wish I'd kept. I never collected stamps, pictures of cute boys, coins, or really, anything else. But sometime around the time I started dating a guy who categorically refused to eat his own cooking, I started collecting cookbooks.

It started small. I would acquire maybe a cookbook a year, and purloin a few of my mother's "Cooking Light" and "Cooks Illustrated" magazines. Then she got tired of me doing that, so she got me subscriptions of my own. My obsession continued to grow. She started buying me cookbooks.

Then I started buying cookbooks. I probably have at least as big a cookbook collection as I do all other books, which is significant. We're beginning to have a bookshelf problem, thanks to me.

I don't cook from them every night, or even most nights. Mostly, cookbooks are like porn for me: pictures and descriptions of things that are a lot of fun to look at and think about, but that I don't really want to do myself. There is a point where things begin to get out of hand, and for me, that point is when I begin making my own eggrolls.

What got me started was dip. Everybody has a particular food passion; mine happens to be dip. Give me something that can be stuck into something else and used as a vehicle to move the second something from bowl to mouth and I am a happy girl. Dill dip and veggies, spinach dip and pumpernickel bread, chips and salsa, hummus and pita, hot bacon and clam dip with scallions and garlic and hot French bread...I am one enormous, garlic-breathing fool for dip.

There's hardly any redeeming qualities when it comes to dip. It's invariably bad for you, and it's way too easy to eat way too much of it. It can't serve as a meal in itself (unless we're talking about fondue, which is a subject for a post in itself, one that I probably won't write because I'm really questioning whether or not I'm already being boring and obsessive) and yet, after being presented with dip, I'm generally not hungry for dinner afterwards. Dip is like the red-headed stepchild of the culinary world.

I love the red-headed stepchild, though. Dip is like "Dirty Dancing" for me--it's outdated and usually unimaginative, and yet I love it.

Yeah...I think I'm done now. What's your favorite kind of dip? Mine is this pizza dip that I sort of stole from a restaurant we used to go to when we lived in Michigan and reinvented, with cream cheese and pepperoni and tomato sauce and mozzerella...it sounds sort of...not right, I know.


Heather said...

Mmmm I agree, dip is wonderful stuff. I made some cheese dip for my kids' birthday party last weekend and never even got a taste. Apparently it was good. Just Velveeta, spinach and Ro-Tel.

My fave dip is BLT dip though. Bacon, Tomato, sour cream and mayo. Mmmmm.

Thanks, I'm hungry now!

merseydotes said...

I totally do the cookbooks as porn thing. Do you read Slashfood? Every week (or maybe every day, I can't remember), they have shots of food porn. I love it.

I make a good goat cheese-fig-rosemary dip that is always a big hit. It's good on toasted crostini.