I was lucky enough to receive Michael Symon’s new cookbook “Live to Cook” as a Christmas gift (thanks mom and dad). I was uneven about the book before looking through it. I thought to myself, “I’ve been to old Lola, new Lola, and Lolita why do I need the book.” My insight on this was deftly wrong. The book is great. I love it. The recipes seem familiar because I’ve had the dish, yet refreshing to find that one ingredient or technique I didn’t expect. The recipes are also sized to fit the home kitchen, which is a tricky proposition, but one I trust have been tested and true for this book.
The short stories and descriptions of life that dot the book are also interesting. From wrestling at St. Ed’s, our shared alma mater, to opening the doors of Lola with no cash, all seem like real stories that anyone can relate to, making the book as a whole even that more interesting.
I’ve been motivated, and that is saying a lot. The descriptions in and of themselves of pickling has conjured up a drive in me to be more complete with my prep. I used to prepare a nice sachet of herbs and spices for a pickle, the usual….coriander, cinnamon, peppercorns, clove, allspice, and some thyme or rosemary. Slowing I regressed to nothing more than vinegar, sugar, and water, but no longer. That little sachet is what makes the difference. Upon reading this cookbook cover to cover I’m re-dedicated to being much more interested in the dishes I prepare; from prep to plating, ordering and receiving, organizing and executing. Thank you Michaels for the great book!