A while back, I sold some books to Pendragon and ended up with a large credit at the Solano store. I have a habit of selling books for credit and hanging onto the credit for years, thus the tattered pile of credit slips sitting on my desk right now, many of which are at least six years old. In a few cases, I'm not even sure the bookstore still exists.
So I decided to use my credits, and even read some fiction reviews before heading down to structure my spree. But then I happened to glance over at the cookbooks section. The remainders table, where I found some pretty but not particularly useful options, lured me in, but the used cookbooks shelves behind it were the true find.
I notice a bright white, very tall spine on the top shelf out of the corner of my eye. I look up to discover the long-coveted French Laundry Cookbook glowing, beckoning, from the top shelf. I once borrowed the book from Nancy, but became so overwhelmed by the world within that I ended up not cooking anything at all and just gave it back.
Having now experienced a selection of the recipes though, everything seemed a little more approachable. Or maybe I'm motivated by the memory of the tastes to take the extra fussy steps, get the equipment insisted upon, and throw myself into the series of small, precise steps it takes to make even the simplest of the dishes.
It was marked down from $50 to $30, and was in good condition. My guess is the person who owned it last couldn't live up to its demands, cracked under the pressure, and had to sell the book.
Now I just need willing diners and to make sure not too attempt too many complicated things in one meal. Especially if the meal is not the only activity of the evening.
My first attempt will be on Saturday before the first Berkeley Rep play of the season. Now I just have to choose. I won't do a main meat course or anything, I'm not that brave/motivated/crazy. Yet. I'm thinking an appetizer or salad or maybe a dessert. There was a salad that involved tomato sorbet, and if there's any time of year to turn a perfectly good tomato into a bizarre taste experience, it is now before the cold sets in.