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Friday, June 15, 2012


Inspiration comes from the darndest places.  Was reading The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn, a book we acquired in March of this year.  It was all about how a trained chef gave a series of free cooking classes to people she spotted at the food store purchasing pre-packaged and highly processed food.

Things I knew but needed to be reminded of by Kathleen Flinn’s book:

1.  Use up your leftovers.   Some suggestions - combine with new things and create pasta toppings, fillings for omelets, add to salads and soups. 

I put this adage to work right away.  Yes, I confess, I shop at Costco, and am sometimes seduced by the low prices on items I don’t normally consume in huge quantities.  Like that giant jar of Kalamata olives that was languishing in my fridge. 

Checking a cookbook I own, I used my food processor to whip up an olive tapenade,  and added a chopped ripe beefsteak tomato, chopped fresh parsley,  a can of drained imported tuna and served this over wagon wheel pasta (plain for my granddaughter), and topped with more whole olives and freshly microplaned Parmesan cheese.  Wonderful!

  1. Use flavor profiles to cook without a recipe.  I do this all the time, but The Kitchen Counter Cooking School contains a “Cheat Sheet” for cuisines from Cajun to Asian with lists of relevant ingredients that you might have forgotten.

  1. Always have fresh garlic, onions, and lemons on hand.  Note to self:  buy lemons.

  1. Pass on your love of cooking to others.  My granddaughter loves to "make" fruit salad (she can cut up soft fruits like bananas and strawberries).  I was cutting up fruit for breakfast one morning and Devon offered to arrange a fruit platter.  She tentatively tried the apricots, and loved them.  Funnily enough, Devon used the apricot pit, and the next day, used the tops of the strawberries in her design.  Don’t stifle creativity!
Devon and Apricot Pit Fruit Plate

  Finally, a quote from Chapter 2:

  1. “You have to give yourself that dream assignment.  No one is going to give it to you.”  Sage advice I’d love to follow and pass on to all my kids.  It's a variation on one I've always loved:  “Create the life you dream of living.”

Lots of people, books, ideas and cooking -   all things I love being surrounded with.  Come and explore all your options at our Library today.

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Lifelong Student

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