I was 15 when I got my first cookbook.
It was What to Cook When You Think There’s Nothing in the House to Eat by Arthur Schwartz. With its red- and yellow-checked jacket, and heavy, black serif typeface leaving no room for photos on its pages, this book’s sales pitch was clearly in its title.
I pointed it out to my mom when I found it in the stacks of the W.H. Smith bookstore at Fairview Mall in Kitchener, knowing it would at least get a raised eyebrow out of her, if not a chuckle. It was a time in our lives when she was growing tired of the usual refrain that happened every day when she got home from work around 5 p.m.
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“Can you give me a minute? I just got in the door. Besides, did you ever think I might like to come home to dinner already made?”
“But there’s nothing to eat!”
Cue my mom’s eye roll and her trip to the fridge where, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, she miraculously found the makings of dinner.
“Will you use it if I buy it for you?” she asked about Schwartz’s book. —Continue reading—