In anticipation of the weekend, and since I wrote about kitchen legacies, and food memories this week, I decided to organize my cookbook collection. I was also prompted to do this because our new kitten Annie, who has definitely found her mojo now that she's been on antibiotics and her cold has cleared up, has decided her favorite resting spot while we're out of the house during the day is right on top of my cookbooks. I came home from work yesterday to find that several had been knocked off the counter, and my carefully filed (not!) printed out recipes were scattered across the floor like confetti.
Cookbook collections are strange things, really. There are the books you consciously purchase, then the "official" cookbooks you receive as gifts, then there are the cookbooks like this one:
those books that assemble recipes from all over the community, then are spiral bound, and sold to benefit a specific organization, usually a church. I have lots of these books--this is what happens when people know you love to cook. I think out of all my cookbooks, I am most amused by and fond of those spiral bound cookbooks, with their sometimes motley collections of odd recipes, things like "Aunt Sarah's More Please Cake" or this recipe
which makes me shudder when I read through it, yet I find myself oddly curious about what such a concoction would taste like, even if I don't have the courage to try it anytime soon.
But my all-time favorite spiral bound cookbook is this one:
from the Greek Orthodox church in D.C. My mom gave it to me years ago, and out of it have come some of my stock Greek favorites, like the New Year's bread I make each year, and a most spectacular lentil soup recipe. There is also this favorite of mine--
Baked Chick Peas
a dish which when baking away will fill up your house with the mouth-watering and comforting smells of cooked garlic, olive oil, and rosemary and draw your children enticingly into the kitchen where they will discover you are not cooking spaghetti sauce, but CHICK PEAS; then they'll flee screaming.
But Scott and I love this dish, and we serve it over a bed of white rice, with feta cheese on the side and a light cucumber and tomato salad. I made it yesterday, in honor of all dog-eared, spiral-bound church produced cookbooks everywhere--long may they live.
Baked Chick Peas
2 cans chick peas
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp rosemary (fresh works best)
2 large ripe tomatoes, scalded to remove skin, then chopped --OR-- one large can diced tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place chick peas in baking pan and arrange remaining ingredients on top. Salt and pepper to taste, and mix in oil. Bake in oven at 475 for 40 minutes. Add more oil as this bakes to keep the chick peas from drying out.