Saturday, September 18, 2010

Post In Which I Discuss Frugalness & Cranberries

I actually thought my cookbook buying days were ending. No longer can I pop into Saint Vincent de Paul's and find books for $1.00. No, they've increased their prices to a bloated $3.00-$4.00 a cookbook. And I cannot abide it.

I've held in my hand several Frugal Gourmet cookbooks these past months, nearly talking myself into a splurge. But I've always finally held off, not convinced that my fanatical need for cookbooks is at the stage where I pay more than $2.00 a pop. Especially for a cookbook which contains "Frugal" in its title.

Today, my patient tightwadedness feels triumphant. I can still find cookbooks for less than a buck here in Madison:  at my local library's book sale. I arrived in time for their "we'll sell you anything you can fit into this bag for $3" clearance. And did I ever manage to pack my paper bag full. I believe even a professional grocery store bagger would have been impressed. Final total: sixty-three books, five of which were cookbooks. My haul included Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American, which I well remember from my younger days (having read many of Jeff Smith's books and spending hours watching his show on PBS). So HAH, Saint Vincent's! I just bought a cookbook for less than $0.10 and I more than ever convinced that your new $4.00 prices are rip-offs.

Don't be scared-off by the odd Boy Scouts/granny/turkey photo on the front cover. This is a good book!

So, you ask, upon my initial review of the book, what have I discovered? Let me tell you. The chapter on cranberries. It's nearly cranberry season, and I literally had no idea the amazing options we'll soon have. Oh yes, it's beyond sauce. Far beyond. There's going to be:

  • Cranberry Fool (sweetened cranberries, almond extract, orange peel & whipping cream)
  • Cranberry Cheddar Sandwiches (buttered bread spread with cranberry sauce and cheddar, broiled)
  • Cranberry Pie (berry pie! using cranberries!)
  • Cranberry Dumplings (Mr. Smith warns that these are addictive)
  • Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries (fresh cranberries added to a sweet potato souffle)

That's right. I'm actually vowing to begin cooking again soon. Within the month. Exclusively with cranberries.


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