Fitting for today is a book recommendation from Ashley: Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.
Blood, Bones & Butter is a memoir of New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton, recounting her journey from childhood, through kitchens in France, Turkey, and Greece, to chef of the acclaimed restaurant, Prune.
Gabrielle grew up just down the road from Blue Moon Acres, in New Hope, PA. Her lyrical prose recalls the dinner parties her parents threw in the yard, guitar lessons in Lambertville, snapping peas in the kitchen.
Her kitchen, over thirty years ago, long before it was common, had a two-bin stainless steel restaurant sink and a six-burner Garland stove. Her burnt orange Le Creuset pots and casseroles, scuffed and blackened, were constantly at work on the back three burners cooking things with tails, claws, and marrow-filled bones—whatever was budgeted from our dad’s sporadic and mercurial artist’s income—that she was stewing and braising and simmering to feed our family of seven. Our kitchen table was a big round piece of butcher block where we both ate and prepared casual meals.
My mother knew how to get everything comestible from a shin or neck of some animal; how to use a knife, how to cure a cast iron pan. She taught us to articulate the “s” in Salade Nicoise and the soup Vichyssoise, so that we wouldn’t sound like other Americans who didn’t know that the vowel “e” after the consonant “s” in French means that you say the “s” out loud.