Frogmore Stew // Books and Cookbooks

Dear Eric,

Seafood bouillabase. Bless you. It both looks and sounds delightful! Are you still doing the CSA thing? I commend you for supporting local agriculture. As for your excessive kale problem, I have lots of solutions; for now I will give you my three favorites.

1. Kale Caesar Salad
2. Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup
3. Kale with eggs and tomatoes. I eat this for breakfast all the time. Saute a little kale and tomatoes, scramble your egg, top it with a little parmesan. It’s simple, it’s easy, I’m happy, it’s breakfast.

You asked if I’ve read any good cookbooks or books about food lately. Why, yes, I have, and I’m so glad you asked.

I’m in the middle of reading Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal by Abigail Carroll. It is a fascinating and thorough account of the historical context of how we eat. Why do we have lunch, breakfast, and dinner? When did snacks become a thing? Why are vegetables “sides” and not “mains”? That sort of thing. Right now I’m still in the beginning- I just got out of the chapters about colonial times. It’s really good. I highly recommend it.

I finally got Hugh Acheson’s cookbook “A New Turn in the South”, so I’m working on cooking my way through that. I know, it’s weird I didn’t have it earlier, especially since we live in the same town and he’s both a local and national celebrity and amazing chef. As with everything, I will chalk it up to *trying* to write my dissertation. I know he has another one- The Broad Fork- but I wanted to start with the first.

The first recipe I decided to cook from his book was Frogmore Stew. (I guess we’re both on a seafood kick). I, of course, got the recipe from his book, but it also is available online at Food and Wine– although it’s slightly different; for example, the book calls for arugula, not watercress.

I made it last Saturday morning so that it would be ready just in time for lunch. You know I love a dinner party with a crowded table, but for some reason I was craving a little solitude on Saturday and I decided to appreciate my stew alone. I don’t get it when people say they don’t bother to cook for themselves if it is just them. That’s crazy. I love cooking for people- lots of happy faces around my giant table (I mean, come on, I built a table for 10 for just that reason)- but cooking for just yourself can be wonderful. No one tells you they don’t eat beets, they don’t want their egg runny, or asks if you have any ketchup. (Friends, I’m fine with all those things, I’m just saying when you cook for yourself you can make everything just so- and you know I like some “just so” now and again).

The stew was delicious- so rich and fishy (why is fishy considered negative usually? Weird.) It made me want to live closer to the ocean.

Hope you’re well! Miss you!
Courtney

PS- Erin made made me Chinese breakfast-for-dinner for Chinese New Year. Chinese sausage is delicious.

PSS- What show has replaced 30 Rock for you?
PSSS- It’s snowing here right now.
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