More Waxing Poetic About Anne Lindsay ('s New Light Cooking)

Hi, my name is B and I'm a maximizer.

It's an illness, really. I'm barely able to buy cereal. When I look at a cereal aisle suddenly my whole life is at stake - am I a flax seed granola person (faux-healthy and delicious)? Or am I an oatmeal person (stoic and practical)? Or am I a Red Berries person (dieting and pretending I'm not sad about it)? This is hard. So trying to decide on something that's actually important is frightening.

Luckily, Anne Lindsay's New Light Cookingis almost aggressively simple to follow, even for a late-bloomer cook like myself, and sometimes prophetic. Here's a taste of what cooking a la Ms. Lindsay has taught me:

1) You Will Never Be Nigella Lawson, But You Could Be Anne Lindsay

Smoked salmon and cream cheese spirals are not difficult. Spread tortillas with cheese, salmon and watercress. Roll. Chill. Cut. Eat. They could be mistaken as classy due to the smoked salmon but you can make them in a pinch and in quantities appropriate for a party where you want to appear somewhat competent as a domestic artist.

The last summer I lived at home in Nova Scotia I was working at the local museum and we were throwing a tea party (it was a super hip job). So, I made the rolls. Suddenly I wasn't a witchy 19-year-old with black hair and a bad attitude, I was a roll-making, tea-party-hosting young lady. This just proves that Anne Lindsay is the yoga pants of cookbooks - functional, practical and hides a multitude of flaws. Amen.

2) Embrace Failure When Trying New Things...

Skillet pork curry with apples and chinese noodles sounds disgusting, right? I don't really like pork and the idea of eating that fleshy meat with slippery noodles sounds downright vile. However, I made it because the idea of eating apples and pork sounded wonderfully English and homey. And you know what? It WAS vile. So I threw that dog's breakfast out and that was that. Lesson learned.

3) ...But Always Make Time For Tried and True Favorites

Easy chocolate cake with chocolate buttermilk icing is right up the old B alley and truth be told, one of the best healthy-ish cake recipes I've ever found. The trick is in good cocoa powder and espresso powder - there is nothing like a kick of coffee to rev a chocolate cake up a notch! Ms. Lindsay doesn't stand for obscene amounts of eggs and butter in her recipes, often subbing in ingredients like buttermilk and veg oil. The result is worth scraping the sides of the mixing bowl for.

4) Try Your Best and Leave the Rest (Eat Fruit Crisp)

I hate eating healthily. I am never going to be one of those people who packs snacks like cut cukes and carrot sticks and celery. I'm not going to make a gazpacho soup and call that lunch. I really hate eating fruit because I get grossed out by the texture unless it's perfectly ripe. So here's what it boils down to for me - if you have to eat your fruit with butter and sugar, so be it. I can't read Anne Lindsay's mind but that's probably why she invented apple berry crisp. There's not too much bad stuff and the fruit gets all warm and yummy. Then, mix some greek yogurt with (real!) vanilla extract and throw a dollop on there to get that mind-bending effect of warm and cold, creamy and fruity. Yum!

Which brings me to...

5) If You're Not Enjoying Yourself What the Hell is Your Problem?

Brunch encompasses everything we aspire to - the leisure to enjoy a meal, with good company and no pressing obligations - yet rarely make time for. Not everyone's privy to my lax schedule but everyone can make lemon blueberry coffee cake. There are no surprise ingredients and the heart-clogging stuff is kept to a minimum by using yogurt in the batter. Warm, lemony and delicious, this deserves to be eaten right out of the pan. Don't eat yogurt cups. Make time for coffee cake and just go ahead and enjoy it, damn you, and stop whining about everything being wrong (I'm mostly talking to myself here).

I may be inspired to write more about Anne Lindsay but let's just call it a day for now. I just finished (and LOVED!) Because I Have Loved and Hidden it and I need to do a video to fully explain to you the ecstasy I experienced in reading it.


alexis said...

Oh, "Because I have loved and hidden it" is completely underrated. I loved it too and wrote a column about it. The author wrote me to tell me that she appreciated my column.

B.Kienapple said...

Ah! Thank you Alexis! I hope many more people will read this book, it's THAT good. Elise Moser will go on to be snapped up by a big publishing house and do great things in future, I'd bet on it.

Rella said...

hm, in regards to your intro, it gives a whole new meaning to Mr.Burns' ketchup vs. catsup dilemma.
Really I just couldn't resist a Simpson's reference ;)


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