Cooking with Levana: The Trust Game
Posted on 1st of December, 2011 by Lévana
The Trust Game
Only a wonderful friend like Sherry at the Kosher Scene would go to the trouble of providing an elaborate, thoughtful and generous definition for a phrase. She had mentioned to me that making my recipes is just like playing the trust game, and when I asked her what that meant, she said she will write me the story. So here comes! Thank you dearest Sherry! I assure you I find it equally safe playing the trust game with you!
I’m an ‘everywoman’ kind of cook. Most of the time I stick to relatively standard easy to prepare recipes that taste good and are well received by my “don’t want anything fancy” meat and potatoes family. Occasionally, on Shabbosim, I try some new dish from cookbooks or recipes from friends and family who have generously shared the great dishes I’ve tasted at their tables. If it’s a hit at home, it becomes part of the basic cyclic repertoire. For Yomim Tovim, and other special occasions, I get gutsier and make new dishes from the cookbooks I’ve amassed over the years. I delight in preparing new recipes and start channeling Bill Nye the Science Guy with a touch of Julia Child, as I excitedly assemble and combine the interesting array of new ingredients.
The cookbooks I use the most are the ones I know give me reliable organized step-by-step instructions with results that make me look like a star. My favorite cookbooks, like my friends, are honest forthcoming reliable true and committed. I love when recipes are well organized, methodical and certainly appreciate the aesthetics of great pictures, which serve as guides and goal posts for what my dish should look like upon completion. One of my favorite cookbook authors is Levana Kirschenbaum. She teaches tips of the trade that extend way beyond the dish being prepared, fostering mastery and confidence in the kitchen. Where some authors feature appealing yet complicated recipes, many lack sufficient explanation, organization or clarity –which leave me feeling like I am falling down a rabbit hole of deep twists, resized recesses, imperious queens, Cheshire cats with dubious grins and rabbits who are always running late. A solid cookbook author like Levana knows how to make the complicated look simple without leaving the preparer frustrated and anxious, Follow any recipe in any one of her cookbooks; it is like practiced erzatz guided imagery from start to finish- It’s like playing the Trust Game with her. You know you can fall back on her skilled instructions, she’s got your back, and she will catch you as you plunge in to the depth of her expertise in cooking each and every time.