Lately I’ve been too busy reading to read (an occupational hazard), and I’m beginning to feel a bit of a craving for the thrill of the start of a new book (Atul Gawande should be coming in the mail; boy, will his arms be tired). But at least I have gathered quite a bit of information vegetable, animal, and pornographical on such subjects as black carbon (bad!), vibrators (good!), and pharmaceuticals (depends!).
In the category of Books That Have Not Been Published Yet But That You Should Read Anyway (take that, Italo Calvino!) is my friend Zora O’Neill’s forthcoming cookbook, Forking Fantastic! Put the Party Back in Dinner Party (co-written with Tamara Reynolds and out October 6). Zora and I are both in EA (Egyptians Anonymous), a group for people who are still recovering from having spent any length of time in Egypt while female. By all rights, Baji and Lil Baji should be in this group, but we accidentally had too much fun when they were there, and then they left and I stayed and somehow neglected to change my gender (an unfortunate oversight).
So that’s a long-winded way of being even more irrelevant than usual. Let’s see what Anthony Bourdain has to say about Forking Fantastic!:
“This eccentrically enjoyable book by two strange and wonderful women may well be the cookbook America needs right now. Fun, deliberately unintimidating and filled with interesting—even ingenious—recipes, it inspires the non-professional to raise their game—and have a good time while doing so. Both book and authors are clearly good for the world.”
Oh, hello there, Jamie Oliver. Yes, you may speak:
“I love these girls and their tasty, delicious, no-nonsense cooking.”
Jamie Oliver even turned up at Zora’s house, or Tamara’s house (they both live in Queens so it’s all the same to me—zing! Zora, that’s me getting you back for anti–French food commentary), to film a segment of his upcoming TV show.
I’ve been the beneficiary of Zora’s cooking skill on numerous occasions and I’ve been making her lemon bars since 1998, people. They’re amazing. How many of you can produce puerco pibil from a DVD extra of Once Upon a Time in Mexico? (Baji, you may substitute pollo for puerco in this question.) Well, actually, her point is that all of you can, so get to it.
But even if you don’t, can’t, and won’t cook, you can still read, can’t you? (If not, here’s a book for you.) Unlike most cookbooks, this is one you can pick up and just read for the fun of it (you can get a taste of Zora’s style at her excellent blog, Roving Gastronome). She’s also got a great podcast, which you can download for free at iTunes, called Cooking in Real Time.
Forking Fantastic! Put the Party Back in Dinner Party! Preorder now!
-Looks at problems from all angles
-Likes feta cheese, olives, and Nescafe
-Is longer than those other two sides of a right triangle