Laurie Colwin was a wonderful writer and an excellent cook. But the best thing about her writing was how she could communicate feelings, comfort, and a sense of place.
About the Book
When I found this book and read it for the first time, I had to stop after each chapter, sigh, and just let it all sink in. Laurie Colwin is the kind of writer I would love to be someday. Ms. Colwin, who died in 1992, wrote a monthly column for Gourmet magazine, lots of short stories, and 6 novels.
I adore them all and have probably reread them each about 20 times.
This book is a collection of some of her Gourmet columns. These columns were probably the main reason I bought that magazine. They are insightful, beautifully written, soothing, and contain some of the best recipes I have ever made.
I absolutely love her recipe for pot roast, which is slowly cooked with red peppers until meltingly fork tender. Recipes for gingerbread, chocolate cake, chicken salad, and orzo with broccoli rabe have become favorites at my house. Be sure to try the recipes when you buy the book. I know it's tempting to just keep it by your bedside and read it for comfort!
This recipe is a version of Pot Roast with Vegetable Gravy. It is included in Friday Night Supper, an essay all about slowing down and enjoying a satisfying dinner on the weekend.
Favorite Recipe from the Book
Her recipe for pot roast is absolutely sublime.
I've adapted it, and you can find it at the link below.
Her comment at this point is: People often eat this in total silence in which case you may assume that you are not going to have any leftovers.
Like all her recipes, this one is simple, elegant, straightforward, and easy to make. Just follow the instructions and you'll eat the best pot roast of your life.
Final Thoughts ...
The essay I love most in this book is called "Alone In The Kitchen With An Eggplant". She writes about her very first adult apartment, a studio in Greenwich Village with a hotplate and no kitchen. Her place had a high ceiling, which was a good thing, since a low one would have made my apartment feel like the inside of a box of animal crackers. She cooked a lot of eggplant at the time, and invented all sorts of strange dishes that she ate at her desk with her feet up on her small wicker end table, watching the evening news in her cozy apartment. She writes about her routine, the foods she cooked there, the parties she gave, and how after years and years, some things never change.
Now I have a kitchen with a four burner stove, and a real fridge. I have a pantry and a kitchen sink and a dining room table. But when my husband is at a business meeting and my little daughter is asleep, I often find myself alone in the kitchen with an eggplant, a clove of garlic and my old pot without the handle about to make a weird dish of eggplant to eat out of the Meissen soup plate at my desk.