On Christmas day, I received a totally unexpected and mind-boggling gift: an email alerting me that my 2001 cookbook A New Way to Cook is included on the Guardian’s “The Best Food Books of the Decade” list. It is such an honor; please bear with me for tooting horns and telling a tale. From UK foodwriter Richard Ehrlich:
“This is the intelligent person’s guide to healthy cooking. The New York based Schneider has rethought the culinary use of fats, sugar etc from the ground up, and this vast book is all about how to go on using them but using a bit less by deploying techniques that maximise their impact. One of the few truly original cookbooks of the last decade; I wish it had made more of a splash on this side of the pond.”
A New Way to Cook is where I first starting testing the idea of writing recipes that encouraged readers to improvise (with some sometimes radical techniques I’d improvised for cooking healthfully); it took nine years to bring to publication (a long story)… The theme of improvisational cooking resonated so strongly with people that
I decided to write a book JUST about that, The Improvisational Cook. And that book eventually led to ‘the improvised life’, which expands the idea of improvising to everyday living (the same principals apply).
So I guess the backstory of this wonderful honor is the evolution of an idea, slowly, with lots of ups-and-downs over many years…a zig-zag path whose outcome I couldn’t imagine when I started…
I am still being surprised.
*You can find hardcover editions of A New Way to Cook (now out-of-print) with it’s wild striped jacket, through Amazon’s resellers. To explore A New Way to Cook, poke around Google Reader or sallyschneider.net.