Today I discovered another restaurant I want to visit: The Clinton St. Baking Company in New York City. Like Rosie's Bakery, I came upon this restaurant through a cookbook, aptly named Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond. From the introduction which details the authors'/owners' meeting, marriage, and ownership of the restaurant to the last recipe for Mimosas, I loved reading this book. Of course, I also thought of the things I wanted to cook and bake and for whom. Their stories of the recipes' origins, the blend of basics with a few challenges, and the tips for using certain ingredients combine to make this a book I need to have in my kitchen.
In some of my post-graduate work, I read everything written by Louise Rosenblatt about transactional theory of how we read text (The Reader, The Text, The Poem and Literature as Exploration being the most cited of her work). As I tried to help others understand the difference between efferent and aesthetic reading, I often used cookbooks as an example. For me, reading a cookbook is more than an efferent experience to gain and internalize information. It is aesthetic for me as I contemplate and ruminate on what I read. My husband, on the other hand, would not find cookbook reading to be an aesthetic experience but rather an efferent one.
Well-written cookbooks like Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond bring me closer to the creators, giving me confidence to try the same techniques and recipes in my own kitchen. Grilled Wild Mushroom Goat Cheese Pizzas. Brookies (brownie/cookie mix). Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake. What to try first?