I preface this post with the fact that I had a baby. Last year. It’s no excuse for being gone from this space for so long, but it’s my excuse. To all those who manage to update their blog while pregnant and sick and then during those first few months of complete newborn insanity and sleeplessness, my hat goes off to you.
Mark Bittman’s HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING was the first book launch party I ever attended. It was during my first job as a Subsidiary Rights Assistant at Macmillan General Publishing. I was beyond excited. It was held at the midtown restaurant The Beacon (which I cannot believe is still there today, for no other reason than I know the average length of the Manhattan restaurant lifespan, and it’s not usually that long!)
All I remember about the party was that I drank a glass of (free! FREE!) red wine and I had no idea who Mark Bittman was or if this cookbook would be a big deal. Let’s see, four spinoff books and a New York Times column later, I’d say I was at a pretty special event, even if I didn’t know it then.
I have loved the stuffing out of my copy of the book. It is really the only cookbook I use. My mother-in-law has a brand new pristine copy that she has never cracked the spine on. My husband suggested I trade her, since mine is falling apart.
But anyone who loves books the way I love them would know that the state of this book – the writing in the margins, the printed-out recipes stuffed inside, even the section that I have to remove and smooth out in order to read – has so much more meaning now, after years and years of use, than a brand new copy ever could.
So even with the dustjacket covered in grease – kind of gross, I admit – my copy is the only copy I want to hold.