What I really love about this book is that it is not at all stuck up, it covers all of the possible (well for little ole me anyways) meal genres and includes a plethora of culinary teachings from poaching eggs (which have scared the bejeebuzz outta me since forever) to making pastry (again- scary. Like, Lindsay-Lohan-in-daylight scary). Neil also explains what tools are absolutely necessary to ensure the smooth operation of a kitchen and proper preparation of said dishes, such as; an oven thermometer. And to think all these years I’ve trusted the temperature knob on the front of the oven! He is also explains in detail how to sharpen a knife (an act I have never performed, forgive me Lord) caveman style – with a rock?! His prowess is immeasurable. For serving said dishes, Neil recommends plain white, large dinner plates – my floral Corelle simply will not do. Well Neil, my credit card and I will take all of this advice under serious consideration.

How will my project work? Originally I thought I would just start at the start of the book and finish at the finish. Since this brash initial decision, I actually opened the book and discovered, due to the structure, this will not do. I will pick and choose as I go depending on season, occasion and state of mind but pledge to finish all 200 and something recipes but by when? Always in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project – one year, so by the 15th of June 2012, I vow to have completed all 200 and something recipes from Neil Perry’s cookbook The Food I Love. (I know that Julie completed like over 500 recipes in a year but, I mean, come on??! I’m not totally crazy).

So, why??? I hear you ask. Boredom? Hunger? The Masterchef phenomenon? Nah! I just want to cook better.

I’m feeling like the clichéd kid on their first day of school! I feel apprehension yet excitement. I feel scared yet exhilarated. I need a recipe that is going to whet my (and yours) appetite (so to speak) but not scare me away. I think for my first Neil Perry recipe attempt, I will keep it relatively simple (stay over there poached egg!) and try a smoothie along with bircher muesli and maybe a seafood recipe for dinner? My hubby, Willy, is pushing for scallops… so let’s see if he gets his way.


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