For dinner tonight I sauteed some tiny little gnocchi and made a little tomato sauce with garlic and smoked paprika to go with it. I had a small glass of wine and sat down with my copy of Simca's Cuisine.
I love this cookbook, which is why I permanently "borrowed" it from La Maman. This cookbook reads marvelously, it's as though Simca (Simone Beck) is talking to you directly: a lovely French Tantine who explains what her "trucs" are and encourages you to make a mayonnaise and to go for brisk winter walks through the woods.
The nice thing about this particular cookbook is that it is arranged by menu, rather than by recipe, which takes the recipe mix-and-match conundrum off the table so to speak. I admit to being horrible at menu planning. It stresses me out.
Simca prefaces each menu with a story and with tips ("conseils") before giving you the recipes and there is a section at the end of the book with a collection of basic recipes. I read about making baked grated apples, and a chocolate cake with whiskey and raisins, and about terrines and cheeses and wine.
I am ready for it to be cool enough to really start cooking again!