As I was stirring my peach and lemon marmalade this morning I decided there really was such a thing as ‘girly’ cooking. The marmalade was pinky-orange and smelled delicious (BTW when are blogs going to have a smell application so we can share these moments?).
While I’m sure my male friends will tuck into it quite happily it a peach marmalade just doesn’t strike me as having the same ‘grunt’ as a bitter orange or lemon marmalade. Not that I’m worried. Indeed I’m really pleased to see a whole group of young women putting out some fantastic recipes and writing engagingly about cooking. And all that lovely retro-influenced book design doesn’t hurt either!
Today’s revelation came to me courtesy of Rachel Saunders Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, which I picked up ‘on spec’ from the ACT Public Library last Friday.
I was making my late summer version of her Early Summer Peach Marmalade, as one does. She has a slightly different approach to her technique, preferring to do initial preparation the day before and leaving the ingredients to macerate overnight before a final cooking. Rachel also has some lovely flavour variations – I’m looking very seriously at cooking Orange-Kumquat Marmalade with Cardamon. You can read more about Rachel’s cooking at her Blue Chair Fruit website.
It didn’t take me long to think of some other examples of exciting young cooks including Poh Ling Yeow who hosted Poh’s Kitchen one of my favourite cooking programs of 2010.
Poh’s cookbook came my way via Santa last Christmas and its as enjoyable as Poh herself. The book is clearly targetting people new to cooking but there is plenty for the more experienced cook can learn. Indeed I owe Poh for encouraging me to make my first croissants from scratch.
Last but definitely not least is Molly Wizenberg, author of the blog Orangette, who published her book A Homemade Life in 2009.
I was somewhat concerned about the blog into book, some are good and many are truly regrettable. But there are no regrets with this book. My biggest problem was not being able to leap up immediately and cook the recipe at the end of each chapter, only being on the bus to work stopped me. I have since made her Winning Hearts and Minds chocolate cake. Chocolate is the operative word as there is only 1 tablespoon of flour in this cake! Yummo.
We were won over.
I know there are more good cooks out there, both young and old, and all of them an inspiration.