Why My Cookbooks are Dusty

One of my sisters and I have started writing down what we eat and then emailing it to each other. (Does it work? you ask. Good idea in theory, but I’m a writer so I don’t mind having to type a lot of words.) Anyway, a couple weeks ago, in response to my never ending log of restaurant food, carry out, and Lean Cuisines, my sister wrote back, “Don’t you ever cook?”

So today, my first full day home from vacation, I vowed to cook. I pulled this recipe for Quail and Artichokes from my Mario Batali cookbook. I even walked across the street to the Union Square Green Market in search of the best ingredients. After a loop through the entire market, I left with nothing but artichokes. Then it was on to Whole Foods where only in NYC do shoppers have to master the delicate dance of shopping carts on escalators. Alas, after a long wait at the butcher counter, I was told there were no quail, just hens. I don’t know the difference, so I bought the hens. I’m now staring at two bags of groceries on my counter and a whole mess of work. Total cost: $67 to feed me and the husband.

Just looked at the menu for Mario’s Babbo, one of the best restaurants in the city, just a five minute walk from my apartment, and one of our faves. Cost of the quail entree? $27.

This is why I watch Top Chef instead of actually cooking.