Cookbooks from the Library? Genius!

I am a loyal patron of the Squamish Public Library.

It’s not quite as glitzy as the Whistler library, but it reminds me a lot of my neighbourhood library growing up. Small but well-stocked, plenty to browse, and friendly staff.

On a visit a little while ago, a book on display caught my eye. It was a cookbook of all things Canadian. I flipped through it, but didn’t take it out – it have a lot of novelty recipes, but I knew I’d never try them (plus it’s hard to find moose meat at the local grocery store). But it did ignite a light in my head: cookbooks at the library?!

Somehow, it had never dawned on me that I could borrow cookbooks from the library. I perused the rows upon rows of cookbooks until I settled on one: Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes. Little did I know what magic I had just stumbled upon.

meals-in-minutes

Meals in Minutes is FABULOUS. Here is why:

  • I like Jamie Oliver for his unpretentious approach to cooking. His technique is messy and flexible. It’s hard to screw up his recipes.
  • The meals generally didn’t cook quite as quickly as J.O. promised, but they were still largely under an hour.
  • The recipes provide a whole meal, not just a main course. This is amazing: not only does it automatically match up flavours and food groups, but the steps hop from one dish to another so that everything finishes up more or less at the same time.
  • Most importantly, the meals were very good. They’re a great way to get out of a cooking rut.

Some of the recipes we tried are:

  • Tomato soup with chunky croutons
  • Curry rogan josh with fluffy rice, carrot salad, and flatbread
  • Mustard chicken with quick dauphinoise and greens
  • Tray-baked chicken with squashed potatoes and creamed spinach
  • Killer jerk chicken with rice & beans and chopped salad
  • Chicken skewers with Satay sauce and fiery noodle salad
  • Piri piri chicken with dressed potatoes and arugula salad
  • Pork chops & crispy cracklins with crushed potatoes and minty cabbage (the cabbage was kind of weird)

(Can you tell I load up on chicken breast when it’s on sale?)

The recipes come with suggested desserts, too, but I skipped them – we just have chocolate chip cookies for dessert or whatever happens to be my baked good du jour.

Sadly, the time has come for me to return the book – but happily, there are a hundred others that I have yet to sample. Thank you, Squamish Library, for inspiring my culinary creations for the rest of my lifetime.

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