Last week’s email newsletter focused on the new Sam Sifton cookbook, which I pre-ordered in October and have been excited about since.
I’ve been reading the book since I wrote the newsletter last week, and I came across his recipe called “Meatloaf for Nora,” which led me to this wonderful story, summarized in the book. It’ll be the first of many I’ll make in the next week or so.
Anyway, here’s the newsletter. Enjoy.
It’s no secret that I love chefs, I love restaurants, I love cookbooks and I love cooking. But you know what I really love? Food writers.
Of all the food writers I read and love and cook recipes from, Sam Sifton is my favorite. He has been for years. I remember the day I interviewed him for a long-forgotten World-Herald story about his book “Thanksgiving.” I was nervous as a cat. Sweaty palms, my questions are terrible, I know nothing about food nervous. (P.S. it went fine. I tried not to gush about his book. I’m sure I failed.)
Years later, when I got to meet him in Omaha and was lucky enough to show him around to some of my favorite local spots, well. It was a highlight of my career. A true joy. (He returned the favor several months later by giving us a tour of The New York Times in the middle of what seemed like his very busy day.)
I ordered his latest book, “See you on Sunday,” last October. I eagerly awaited the day it came. And as soon as I got home from work last night, I cracked into it.
A lot of people think it’s weird to read a cookbook. But I do it all the time. Yes, a cookbook’s main purpose is, of course, cooking the recipes. But I find they’re sometimes, when you get very lucky, cookbooks are also filled with well written, inspiring prose. Sam is that kind of writer. Read his introduction. Read the text instructing you on how to warm a plate, or his short piece on salad, or his introduction to Chapter 11 in the book, “A Nice Party,” which is just great.
Then do what I’m going to do: make a grocery list and invite some friends over for dinner. Have a Sunday Supper. It’s what Sam would do.