Cookbooks are my favorite kind of book, and if it’s a good one, I read it cover to cover, like a real page-turner. I dive into the informational text wholeheartedly, studying the table of contents, captions, ingredients, and instructions, to get the full story of science, patience, and passion that go into the culinary arts and (duh) food. I saw a post about the music industry coming together, sharing recipes for COVID relief efforts, and ordered my copy right away.
The Foreword from publicist and project-leader, Maria Ivey, had me more jazzed up than the Heather Graham mystery I just finished reading. It normalized the feelings of joy, peace, and relief I find in my kitchen, especially during the quarantine. Memories of my Mom’s sweet, sticky pumpkin bread came to mind when I read about the foods that celebrate and console. And I too noticed a correlation between the number of festival cancelations and amount of prepared food in my (new, Sub-Zero) fridge; this afternoon, I made three dishes alone, including a cheddar bacon cauliflower salad, a fresh veggie tray with homemade guacamole, and a keto-cheesecake, all between meetings about merchandise, marketing, and COVID updates.
Cookbooks like “All the Thyme in the World” give readers a literal taste of family traditions, so I was to glad see there weren’t pictures to distract me or artist bios for bias. I found myself scanning recipe headings out of excitement and rereading each page to explore the uniqueness of each recipe. And then I discovered the heart and soul of this book — the garnish that completes the plate — a personal anecdote or piece of advice to accompany the recipe. Perhaps it’s a symbol of how human each of the contributing artists, photographers, tour managers or music journalists truly is, or a reminder of how food connects people and cultures during family gatherings, meetings, conversations, and (sadly) global pandemics: I don’t know any other cookbook that gets more poetic than that.
Within the first ten minutes of reading, I came across a version of pumpkin bread from a local wife and mother I met through the industry, as well as “Waphles” with a great story, and a recipe for guacamole with an explanation longer than the ingredients list. By the time I got to “Chococado Smoothie” & a “Painkiller” cocktail, I started a grocery list. Halfway through Mains, I decided I needed to start a playlist to track all the music recommendations which “pair perfectly” with each serving. Before I made it to Vegetables & Sides, I decided I needed to start over completely and reread the book with post-its to annotate.
And here I am, a quarter past 1 in the morning, happily distracted from the world’s worst, looking forward to reading, cooking, music, and a lifetime of new recipes to share with my friends and family, recording my excitement and plans with you via a blog post. But that’s it for tonight. Why rush? I’ve got “All the Thyme in the World.”