As I mentioned earlier in the week, when my oven broke, I feel like I’m living in Tamar Adler’s world. I recently finished her amazing book “An Everlasting Meal,” and I had a chance to sit down and talk with her about it, for an item on The New Yorker’s website. In it, I highlight my favorite part of the book, which considers what to do when you don't feel like cooking, or if you're one of those people who don't know the joys and rewards of making a meal:
"The heart of the book is a chapter called “How to Build a Ship,” in which she addresses the question about cooking, “How do you fall in love with it again, or if it has never made you truly happy, fall in love with it for the first time?” In her typical fashion, she starts the chapter with a quote, in this case from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Her whole book creates an immense longing for good food in clever and immediate ways. “Let smells in,” she writes. “Let the smell of salt remind you of a paper basket of fried clams you ate once, squeezing them with lemons as you walked on a boardwalk. Let it reach your deeper interest. When you smell the sea, and remember the basket of hot fried clams, and the sound of skee-balls knocking against each other, let it help you love what food can do, which is to tie this moment to that one.”
Adler’s going to be talking about the book this evening at Bubby’s, in Tribeca. It’s short notice, but if you’re in NYC, you might want to jump in a cab. If you can't get to the event, check out the rest of the interview, on The New Yorker’s website. There’s a special video, too.