I don’t follow recipes. Why then you might ask, “Do you have so many cookbooks?” Fair question.
Cookbooks are for me narratives, sometimes exotic, sometimes familiar, always poetic.
Here is a fantastic example, from Bangkok: Recipes and stories from the Heart of Thailand by Leela Punyaratabandhu:
My great-grand parents always greeted guests with a silver bowl of cold water – not from the fridge but from a terra-cotta jar that was used to store filtered rainwater. Just one sip of that water would leave guests wondering how my great-grandmother had fit their whole garden of tropical blossoms into a single bowl.
How beautiful and elegant an offering! A whole garden in a sip. This description introduces a recipe for Flower-scented water.
Granted not all books are so lush in exotic imagery soaked in rain and flower-scented. However, even the most down to earth, undesigned community or family cookbooks that list ingredients and command us to, mix, retain a hidden narrative of efficiency, a love language of service.
I may never gently float fragrant freshly blooming flowers like jasmines, roses, ylang-ylang in 12 cups of boiled tap water. But isn’t the idea that is so real and possible, beautiful?
Definitely Thai for dinner tonight served with dreams of flower-scented water.
What dreams will you serve with your dinner tonight?