Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quality vs. Quantity

The cookbook club I’m in met and ate a delicious meal earlier this week. We also discussed the cookbook we’re currently using, Heart of the Artichoke: and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis. The authors approach is fairly simple; he stresses the use of ingredients that are in season and doesn’t rely on many gadgets. The recipes are usually fairly simple, with a few quality ingredients. It has been a little bit of an adjustment for some of us to get used to cooking with just a few ingredients, but all of the dishes have been excellent. We came to the conclusion that it’s because even though some of them are very simple, using only a few ingredients, the ingredients are high quality. Of course this made me think about other aspects of life where focusing on quality, rather than quantity yields a good result, so here are just a few of the things that came to mind:

Friends: I’m not one of those people with 972 Facebook friends, or a cell phone full of numbers for people I barely know. (I’m not saying it’s a bad thing if you are, it’s just not for me.) I have a relatively small circle of friends, but they are close friends. They’re the kind of friends I could call at 2:00 in the morning if I needed them, and they could do the same with me. I like to think it’s because we’ve spent quality time together; we know each other, and have come to care deeply for one another.

Shoes: This is one I’m still adjusting to, but it turns out my dad was right all of those years when he told me my massive collection of cute, but cheap, sandals, high heals, and other not to so great shoes wasn’t going to be good for my feet. But I had almost any shoe in almost any color! I also now have plantar fasciitis. I have learned, the hard way, that’s it’s a much better idea to have a few pairs of quality shoes rather than a plethora of not so good shoes.

Cookware/Knives: After years of constantly buying really cheap knives, in various sizes and shapes and never spending much money on bake ware or pots and pans, I have finally come to realize that it’s definitely worth investing in the best quality kitchen products you’re able to. The result (food!) is much better,you don’t cut yourself trying to hack into something with a flimsy knife, and you buy things once, not over and over again.


  1. Thanks, Danielle. I needed this reminder. :)

  2. I have a drawer Full of crappy knives and am determined to buy at least one really good one. I just wince every time I see the prices, though.

  3. Good knives and cookware will last for a very long time. I remind myself of this when I drop a bit of money on things like that.
    I am curious about your cookbook club - how did it get started? How does it work?

    1. I think the lady who owns the local indie bookstore came up with the idea. We use the same cookbook for two months and meet once a month; each person (or couple) draws to bring either an entree, dessert,side dish, salad, or appetizer to each meeting. We take turns so no one gets stuck bringing the same thing all of the time. Then we eat the meal and talk about the cookbook and the recipes; how it was to make, if an ingredient was hard to find, what we changed, etc. It's a lot of fun.


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