The Surprising Elegance of Leftovers

The latest instalment of Barbara-jo's book club continued with an interesting discussion of Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal. Subtitled Cooking with Economy and Grace, chef Adler's book consists of a series of thoughtful essays on how to stretch your weekly food budget without sacrificing taste. The results - complete with user-friendly recipes - are both rewarding and more than a little nostalgic.

Inspired by M.F.K Fisher's classic How to Cook a Wolf, Adler's work serves as a timely reminder of how our budget-minded mothers used to cook. She's a master in the use of re-purposing all manner of leftovers - from stale bread to last night's vegetables.  Among other things, she writes about the lost - and often misunderstood - art of boiling meats. A skill that goes hand-in-hand with making delicious soups. Read her book and you'll look at the lingering contents of your fridge with renewed hope. These days, that's a very good thing.