The interview with Birbiglia and Ira Glass included in the special features was interesting to watch because they talked about how, while it was based on his life, some things needed to be changed in order to make the story work as a movie. For example, in the movie his jumping out of the window while sleepwalking created the necessity for him to make a major decision whereas in real life, he just jumped out of the window one night and the incident did not correspond to any major life event. It brought up an interesting idea that our lives are rarely compatible to movie plots.
This book is organized into four different sections; stews for all seasons, worldly casseroles, roasting pan complete, and big summer salads and grilled platters. The emphasis of the cookbook is to have a whole dinner in one dish, though there are dessert recipes included as well. While I love to cook, I am absolutely terrible at timing my meals. By this I mean that I cannot estimate how long certain dishes are going to take to cook. I end up with the main dish ready to go and the sides still in progress. I have been known to pull out roasted sweet potatoes to serve alongside dessert. So, a book like this immediately relieves the pressure. I can plan a basic one-dish meal and when that one-dish is done, we can eat!...just don’t ask me when that will be.
I have tried the Spicy Chicken Enchiladas Verde recipe on page 143 and the recipe was so good that I have made it three times in the past two weeks. The best part about it was how easy and fast it was. I am also really excited to try the Chicken Biryani American-style, and the One-pot Penne with turkey-feta meatballs. But the recipe that I am most excited to try is the Paella (pictured on the cover). Paella is notoriously complex to make and is a little more work intensive in general so it will be a recipe that I attempt on a day when I have more time to commit to it. But if it is anything like the other recipes in the book it should be worth it.
Did you know that 99% of insects are “harmless to human life and endeavors?” Some are even beneficial to a garden, though you wouldn’t know it with all of the push for insecticides. Well, this book talks about some of those beneficial insects. It also has a little section dedicated to these little guys. There are sketches as well as a little informational blurb about these “beneficials.” Also, there is quite a large section in the book that outlines which plants attract beneficial insects and little tips for how to grow them.
There is also a nice little section which I enjoyed on how to plant a hedgerow in order to attract birds and wildlife. It is nice to think about gardening not only as a useful endeavor, but also as a way to provide shelter for wildlife. Really this book is so helpful that I do not want to return it. I will definitely be putting it back on hold so that I can read it again and glean more information from it.