“I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and say to myself, “Well, that’s not going to happen.”
(Rita Rudner, American comedian)
Similarly to Ms. Rudner, I do read recipes/cookbooks, but in manner akin to how I watch PBS travel shows: for inspiration more than for go-there-and-then-do-this-while-you’re-there advice. I tend to peruse cookbooks as if they were novels/short story collections, more than as a set of how-tos. It is something of a garbled, quasi-literary approach: I “read” through a new cookbook to get an overall feel/feeling for whatever the author is promoting,  then I put the book down and see if MH feels like being my sous chef.
Except in baking – a culinary discipline moiself and others more knowledgeable and experienced than moiself distinguish from cooking  and where precise measurements and techniques are called for (to work the chemistry of leavened breads, for example) – I rarely cook from a recipe or follow one  step-by-step, from start to finish.
Counting (and likely missing some of) the books I’ve either lent out or have transferred to another location, moiself currently has somewhere in the vicinity of 60+ cookbooks. At least that many more have been relegated to the retired list.  The other night, while reaching for the cord to plug in our Dinner Party Festive Lights, ® I almost knocked one of the books off its shelf. I felt a twinge of regret to see it there, teetering above the kitchen sink, the dusty volume looking bereft from my neglect. 
That was the incident which gave birth  to a project I have set for moiself.
Welcome to the first edition of my Epicurean Excursion. This EE is meant to be a recurring feature of this blog, from this week on until I complete (or tire of) it, wherein moiself will go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook one recipe from one book.
Knowing moiself, I’ll tend to treat any “rules” (even if they are totally self-defined and imposed) as guidelines. There will be time outs for travel, vacation, etc.
What to call it? I considered cookbook challenge, but it’s not so much a challenge I’ve set for moiself, more like…a suggestion?
a short journey or trip, especially one engaged in as a leisure activity.
(“an excursion to Mount Etna”)
synonyms: trip, outing, jaunt, expedition, journey, tour;
EE nights will be either Monday or Tuesday; I shall catalog the experience on Friday. Let me assure those of y’all who do not consider y’alls’ selves to be foodie fanatics, – the majority of my blog posts will continue to be devoted to my usual slavering spew thoughtful and erudite commentary on current/events/culture/feminism/politics/religion.
My EE reviews will not be extensive. There are other cooks, professional and amateur, with experiences more vast and palates more refined and adventurous than moiself – you can Google the late great chef Anthony Bourdain for his take on eating roasted warthog anus,  if that’s what poles your gondola.
I’ll just tell you the name of the cookbook I used and the recipe I made, and the rating I’ve assigned to that recipe. My eight scale rating system will be as follows:
* Two Thumbs Up: Liked it.
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it!
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin would like this recipe. 
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up.
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing My Nose: I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion
The Inaugural Voyage
(chosen by luck of alphabetical listing in which titles beginning with a number go first),
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
15 Minute Vegan, by Katy Beskow
Recipe: Smoky Chickpea Soup
I’m a sucker – a slurper, more accurately – for any soup or stew with a mélange of Moroccan/Mediterranean spice flavors, and this one was a sensory delight.
My rating: Two Hamster Thumbs Up!
Mere words cannot describe how bang-on  delighted I am to be able to use that rating for my first outing with this project. But words aren’t necessary when you have a picture of hamster thumbs.
* * *
May you find a reason to enjoy some classic Rita Rudner standup routines; 
May you never take your I’ll try anything once motto or reputation so seriously that
you find yourself eating roasted warthog anus;
May life favor you with an abundance of Two Hamster Thumbs Up experiences;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 A specific cuisine; their family recipe collection; the Netflix cooking show deal they hope to land….
 It sometimes gets simplified into cooking = art and baking = science or cooking vs. science…although that distinction tends to imply an adversarial relationship, and there is much overlap between the two.
 Except for those I’ve written down moiself, after learning to at least try to do so on a regular basis, after having made something yummers and then trying to recall what was it that I did?
 As in, permanently given away, or recycled (think: Goodwill store), due to issues of space or just lack of interest or relevance. For example, a plant-eater don’t need no Barbecuing Big Beef Bones tome.
 Yes, books can have facial expressions, and other human attributes as well. They have spines, don’t they?
 Fortunately, without the cursing which accompanied the births of my two children.
 Irish slang for very much, spot on, or accurate.
 Especially those that deal with marriage/family life. Sample: Rudner’s take on being child-free and trying to understand babies; specifically, the atrocious noise a friends’ newborn son makes – a raucous cry her friend explains away with, He’s hungry : “I thought, that’s the noise he makes when he’s hungry? He’d better pace himself. What kind of noise is he going to make when he gets audited?”