Must-Have: Canal House Cooks Every Day
Ok, the Monday morning pity party is over. For the most part. Chocolate helped.
I am moving on to my Monday Must-Have, a new cookbook I just bought for myself when Santa failed to get the hint: Canal House Cooks Every Day.
Canal House was started by two legendary female figures in the food world that you probably don’t know: Christopher Hirsheimer (yes, a woman named Christopher…it took me a minute to catch on) and Melissa Hamilton. But you certainly know their work. They were two of the founding editors of Saveur Magazine and went on to enjoy amazing careers in the food world as stylists, photographers, editors and more.
A few years back, they founded Canal House in an unassuming studio space that sits on the Delaware Canal (one lives on one side of it, the other on the other) and have since developed a fiercely loyal following for their books, seasonal magazines and blog. You can read more about it all here.
I don’t actually remember how I came across their site a few months back but I instantly regretted that it had taken me so long. The aesthetic, the recipes, the voice — it all made me want to get right into the kitchen and fill up on all the amazing things a home cooked meal can bring to your life.
Their latest book features simple food (for the most part), beautifully photographed and inspired by seasonal flavors and finds. It’s actually divided by month so you can source the very best of the season all year round (helpful even for us California types who can find avocados and lemons in January). It shares a look inside their charming, inspired life at Canal House and has you yearning for a small kitchen, basic ingredients and a slower approach to the joy of cooking. And it has this genius recipe for making a rotisserie chicken in your home oven (you cook the chicken directly on the rack, people — amazing!) and the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried.
I spent much of the weekend pouring (poring?) over every page – marveling at the photos, mentally marking off must-try recipes and feeling inspired by every section, month by month.
It’s a cookbook that will last you decades, beautifully bound in a thick red cover with a page mark made of bright blue ribbon. It’s heavy and probably won’t fit into your standard book stand so you will need to move around it when cooking, rather than it moving around you. And it is bigger than your average cookbook, which will inevitably make it stand out on your crowded shelf.
Just as it should.