I will admit, that not only do I love cookbooks, I love dishes. I am not a minimalist when it comes to my dishes. I have been collecting them since I was first married. I believe simple and unique dishes are an important part of a kitchen.
My grandmother used to say that presentation is half the importance of a nice meal. She truly believed that and served her meals in a way that demonstrated it. She was making bowls out of bread and fancy garnishes out of vegetables, long before it was popular. She knew that even the most frugal and simple dishes, could look fancy and important, if served in the right way.
My grandmother’s example made an impression on me. She made me realize that no matter how little money I spent on a meal, I could make that meal, seem elegant. A simple vegetable dish, can seem like an elegant part of a meal, if served in a pretty way.
An inexpensive dessert, like pudding or ice cream, can be made into a memorable dish, simply be serving it in a unique way.
The easiest way to make a frugal and simple meal, seem impressive and elegant, is to present it in an impressive and elegant way.
I am not talking about over the top, high end items. My grandmother lived on a very limited income. She was a widow at a young age, and had to finish raising my father on her own. She did not have money to spend on fancy things. What she did have was a talent for paying attention to the details, and a realization that those simple details can make all the difference.
She knew that a simple napkin,
a pretty cup,
or a unique plate,
could turn a frugal meal into an elegant feast.