On Hotels

Since I got an iPhone I rarely use a paper map for actual navigation. I use maps a lot for planning, to create the itineraries, and get a good sense of timing and mileage, but when I’m on the road I almost always put the destination into the phone and go. This can have hilarious (in retrospect) consequences, as we discovered on the ride from Chania, Crete to Viglatoras, about 40 minutes southwest of Heraklion.

We followed the blue line on the phone along the E75 and took a right where it was indicated onto the Nikolaou Plastira. This meant no more to me then than it probably does to you right now. On the phone it looked like a real road, but as we went along it became narrower, then took us into a vineyard until it was little more than an ox path. The tracks were bumpy and wildly uneven, really only suitable for farm machinery, and we became concerned that we’d get hung up in the ruts that seemed deep enough to catch and hold a Sherman Tank. It was rainy and night was rapidly approaching. Continue reading “On Hotels”

On Cookbooks

Everyone that cooks regularly will eventually settle on one or two cookbooks that they use frequently, maybe even exclusively. Such books will stand in for the trusted friend or family member, working with you in the kitchen when that person is not around or available.
After a while you understand the author in such a way that you know the recipes you’ve prepared are great, and more importantly, those you haven’t cooked yet will be.
If you don’t have your mother to work with, or professional culinary training, then a cookbook may be your best shot at becoming a good cook.

There are thousands of cookbooks in the known universe that range from useful, professionally, written, and with recipes that will taste utterly delicious, to those that have been written by 6 year old children, seemingly with a taste for few things beyond chicken nuggets and string cheese.
Examples of the former are such indispensable classics as The Joy of Cooking and The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Examples of the latter are far too numerous to list here.

Continue reading “On Cookbooks”