Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Seventh Daughter: A Game Plan

I've just spent 40 minutes honing a strategy for cooking the maximum number of dishes from The Seventh Daughter over the next eight days. After my obsessive commitment to preparing even the strangest Parsi specialties from Niloufer Ichaporia King's Bombay Kitchen, I owe it to Madame Chiang. 

I refer to her as Madame Chiang not because I'm affected, but because, according to her co-writer Lisa Weiss, that's what everyone calls her. At their first meeting Weiss was thrilled when Madame Chiang, "ever the gracious and intuitive hostess," said, "Please call me Cecilia." 

I don't find that the most endearing story ever.

Nonetheless, I like this book much more than I thought I would when I first glanced at its antiseptic photographs and rather tame roster of recipes. And when I can dig out from other reading obligations, I am going to power through to the end of Madame Chiang's life story, which is about to get exciting, what with the Japanese Army, Mao, and a rocky marriage looming on the horizon. 

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