Tonight, I’m planning to make monkfish (the lobster of fish) cut into chunks and sautéed in olive oil, sherry, clam juice, garlic, onions, red peppers, and tomatoes, with blanched slivered almonds and parsley. I’ll serve it over boiled red potatoes, cut up and lightly doused in olive oil and kosher salt, along with a mesclun and radish salad. We have a bottle of Provencal rosé getting cold in the fridge.
It’ll be a pink-and-red dinner: who said red was the most appetizing color? Whoever it was had a very good point.

I haven’t cooked in so long, I hope I remember how. But meanwhile, I’ve been talking, writing, reading, and thinking almost exclusively for the past two or three weeks about food: in hotels, airports, on planes, in restaurants, at readings, at parties, and in cars.
On Friday, I got back from a wildly fun, exhausting book tour to promote Blue Plate Special. For part of it, I traveled with several fellow Doubleday writers and our editors, flying together from city to city, staying in the same hotels, and attending cocktail parties with booksellers in the evenings, a stroke of genius on the part of the publicists.

In San Francisco, at the strong urging of Charlotte Druckman, my friend and editor at, and the author of the fantastic book Skirt Steak, about female chefs, I took BART to the Mission District to eat lunch at Bar Tartine. I ordered the apricot soup and the Vietnamese chicken salad and drank a clean, crisp Riesling while I waited for the food to arrive. The soup was tart and creamy and cool, and I loved the hell out of it. The waitress told me it was an Eastern European specialty. The salad was equally good, but enormous, so I had half of it boxed up and stuck it in my bag.

Then I walked through the sunny, cool afternoon to Omnivore Books. Charlotte had told me that I’d love the owner, Celia, and had warned me that I would spend far too much money there. She was right on both counts; I wanted to stand in that small, clean, bright, book-lined room all day, pawing all the food literature and talking to Celia, who is a rare books collector and an expert on all aspects of culinary writing. But I restrained myself somewhat and bought the five books I didn’t think I could live without: Food and Drink in America, The Salt Book, A History of Food in 100 Recipes, Consider the Fork, and The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine.

More at Kate's always entertaining blog