The one thing even long term readers might not know about me is that 1) I do all the cooking and 2) am quite good at it (if I do say so myself). (And I do.) I am not, however, good with following recipes or remembering how I improvise on them. In order to preserve how I prepared meals worth making again, I'm going to share them with you. They're largely variations on recipes from the only cookbook that's also an education: The Professional Chef by the Culinary Institute of America. It weighs in at 7.8 lbs. and is every bit the beast an almost eight-pound book should be. In it you learn what equipment to buy (one good chef's knife can replace an assortment of space-cluttering gadgets); how to use that equipment in the most effective way possible (the time people spend cooking can be cut in half by the knowledge of how to cut an onion); how particular flavors are produced (both in terms of spicing and preparing dishes); how certain textures are achieved (especially important in soups and with meats); and I could go on but you see my point: this is the book to purchase should you want to learn how to cook. I'm going share recipes in its spirit: not only will I tell you what to do, I'll also explain why I'm doing it.