I just wanted to mention how much I'm enjoying participating in this month's "Cookbook of the Month." The Home Cooking 'hounds have been so welcoming, encouraging and helpful. I've not participated before because I never felt like I had the time and because the cookbooks chosen never seemed like a good fit for whatever was going on in my life at the time. Or, because the cookbook seemed too advanced for me. While I'm most certainly an experienced eater, I'm not a very confident or experienced cook (but I want to be!), and I have to confess, I was a bit intimidated. Everyone else's dishes always seem so delicious and beautiful and perfect and I was afraid my ugly ducking cooking and beginners' mistakes would be an embarrassment to everyone, mostly me. But, I'm having so much fun right now, in spite of all of my mistakes. I have really been enjoying cooking, even looking forward to it, which I seldom do.
So, for those of you who have held back because you're intimidated or inexperienced or because you haven't been participating since the start of the program or even since the start of the month, I encourage you to join in. Even this month; it's not too late (we're not even halfway through the month yet!). If you're worried that the cookbooks are beyond your skill-level, all the more reason to join in as folks are so willing to answer your beginners questions. Sure, everyone is at a little different level, but we're all learning together--that's the point!
Also, I think COTM is a perfect way to approach an unfamiliar cookbook or cuisine. So many times I've purchased a cookbook, flipped through all the pretty pictures, but put it away and never cooked from it because it seemed so overwhelming or because it called for a long list of ingredients I never had on hand. But, now I realize that if you focus on it for an entire month, you can really get the hang of it--and probably use your "specialty" ingredients throughout the month, instead of the one time you tried that dish from that cookbook and it didn't go so well.
Anyway, that's it. Thanks everyone. I have to go cook now!