If you have a couple that you're buying a wedding present for and they haven't registered for The Newlywed Cookbook, get it for them anyway.
It just may be the best present they didn't know they wanted.
Sarah Copeland's lush book, with delicious photography by Sara Remington, is essentially a basic cookbook, with advice on how to stock a pantry for two plus a large section on organics, an outline for essential equipment and party menu ideas. The book, published by Chronicle and selling for $35 at full price, leans heavily on seasonal ingredients for its 200 recipes.
This is the cookbook for the pair who rides bikes to the farmers market, bringing back reusable bags stuffed with rhubarb and greens, earthy bread and interesting cheeses. Even if your couple doesn't cook together now, Copeland's book may inspire them to get cozy in the kitchen.
The Newlywed Cookbook celebrates the joy of cooking for two but the recipes aren't necessarily scaled that way, making enough for dinner guests, leftovers or simply to satisfy bigger appetites. The savory recipes span the globe with influences from Asian, the Mediterranean and the Mideast, among other places.
Copeland quotes her grandmother, who always said, "Learn to make what he loves." And that goes for him cooking for her. Brown Sugar Pudding, a favorite of Copeland's grandfather, just might become a favorite of the newlyweds, too. It's simple, comforting and flavorful. The pudding is just one of many tempting dessert recipes. Warm Cherries With Pistachio Ice Cream is simple and impressive.
As a wedding gift, pair the book with high-quality olive oil such as Nicolas Alziari from France or L'Estornell from Spain. (They are stocked at Williams-Sonoma). Or maybe a basket of grains such as quinoa, barley and farro. Also consider cookware or kitchen gadgets, such as the indispensable Microplane.
They're getting ready to say "I do." Help them add "We cook" to that declaration.
Janet K. Keeler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8586.