If you saw Julie and Julia, you'll remember the pivotal scene when the food critic from the New York Times comes for boeuf bourguignon at Julie's apartment. Amanda Hesser, who plays herself in the film, went back to her laptop and wrote a piece about Julie's blog that made Julie famous and changed her life completely.
Hesser, despite looking scarcely over the age of twenty-five, is an accomplished writer of books on food and its place in her life. Together with her Times colleague Merrill Stubbs, she started Food 52, a blog for and about home cooks. In addition to weekly recipe contests (among the most delicious recently was "Your Best Autumn Salad") where readers are both contributors and judges, they have amassed a fabulous database of dishes.
Home cooks, say Hesser and Stubbs, are resourceful and inventive and can come up with dishes that rival those of professionals. But they cite many other great reasons for making food in our own kitchens. A couple of my favorites: "If you cook, you'll make your home an important place in your life." and "If you cook, people will remember you."