Jeff Smith, aka the Frugal Gourmet, died on Friday. He was only 65! I never got to watch his show, because we didn’t have a TV, but I still think The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors is a great book. There’s a nice discussion on eGullet.
When I was younger, my brother had this kind of sweet, not-all-there friend, and one day he came over to our house clutching a Frugal Gourmet cookbook and wanting to cook some kind of rice pudding in our oven–which involved about six gallons of cream, a dozen eggs, and baking for nine hours or something. “What’s frugal about that?” my mother wondered. (The Froog was into using all the little bits of everything, not necessarily spending less on food.) The kid’s dreams were dashed that day (he was probably 9 years old) because I’m sure my mother insisted on some chocolate dessert, but I hope he got right back on the horse.
And it’s a little weird that I was just leaving Seattle, where Jeff Smith lived and was often seen riding around the market on his Li’l Rascal, just as he was dying. Same thing happened to me with Paris and Princess Di. Spooky.