Ladies We Love: Cathy Erway

February 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm , by


How would you feel about not eating out for a month? Or six months? Brooklyn-based blogger and amateur cook Cathy Erway decided to do just that—for two years. She was tired of takeout and overpriced dinners, but it wouldn’t an easy feat in New York city, where eating out is the norm. She documented her venture on her blog, Not Eating Out in New York, and it quickly gained a following.

EATIN INHer blog became the basis of her new book, The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove, but it’s about more than avoiding restaurants. You follow along with her as she faces a social life without dining out, cooking successes (and some disasters) and realizing the importance of knowing where your food comes from. It also includes Cathy’s original recipes for you to try at home, so give it a look—it may inspire you to eat in tonight.

What makes me a lady: Listening to others and trying to do what I do best for them. (Usually, cooking something good!)

Favorite guilty pleasure: Eating a huge meal at midnight.

Three things on my life list: To grow more food or work on a farm, help efforts to improve school lunch food, and maybe, write a novel.

If I could have a superpower, it would be: Perfect balance. Not in a literal sense, but to stay focused and keep centered while playing a lot of roles and juggling a lot of pieces.

Ladies I admire: Alice Waters, Michelle Obama, Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe, and heroes of my local food community like Annie Novak, Paula Crossfield, Kerry Trueman. All the ladies at Just Food, a nonprofit. And my mom.

56 Responses to “Ladies We Love: Cathy Erway”

  1. I applaud her for going against the social norm in NY but it was quite common for us not to eat out for more than two years growing up in a small town in PA. Of course, most of the time it was more about the money than the socializing (or not) but my Mom was a great cook and we didn’t need to eat out to have good food. People today don’t understand that you can cook well at home, eat healthier and save money … and entertain at home, too. I’m not sure how big an apartment Miss Erway had but I cooked Thanksgiving meal in a small one-room apartment in Korea and had 10 people come in and enjoy it with me. Most of it has to do with how you look at things … you’re not required to follow the crowd, you do it (or not) because you choose to.

  2. Read Ms. Erway’s book. Most people think “eating out” is a restaurant meal, but it’s the bagels, the Starbucks, the fast food, etc. that is so pervasive in our culture as well. Ms. Erway’s book chronicles her journey, but not by just repeating her blog posts (which I have now started reading). She has a great point of view and voice, and I have already started passing the book around. Yes, it’s easier to “eat in” outside of NYC, but try mentioning that to the line of cars wrapped around McD’s every afternoon.

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