Ok, so I lied. You didn't miss anything. No recipes came and went while I was gone. I've been busy.
Life has been fairly, uh, unpleasant, lately. My wife and I have decided to divorce, so I've spent a week, now, doing paperwork, doing some planning, trying to pack and clean the house so we can put it on the market to sell it, and, in the meantime, still trying to go on with my daily life in a way that will make life a tad easier to continue after the shock of all of this is over.
I have been reading the Mario Batali book though. It's amazing. Not only is it a great cookbook (granted, I have yet to cook from it...) but I love the way Mr. Batali (yes, he deserves Mister Status...) writes and organizes this book. He begins each section with a page on the culture of Italy, or the history of a region. Then, in the recipe section, he puts personal notes, tips for substitutions, and even cultural notes about a certain dish. It makes for more than just a cookbook, but for knowledge-building enjoyable reading. Wonderful.
That said, I have picked out a bunch of recipes from his book, and have plans to try my hand at cooking a few of them in the coming weeks - money allowing.