Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I made two loaves of bread yesterday, and sometimes I'll get comments from people saying why make it when it's so cheap to buy. Well, cost isn't the point. Baking bread is all about the sensuality of the moment. Kneading the dough...noticing the texture and warmth. It's about the scent permeating every corner of your home. Debra Ollivier says it well in Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl.
"Pleasure in ordinary moments. Pleasure in extraordinary moments. She does not confuse commerce with culture and the narrative in her life does not come from what she buys or sees on TV; rather, it comes from getting sensual satisfaction in the moment, from feeling an almost tactile pleasure and evocative power in the seemingly mundane...Sensuality is so pervasive in her life that it is almost transparent. It is in the general texture of life, the patina of age that comes with time. It is the baking of bread by hand, the aging of wine. It is the color of inkwells or damask drapes, in the uproarious flamboyance of architecture. And it is fundamentally in the perfection of imperfections--the complexity and realness that create character, depth, and charm."

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Friday, January 27, 2006


"People will forget what you said...people will forget what you
did...but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Avoiding avoidance

"When we run from our feelings, they follow us. Everywhere."

Martha Beck
(from Oprah magazine article, February 2006)


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Book-related cooking

My blogs are somewhat converging with this post, in part because I think this is very interesting, but also because I have been uncharacteristically absent from book pages these days. I usually like to read at least one book per week, but lately I've been only reading a few pages here and there. I guess the holidays required a lot of time, and I've had the cold here and there, and weird work hours....so this makes for a book-related post instead.

This is from the McCall's Bake-it Book, a 1975 publication. I think it's a great idea to think of cooking around a time period or subject matter. This might make a great party theme. Too, it's a great gift idea for a book or movie lover, to make gift baskets of items related to a particular film or book. For example, the current film "Walk the Line" might include a copy of the DVD, a Johnny Cash CD, a new black shirt....you get the idea. The more esoteric the better, just make sure you choose items that the recipient would really want to have. There are tons of items applicable to a book or movie that might be funny to give, but not necessarily useful. Opt for useful instead. The possibilities are really endless. For a baby shower once upon a time, we used Beauty and the Beast as a subject, but with a tea party theme. The cake had a depiction of Mrs. Potts, and said it was a Par-tea or Kiersty (the name of the baby to be). Guests were asked to bring a snotty tea party food item, and to wear a tea party-type dress. For the game, we took a child's tea set that included a tea cart and tray (how cool is that?!) and gave everyone things like paint, nail polish, glitter, sequins, etc and asked them to personalize the items. That way the little girl could keep the stuff, but the items would carry a memorable extra. It was fun. Another friend holds annual Christmas ornament parties, and asks guests to do the same to plain ball ornaments. Now she has decades of special items, some of the artists are now gone but not forgotten. It's a nice tradition. Posted by Picasa

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