Friday, January 6, 2012

Currently Reading

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. Selznick is also the author of the fabulously charming The Invention of Hugo Cabret, on which the movie Hugo is based. I haven't seen the movie, but I doubt the even Mr. Scorsese could come close to the magic of the book.
 I fancy books that take a risk when it comes to storytelling, and it don’t mean, necessarily, the plot. Stories could be told in a million different ways, and although I love the written word, sometimes a picture is indeed worth a thousand, or million or 7 of them. I like to think that someday when I get to tell my story it will be in words and pictures and homemade pies, and tambourine solos. Wonderstruck tells the story, well stories, one in pictures and one in words , of Rose and Ben who are separated in time by 50 years. It is very hip for books to have trailers, I don't know how I feel having to watch a video about a book, but I do like hearing about the ideas behind books right from their creators.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Make From Scratch by Jennifer Reese. Sure Dewey Decimal says that this is a cookbook, but I have been reading like a book, book.  Reese experiments with the staples of our diets and breaks them down by cost ( it is cheaper to make or buy) and hassle (how much work is homemade really?).  You guys—she includes recipes for making your own cheese. Wait?! Do you hear angels singing? I do. Angels love cheese. Its true. Some cheeses are easy; chevre (goat) only has 5 steps. Camembert on the other hand is pretty high maintenance with 16 steps. But they are doable steps.  I feel that cheese making is in my future.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people who thinks I have to make everything from scratch. Don’t cry, brown sugar Pop-tarts from a box, you will always be my friend. But what I am slowly beginning to learn that food should be appreciated. Or maybe that we should appreciate ourselves a little bit more by caring a little time with what we eat. When I spend a little more time and energy making my food instead of just reheating it, I find myself eating better.  And cooking/baking does help with an insatiable sense of curiosity. Huh, food doesn't just magical appear.  But sometimes I like to make complicated things from scratch once, like apple strudel, feel smug about it, and then just find a convenient bakery that makes it waay better to buy it at, and appreciate their skills.  ‘Cause I won’t want them to hide their talents under a bushel.


  1. OH, I've been wanting to read that book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. It sounds like it would be right up my alley. That kind of stuff is why I decided making Southwest eggrolls like you get at Chili's would not be an at home adventure. Too many ingredients that you need just a little of, too many steps and too much time.
    Make sure you update us on the cheese making adventures. :)

  2. I actually have a friend who has kids with gluten and lactose problems and she makes her own "cheese" from nuts and stuff. Keep me posted on the cheese making.

  3. Oh it will be awhile before the cheese making commences. I have to order some cultures and stuff. I have tried making some nut cheeses. Using cashews wields ok results, but its not like the real stuff.