I’ve been wanting to write more about the books I read and collect for a while now. My desk shelf is crammed with various theory books, organization manuals, vintage finds, and schwag — books that have been sent to me as part of my job — waiting to be blogged while the massive bookshelves in the home office creak in protest, straining under the weight of my Mighty Tomes.
While I thought about making a recurring post category, like Bookmark Mondays, I have another idea brewing for Thursdays that I think I’ll pursue first. Instead, I’ve created a new category, Bookmarks, so I can share some of the cool things I see and read with my loyal readers.
All six of you. Hi Mom.
I’ll start with one of my new treasures, snagged at the Whately Antiquarian Book Center in Franklin County, Massachusetts this weekend.
We saw this massive, brick building rising from the plains of rural Whatley and screeched to a stop, even though we’d been trolling for breakfast for half an hour.
My hunger resulted in the purchase of not one, but two cookbooks; one I grabbed immediately upon walking in, the other on the way to the register.
The first is The Small Kitchen Cookbook by Nina Mortellito, published in 1964. I was drawn in by the jubilant little cherries on the cover, but after leafing through (and noticing the original price on the book was $4.95 – I paid $11.75. ‘the hell?), I realized that this is one handy little guide to Improvisational Cuisine.
“A small kitchen need not be a deterrent to preparing meals in the grand manner,” assures the introduction, which is followed quickly by the reminder that “small kitchens and small budgets usually go hand in hand.” How does Mortellito know I didn’t choose a small kitchen because I like to feel cozy whilst I cook? Eh, who am I kidding.
The book begins with a chapter called Tips for Cramped Quarters, and there’s nothing listed that I wouldn’t fully expect to read in Real Simple. They’re useful tips with a little bit of quirk; I love, for instance, that the author suggests a pegboard for kitchen accessories and is sure to add that “it looks quite decorative.”
Mortellito was also an environmentalist before her time — she recommends crushing cereal boxes before throwing them in the garbage — and apparently a boozehound: “Serve inexpensive wine, and try buying it in gallons,” she says (Lovely, reuseable decanters mask the quantity, I gathered).
Finally, the recipes are great for entertaining or inventing a meal when the only things left in the fridge are pre-wrapped slices of American Cheese and A-1 Steak Sauce. This is a common occurrence in my small-yet-cozy kitschy kitchen.
There are recipes for everything from potato salad to fritto misto, using relatively accessible ingredients. Want some spaghetti and out of sauce? All you need is some grated cheese, a few bits of bacon and a couple of eggs. Whip. Serve.
I’ll leave you with one of the cooler cocktail party recipes as a treat:
Fast Cocoa Souffle
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 pint heavy cream
Sift together sugar and cocoa, beat 3 egg whites until stiff, add sugar mixture, beating constantly. Add vanilla and salt, beat until mixture points and peaks; Butter inside of 1 1/2 quart souffle dish, pour souffle into dish and place in a pan of warm water. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Whip heavy cream serve immediately with souffle.
Published: Wednesday, 24 October 2007 Tags: writerjax books bookmarks whately antique recipe cookbook foodie vintage real simple
Retail Therapy Thursday – The t-shirt edition
I’ve been wanting to incorporate some sort of schwag guide into this blog for a while, and I’ve finally figured out a way to do it. As flimsy as the premise may be, I’m going to start devoting Thursdays to a little retail therapy, highlig
I’ve been wanting to incorporate some sort of schwag guide into this blog for a while, and I’ve finally figured out a way to do it. As flimsy as the premise may be, I’m going to start devoting Thursdays to a little retail therapy, highlighting some of the cool things I find, especially those geared toward Creatives and, of course, writers.
As part of my job, I write a lot of gift- and technology-guides, so I see a lot of great things and even get to play with a few. Many of these, I secretly pine for myself. I finally decided to take the plunge into a showcase of Creative chotchkes and gadgetry after receiving my 96th gift-wrapped pen.
That said, let’s start with a sampling of awesome t-shirts I’ve seen in my travels, virtual and otherwise:
‘Writing well is the best revenge’ at fussy
It’s impossible to pick just one fave of the writer t-shirts at Cafe Press.
Published: Thursday, 25 October 2007 Tags: retail tshirts writers creatives post thursday fussy veer cafe press
Craft by MaryAnnBlogger Mary Ann (sans the Professor) just launched Handmade Monday, a place for crafters, scrappers, and other artsy Creatives to post their creations once a week.There will be a weekly prompt, this week’s being ‘What’s L
Craft by Mary Ann
Blogger Mary Ann (sans the Professor) just launched Handmade Monday, a place for crafters, scrappers, and other artsy Creatives to post their creations once a week.
There will be a weekly prompt, this week’s being ‘What’s Left,’ to stir the creative juices. ‘K, I’m off to find some craftyscraps and make something amazingly awesome…
Ok, so maybe amazingly awesome isn’t the word, but at least it’s festive.
The envelope was decorated with a cut-out from a Halloween-themed Country Living magazine I found in the decorations box (2005 issue), some left-over scrapping paper and cut-outs from candy wrappers.
Thanks to Karen for this tip!
Published: Sunday, 28 October 2007 Tags: craft creatives scrap scrapbooking follow your bliss karen harvey cox handmade monday crafter arts blog
‘A visitor‘ left this comment on 30 Oct 07
thanks jacklyn for the plug & for being one of the 1st contributors! i love that you used what you had in your stash & decorated this envelope! someone will be so lucky to get that!
hugs, mary ann (sans the professor, hee hee)
Even as adults, our Halloween party this weekend still deteriorated into adolescent word games.This was our favorite one.
Even as adults, our Halloween party this weekend still deteriorated into adolescent word games.
This was our favorite one.
Published: Monday, 29 October 2007