I have felt like a ship without a rudder lately, for silly reasons, most of them inconsequential. Nevertheless, it is that sort of feeling that makes me want to cook…and do nothing else. I want to plant myself in my crappy kitchen and cook all day, trying out recipes, experimenting with no recipes, being creative, finding treasures hiding in the back of my freezer. Thus grounding me and making me feel more connected to my own life. I have eaten dinner out for the past two nights, and I can’t articulately express how excited I am to go home this evening and return to my kitchen. Eating out for extended periods does not suit me well at all.
My faithful readers will know how I aspire to write like Lucy Vanel over at Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook. She has another post up about a market in Lyon: Marché Fermier at Place Carnot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such crooked, rotund, lovely asparagus and I’m longing to try the cream cheese tart. But what struck me was her next post, Diving for Pearls. I was touched by Lucy’s respect for history and her keen sense of nostalgia (without being cloying at all). I just find this sort of perspective lacking here in the U.S. – do you agree? My cookie sheet is rusting – I’ll buy a new one. Wet crumbling cardboard box at a flea market – I don’t want to know why the heck it’s wet. Dilapidated house too much work – raze it and build something new and shiny in its place. I distinctly feel that this is the country I live in, that this is the norm, and I often find myself swept into this way of thinking. But I'm pausing now to re-evaluate. As I type this, I look down at my shiny new cocktail ring – it’s fabulous and fun but I have no connection to it. But the earrings in my ears? They’re these tiny gold medallions that my mom wore for years, and I believe my grandmother wore them before her. On a recent trip, my mom bestowed them to me. And I understand exactly what Lucy is talking about.
And armed with this sense of history and nostalgia and feeling protected by the past, let me tell you about Cooked Books’ really cool post about A Soldier's Simple Cooking Recipes for Cooking in the Trenches and Billets (with vocabulary of French words). Learn how to make a Trench Cake! In library school, during the first hour of my one and only archives class, I discovered archival studies weren’t for me at all. But Rebecca makes me wish that it had been.
I don’t know if I should share this info but, what the hell, it’s Friday and I’m feeling bold. Remember I whined a couple days ago about Alice Feiring’s book not coming out until May 19th? I know, I was totally whining. But seriously, I’ve had that book on my Amazon wishlist for two months already! Anyway, my darling school & library contact at Harcourt read my mini-tantrum and is sending the book to me before the 19th!!! Really! It is probably uncool to admit this but that’s the first time that sort of thing has happened to me – I say I want something on my blog and someone says, “Okay! I’ll send it to you!” I’m starting to feel like Betsy! Thank you, Ellen, for totally making my week!
Lastly, I read a nice little article in my Saveur email, giving easy instructions on how to cook ramps. I’ve never tried ramps – shocking, I know. But I’ll begin seeking them out now since it’s driving me bonkers that there’s something out there that I haven’t tried but is so easy to prepare.
Yeah, I've never heard of ramps, so I'm not so shocked. I had to look up your link.
I do feel though that American culture is entirely too disposable. Always buy new new new. How many people mend any of their clothes these days? I'm as guilty as most - I get a little hole in my pants and I'm more likely to go buy a new pair than to just patch the hole.
Thank you, dear Laura. I don't know that the disposable culture is entirely American... It seems to exist in France too. I guess it mostly boils down to necessity, for example, there are things I know would be difficult to replace. The gold earrings your mother gave you must feel wonderful.
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