The One Where I Avoid Discussing Libraries

Oh, I know I’ve been inexcusably absent. Life has been crazy, of course, but I’ve also been feeling sort of…meh. You know? Particularly about librarianship, lately. Between Annoyed Librarian here and here, The Monkey Speaks here, and my own feelings about the Marathon County issue, I’m just feeling sort of desperate and sad about being a librarian. Never fear, this is just a temporary funk. I’ll be back to my cheery self soon. Since I’m dealing, I won’t be talking about libraries today.

So what does one do when feeling icky and down? Eat! Of course! And read about eating! Well, at least that’s what I do and, if you don’t, then you should start. Few things can bring you greater pleasure than eating, truly.

As I mentioned, I’ve been eating (and drinking) a lot at The Ginger Man. Read my review.

I had a fascinating conversation (to me, anyway) with a friend of mine over wine, salad, and chili at Tavern on Jane last weekend (because Corner Bistro still remains elusive). I’ll call this friend L—. L— and I share a mutual loathing of sleeping; we consider it a waste of our time and wish we could put those 8 hours a day to better use. So imagine my surprise when L— tells me that she feels the same way about food. Say what?!?! How could anyone feel that about food?! Even when I was 20 pounds heavier and 10 years younger, I still derived enormous pleasure from movie popcorn, Velveeta, and eating an entire baguette in one sitting. Good food, good times. But how can anyone just…not care?! How can anyone say that they’d be perfectly happy if they never needed to eat?! After some probing we ended up talking about her very Puritanical upbringing, where one was not supposed to get pleasure from one’s body, one’s sexuality, or one’s food. Pleasure, in general, was frowned upon and denied oneself. Once L—explained it that way, it made sense because many of us struggle with these issues, with America’s Puritanical history. Not to mention, we – generally speaking – have this weird idea about punishing ourselves when we feel pleasure, or in anticipation of feeling pleasure. How else can you explain our weird gym obsession? “Oh god, I had two pieces of pizza last night!” Hop on a treadmill and punish yourself until you’ve burned off all those calories, thus negating your sin. Or “I’m going to have a big dinner tonight – I better pay for it now” and hop on that Stairmaster to punish yourself beforehand. Now, don’t get me wrong: I do believe there are people who get pleasure from the gym and its culture. But I don’t think that’s the norm. Nevertheless, there really needs to be a stop to this mentality of pleasure deprivation and self-punishment. Life awaits.

I gushed about Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook earlier and her tour of Lyon’s farmers’ markets. She has another market profile up: Marché Guichard. Read it and weep at the gorgeousness.

Anyone have any cookbook recommendations? I believe I mentioned before that I was getting a little burned out on Food Network cookbooks, and that’s how I discovered The French Market by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde. But now I’ve realized I’m bored with French and Italian cuisine. Seriously, that’s all I ever do. I need to branch out! I love Latino food, at least the milder versions. I’ll make that the focus of my next cookbook purchase, and feel free to make any suggestions.

I just finished reading From Here, You Can’t See Paris: seasons a French village and its restaurant by Michael S. Sanders. I’ll have a proper review up soon but, if you’re looking for a quiet, lovely, cozy read about French village life – its beauty, its complications, its simplicity, its trappings – then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this.

Is anyone else sick of root vegetables? Yeah, me too.

I have no clue what I’m making for dinner tonight. Sometimes I think about how much easier life would be if I were sans the husband and kiddo, and here’s why: I have a gorgeous, glistening ball of mozzarella di bufala in my fridge right now. If it were just me tonight, I would slice it up, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, drizzle my fresh new green olive oil on it, and finish it by sprinkling my sweet, syrupy balsamic vinegar on it. And that would be my dinner, with a glass of wine. Alas, I have to come up with something, you know, real for dinner. My grumbling aside, I prefer my life as it is. I’ll get so much more joy and pleasure using my creativity tonight and dining with my two favorite people on earth.

Bon appétit!


Anonymous said...

Cookbooks? Did you say cookbooks? One of my all-time favorites is Joan Nathan's "Jewish Cooking in America." See the brisket recipe on page 175. Delicious (and best made a day ahead). You'll want to horde the leftovers.

Unknown said...

Done! I'll totally check that out, Susan! Particularly since my daughter wishes so desperately she were Jewish. Seriously. She pretends to speak Hebrew and, when I told her she couldn't be Jewish because I wasn't Jewish...she asked me to become Jewish. So this will be a kick for my "sous-chef" to make Jewish cuisine. Thanks for the rec!

Kyla said...

Hmmm, cookbook suggestions. Well, based on your response to my IWD post I might suggest reading Elizabeth David, especially her French country cooking or Mediterranean food. My fave is English Bread and Yeast Cookery...

Love your blog!

L Vanel said...

Thank you Laura, there will be more markets to come! - Lucy