Saturday, April 26, 2008

Things That Make Me Smile Today...

Our usual pleasant routine of Saturday scones. Sitting at the counter with Melissa. Listening to Bach. Writing in my journal. My favorite round, hand-painted Polish coffee mug. I bought it at the Eastern Market in Washington DC a couple of years ago. I love the look and feel of this mug.

Farm fresh eggs. I pick these up every week at my friend's house. I love getting all-natural, free range eggs from her. Opening the carton is always a surprise-- I've had quite a range of sizes, shapes, and colors. And the almost shocking bright orange-yellow yolk of these eggs indicates a very high vitamin content.

Fresh-smelling line-dried sheets on the beds! Every Saturday (well, mostly). It's heavenly.

Kleanser Kate. She's cute, and I like her. She represents all of my homemade cleaning supplies. I just filled Kate last night with baking soda I scented with citrus essential oils. Baking soda works magic on many things. It makes my sink shine. It magically takes coffee or tea stains off cups and mugs. It takes baked on gunk right off Pyrex or my LeCreuset bakeware. It's good for many things.

And speaking of Pyrex. Aimee, I'm thinking of you on this one. You haven't seen any of mine yet. Here are some of the pieces I've bought. Quite a few are busy at work in the fridge. I didn't put my brightly colored-- green, orange, yellow, bright blue-- ones in this arrangement. I have some more pink, too. I'll show you the rest later.

These are the cookbooks I've been browsing the most lately. I love Super Natural Cooking! I've cooked many things from it, and tonight we're having the delicious "Giant Crusty and Cream White Beans with Greens" recipe from it. (We have it often.)

Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse Desserts books is a wonder. She does lots of ice creams, sherbets, etc. because her desserts are fruit-based (always in season). There is a nice-looking chocolate chapter, too, and lots of detailed lessons and tips to make your desserts extra special.

Then there's the incomparable Nancy Silverton. Melissa is going to make her apple fritters on Monday when she has the entire afternoon off work.

Claudia Roden's books are beautiful, fascinating, and extremely educational. Arabesque focuses on the cooking of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. Everything I've made from Roden's books has been terrific. I have a little list of recipes I'll be making from this book soon.

Marcella Hazen is the goddess of Italian cooking. This is an Italian cooking manual and encyclopedia! She can bring amazing flavors out of simple ingredients. If you want to really learn all about Italian home cooking, this is the way to go.

And Anne Willan's beautiful Country Cooking of France. I bought this book with my birthday money, and I love reading through it. My favorite cookbooks are those that are especially well-written with beautiful photos and lots of cultural, geographical, and historical culinary information. They are highly readable. This one has these attributes in spades. Gorgeous photography.

(Gee, blogging is fast and easy when someone else takes care of all of the picture stuff for you! :-) ) And please forgive all of the weird spacing and stuff that appears in almost every blog post. No matter how much I attempt to edit and fix things, it messes up more and more and more... When I have more time, I might figure out how to create a cleaner, more balanced, nicely laid out post. It does sort of drive me nuts... :-)