28 January 2009

Super Sunday - and Not Even a Football Game!

This past Sunday turned out to be one of the best ever! And the Super Bowl isn't until this coming Sunday ... so what made it so great?

Well, first of all, Carol had a booksigning for her new book at Loop in the afternoon. I'm sure you all know that I love Carol (even though The Tim hates her - just ask Carol!) as a person, because she is smart, funny, sarcastic, and silly. But she is also an amazing knitwear designer, and yarn dyer. I had seen a copy of the book when it came out, and it's not only full of great sock designs, but the first part discusses the unique qualities of handpainted yarns, and what to consider when you are knitting with them. The booksigning was a real success, with a constant stream of people coming into the shop to see Carol and have their books signed, but also buy some of her Black Bunny yarns that she just happened to bring along. It was also nice, since Craig (Loop's owner) had managed to get the samples of the socks in the book. Not surprisingly, seeing them in person was even better than the pictures in the book.

I got to see Laura, who is one of Carol's co-authors of Knit So Fine. Laura is a part-timer at Rosie's, and it had been a while since our paths had crossed. So I had a great time catching up with her, and finding out what she has been up to (more designing!). I also met Anne Marie, who is better known in blog-comment-land as "Anne Marie in Philly!" That was a blast, since I feel like I already have known her for a while, and here she was in person - yay! Beth and Eileen were also there, so we caught up on any news since we'd last seen each other.

Now all of that would have made it a good day, but when I got home, there was more! A package from my friend Amanda, who had to move to Atlanta at the end of the summer when her fiancee started law school there. Amanda is not just a knitting buddy, she is a wonderful friend, and she also is Cyrus' the dog's mom, and I miss them both so much, it's just not fair! Anyway, apparently, the post office had delivered the package sometime on Saturday, but after the regular mail, so they just threw the box into the entryway. The Tim found it, and brought it in. (Muttering under his breath, I might add, "It has to be related to knitting." As if.)

The box contained gifts for the whole family! A beautiful Christmas ornament for all of us to enjoy, a pair of handmade earrings for me, a gift for The Tim (who has not opened it yet), and the gift that caused the most excitement we've seen in these parts in a long time:
She sent each of the kitties a bird, embroidered with their names, stuffed with catnip! These birds are so cute, she used this pattern, and just added catnip to make them even more appealing to those of the feline persuasion. Oh, the rubbing, the rolling, the biting, and the fighting that went on (and that was just between The Tim and I - ha)!

"What a wonderful thing to send in a box! I must kill it!"

"Rub, rub, rub."

"Don't even think about sniffing this, you two!"

"Even the part with my name smells good!"

"Mine, mine, mine, mine!"

"Yes, little red bird, I am that Tess - she of the Kitty Jihad and World Domination Plan! I will be happy to make you one of my minions ..."

Thank you Amanda, for not just sending a package, but sending such a great one - and taking the time to make the kitty toys, and "purr"-sonalize them! It was such a great surprise, and all of you know that getting a package in the mail is one of my favorite things in the universe.

Needless to say though, by the end of the day, we were all quite worn out. Some of us more than others ...

"These also make nice pillows."

25 January 2009

A Sunday Post

I had originally planned to post yesterday, or maybe even Friday evening, with some pictures of knitted things, but the fates have worked against me, so you'll just have to wait for that post ...

However, if you are on Ravelry, and you feel that you simply MUST see said projects, then you can look here, here, and here - as long as any comments you leave HERE are generic, since I would not want to ruin any surprises. For those of you that are non-Ravelers, the participation will just have to keep building, sorry!

However, I can show you the Snuggle I am knitting, though it has grown somewhat since this photo was taken.

I just cast on 100 stitches, knit a few garter stitch rows to begin, and then I'm planning to knit five inches worth of six stitch patterns, so I don't get bored. So far, I've done a slip stitch pattern and double moss stitch (both in the above picture), and basketweave stitch. It's moving along pretty quickly, since I'm using size 10 needles, and I've been working on it when I sit down to watch any TV show or movie that is an hour to two hours long.

I know that a lot of people were in an ecstatic mood this past week, with the inauguration of Barack Obama - but how many people do you think went this far??? Seeing this reminded me of two things: 1) The Porkers' apartment, and 2) the art sale outside the window of a former workplace. Both of which I'm sure now require explanation.

1. The Porkers' apartment. During our Life in the Great Midwest, our first apartment in Oak Park, Illinois had a building superintendent and his family who lived on the first floor of the building. No matter when you went anywhere near that apartment, it smelled like bacon was cooking. Because The Tim and I give nicknames to everyone, we christened said family The Porkers (OK, there were additional contributing factors. But I digress.)

One morning, the building had to be evacuated, because the apartment right below ours was on fire. It was late December, and cold, snowy, and icy outside. Once the firemen had determined that it would be OK to return to the first floor of the building, we were all allowed to go inside. My mother was visiting, and she was in a wheelchair, and so Mrs. Porker kindly offered to let us go into their apartment where the heat was turned on, until we could return upstairs. And there in all of their glory were two huge, wall-sized velvet paintings side-by-side of The Agony in the Garden and Elvis.

2. When we lived in DC, and I worked at George Washington University, our department had one wall that was glass, and located right at the top of the steps of the Foggy Bottom Metro Station. Needless to say, there were tons of food trucks, jewelry stands, etc. there, to catch people as they went to or from the Metro.

My colleagues and I had constant entertainment as a result. But our favorite vendor by far was the guy who sold velvet paintings. And our favorite velvet painting was a triptych of three great heroes: JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Alf*! (I always think of those three together, don't you?) We hoped no one would buy it, because it gave us a reason to come to work each day ...

So no crocheted Obamas for me, thank you.

And since there has only been one picture so far in this post, here's another for you. I call it "Jetsam Looking Out the Window on a Sunny Winter Day." (I was going to call it "Untitled" but then I thought of something much more original.)

*If you are not familiar with Alf (!), information and pictures are here.

22 January 2009

Tea Time

Yikes - I realized that I failed to keep up weekly with my Knit One, Tea Two posts, so I'll have to combine the last two, just like I did with the first two! You'd think I'd been responsible for the planning of the inauguration or something, not being able to keep up with something that only happened once a week ...

Anyway, here are the last two weeks' questions:

January 15 – 21: Do you have a favorite tea source? Do you shop online or in a local store?

Hmm. I would probably have more favorite tea sources if I had more money to spend; most of my tea comes from various grocery stores, large and small. Some of the smaller ones tend to have teas that are new to me, or specialty types, and I like to treat myself to one every once in a while. The Whole Foods near me has a lot of different types of teas, and even better, sometimes they have a sale on them, so I can try two new ones, or revisit some favorites.

The only online tea shopping I've ever done is through Adagio Teas, which I like, but I'm seldom placing a large enough order to make it worth the shipping cost.

There are two tea shops near me that I love to visit, and would spend more time (and money!) in, if I ever won the lottery. One is House of Tea, which is on South 4th Street, here in Philadelphia. My very favorite selection from there is Monk's Blend. It's usually what we have with our Sunday morning breakfast (when we have a chance to have Sunday breakfast together).

The other one is called Steap, and is on South 18th Street, making it not just very close to my house, but on the way to so many other places I go on a frequent basis. There's a great selection of the standards and some new (sometimes bizarre) combinations. You can buy a 4-ounce sample to see if you like something, or you can try the "brews of the day" to see how you like them, as there is a small tea bar in the back. The woman who owns it is great, and she has a lot of really neat tea-related stuff besides just the leaves themselves.

January 22 – 31: Please share a favorite tea snack, especially if it is a treasured recipe!

As far as I'm concerned, almost any snack is a tea snack, as my cup of tea can be whatever I need it to be at the time! But one of my very favorite things to have with some tea are these Lemon Tea Cookies. They are such a perfect combination of sweet and tart, they go very well with just about any black tea I've tried. (Sadly I have no idea where the recipe came from, so I can't direct you there.) Edited 26 January 2009 to add: I found it! Here's where the recipe originated.

Lemon Tea Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 cups confectioners sugar
4-5 tablespoons lemon juice
a dash of salt

To make cookies:

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, lemon zest and juice. Sift together flour, cornstarch and salt. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture. Allow dough to sit for 10 minutes, then shape into 1-inch balls (or use a sz 70 cookie scoop). Place dough balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes. Cookies will look pale on top, but bottoms should be a light golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer to wire wracks and cool completely before icing.

To make icing/glaze:

Mix confectioners sugar, salt and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice together until a smooth. Adjust thickness by adding more lemon juice. Spoon icing/glaze over cooled cookies and allow to harden before storing in an airtight container.

Makes ~45 cookies

20 January 2009

Inauguration Day

When I was a little girl, I went to school with plenty of black kids (though back then we said “Negro”), a few Asian kids (“Chinese”), and a lot of kids who were of some Middle Eastern descent (most of them were Lebanese or Syrian). We moved a lot, and there were times when I was one of the few white kids in any given class. This really didn’t bother me, because it did not seem terribly out of the ordinary.

I remember the first time I really became aware of the fact that some people were treated differently based on the color of their skin. We were on a vacation trip, and stopped to use a public restroom. There were two water fountains before you got to the bathrooms, and they each had a sign over them: “Whites Only,” and “Coloreds Only.” I remember asking my mother what that meant, and being completely puzzled by her response. Until then, I had no idea that the world operated in such a way. (I had never lived anyplace where those signs were posted.) I remember going home and wondering if anyone else knew that there were places where people *had* to drink from different water fountains, or they could be arrested. When school started again in the fall, I told one of my classmates, and I remember that he said, “Well, some places where my family has been, there isn’t even a water fountain that we’re allowed to use at all.”

Today, when Barack Obama is sworn in as President of the United States, I will be watching, along with the rest of the world. This time, the inauguration doesn't simply illustrate the "peaceful transition of power," but instead, proves that people who act upon their beliefs truly can affect change. That morally outraged seven-year-old likely never expected to see so much change by the time she became an adult.

But it's happily reassuring to both of us to know that it's possible.

19 January 2009


Hope for Humanity Rose

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

15 January 2009

Now with Links Instead of Pictures!

I realized after I sat down to write a post, that even though I've been busy knitting, I have no pictures to show for it at the moment. There are two projects that cannot yet be revealed, one that looks the same as it did the last 4 times I posted a picture, and one that I didn't think to photograph.

But I can tell you that in the past couple of weeks, I returned to the Dotty vest I'm making for The Tim. You may or may not recall that last February, I took a fair-isle class at Rosie's, where we were all knitting a Kaffe Fassett pattern. This was my chance to learn fair-isle, and once I got started, I was really enjoying it. Then I got involved in the sock knitting for Christmas, and Dotty got set aside. A couple of times during the summer, I pulled it out, but it was just too much wool to have sitting on my lap when it was so hot and humid. But once the holidays were over, I decided that I wanted to try and get it finished, maybe even before the end of this February!

Progress has been made - I'm to the point where I will need to create steeks for the V-neck and the armholes. Which means I am [temporarily] stuck. The pattern is not written for knitting in the round, so does not include directions for the steeks. I am both mathematically and conceptually challenged, and have no reasonable clue how to figure out what I should do. So until I can see if someone is available to help me figure it out/explain what to do at Rosie's, or I find someone else who can help me, Dotty will get a time out, hopefully just a brief one. (I would ask Carol to help me, but she is busy being famous with her new book.)

I've also started a Snuggle for the Snuggles Project, with some Red Heart yarn a co-worker gave me a while back. It's nice to work on when I'm just not in the mood to do anything else, but I still feel like knitting. So far I have about 5 inches knit, in a slip stitch pattern that is nice and cushy. I think I'll switch to another stitch pattern now, just to keep it interesting.

I've also tried a couple of new recipes in the past couple of weeks. I collect even more recipes than I do knitting patterns, and have many, many cookbooks as well. I also love looking at food blogs and getting ideas. It occurred to me that in spite of this, I seldom try anything new. So I'm going to try to make something new (to us at least) once a week. My first attempt was this recipe for Cabbage and White Bean Stew, which turned out really well, and also made enough to freeze some to have another time or two. Then I tried Pinto Beans and Mexican Vegetables Over Yellow Rice from Claire's Classic American Vegetarian Cooking by Claire Criscuolo. This is a cookbook that I have on "long-term loan" from Lisa, and though a lot of the recipes sound fabulous, this was my first try. I can highly recommend this dish. If you follow the recipe as it is, it's not too spicy, but of course we like spicy foods, so I did "embellish" things a bit.

OK, I think that is enough excitement for one post, don't you? I would hate for any of you to be overcome with excitement and require medical assistance ...

12 January 2009

Drink a Cup and Call Me in the Morning

Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? Neither did I, and even though the "official" observation is more geared towards tea retailers, I was reading Chan's blog shortly after New Year's, and she mentioned Knit One, Tea Too.

Now, I realize that I missed the first week, and it's only a four-week thing, but that's OK, I'll just combine the first two topics into one post. (Yep, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to get past me ...)

Anyway, here they are:

January 1 - 7 Please share your favorite hot tea memories with me. Who introduced you to hot tea?

January 8 – 14 Describe your perfect cuppa' hot tea. If you're like me and it depends, share as many different scenarios as you care to.

I have to be honest, and say that I do not remember anyone "introducing" me to hot tea - it has always been there. I guess the answer would be my parents, since tea was always something we had to drink. At a minimum, we had it every morning when we got up, and then again in the evening, after we put on our pajamas. (Now before you start thinking about what terrible parents mine were, not giving us juice, milk, and other things more suited to children, let me tell you that we had those as well.)

The other thing is, in my family there were three kinds of tea - iced tea, tea (which is what most people would call hot tea), and "hot" tea. "Hot" tea was a cup containing tea with whiskey, and was used for medicinal purposes. Seriously - have a cough and/or a cold? Have a cup of hot tea. Sore throat? Hot tea. Can't get warm, no matter what? Hot tea. Got soaked through in the rain? Yep, you guessed it - hot tea!

As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time as a child wondering why so many adults would have "a cup of hot tea" when they weren't sick ... then of course, I realized that "hot" tea as it was in our family, and hot tea as it was to the rest of the world, were two different things. (And, to be honest, by that time there were so many things that were, shall we say - unique - to my family, it wasn't a big deal. )

Now as far as my favorite cuppa, well, if I'm sick or not feeling well, "hot" tea is definitely the answer! But in the normal everyday universe, my most basic, favorite cup of tea is black tea (particularly Irish Breakfast, or something of that type), extremely hot water, and a nice slice of lemon or lime.

I enjoy most teas - Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Jasmine, and a lot of the holiday blends. I have even been known to enjoy Constant Comment tea, brewed from a bag right into my mug - the horror!! And I have tried some herbal teas that I think are pretty good.

The only cup of tea I've ever met that I didn't like was Lapsong Souchong - we bought some once, and we couldn't go beyond one sip. (Mostly because to us, it smelled like wet cigars! And the first sip did nothing to make either of us want to go any further.)

It almost made me sick. And you know what I would have had to drink then ...

08 January 2009


Since I took pictures of my Christmas gifts, I decided that it's only fair to force you to look at them. I did quite nicely, between family and friends, thank you very much.

First though, Jetsam wants you to see one of the gifts the kitties received from friends of ours. This mousie hangs from an elastic string, so that when a cat tries to "catch" him, he bounces up and down. As you can imagine, this is making JetBoy quite insane. But not insane enough to let the others get a good look at it ...

Look - Gumby and Pokey! Santa put a mini-Gumby and Pokey in my stocking, along with a book about them. I love Gumby and Pokey, though the old TV show creeps me out. OK, truth be known, I like Pokey a little bit more, 'cause he's a horse, and I "get" him. But I wouldn't want to be the one to separate them, so I'm just as happy they came as a set.

My friend Lisa gave me this "Glamortini" glass - isn't it great? The picture doesn't show it all that well, but it has all kinds of things painted on it that make you glamorous - dresses, shoes, purses, lipstick, handbags. It cracked me up when I opened it.

Though of course I have no idea why she thinks I would have a use for a martini glass ...

By the way, Lisa recently started a blog here, and if you a) like food and cooking, and b) like to laugh, you should check it out. Though I must warn you, I think I've gained three pounds just reading it so far. I can't imagine what would happen if I actually made any of the things she talks about. Well, yeah, I know what would happen, I'd eat it all (except for the meat, but there's plenty else to keep me busy)!

The Tim gave me these two sheepies. Well, admittedly, I told him that they were selling them at Bath & Body Works, and even gave him a coupon I got in the mail. But he's the one who bought them and wrapped them up. They are very squooshy, and as is my wont, I've already named and renamed them approximately 82 times.

Santa also brought me a dog!

Isn't he cute? This little pup was sticking out of my stocking on Christmas morning, and I think he is so sweet, I could scream! I think he may have to learn to be sheepdog, and keep the two above in line ...

Then there is my friend Sue. I've talked about her before. She is the one who is an amazing lace knitter, and has won prizes more than once at the Washington State Fair.

Last year, Sue took a beading class. I figured she would become amazing at making beaded things as well, she is just someone who picks up things and can really just go with them. So, I opened up my package from her, and found this little purple knitted pouch in a box. The trinkets on the ties are so cute, one is a ladybug. I have no idea whether or not she knit the pouch, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Even better though, this was inside:
A tiger-eye and crystal necklace that she made, just for me! This picture doesn't do it justice, but believe me when I tell you that it is absolutely beautiful. The crystals give it just enough sparkle to make the tiger-eye beads look even richer. Thanks, Sue!

Finally, a package from Claudia - and another great surprise! That's a Putti on the left, with a story of the legend printed on the card below it. And to the right is a skein of Fresco yarn, in the prettiest beige-y color. It's one of the softest yarns I have ever felt. I'd never seen or heard of it before, so it was a wonderful addition to my stash. The label says it's wool, baby alpaca, and angora - ahhhh ...

Thanks so much, Claudia!

I sure hope that my friends liked the dollar in a card I gave to each of them ...

06 January 2009

Twelfth Night

So here we are, on Twelfth Night, the evening of the Twelfth Day of Christmas. In an e-mail the other day, Carol asked me if I get depressed when Christmas is over, since I like it so much.

I've been thinking about it, and I have to say that I don't really get depressed (any more than I usually am, which is plenty thank you very much); instead, more so than on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, it occurs to me that another year has passed, and I get a little bit wistful about that. I generally allow myself a day or two of should-have-beens, what-ifs, and if-onlys, but then I think about the fact that I have at least one more day to enjoy being here, and I'm on my way. True, some years it's more difficult than others, for instance if someone close has died, or if there is serious illness. But generally speaking, if I've learned one thing in my life, it's that the world continues, no matter how much I think it should stand still because of something that has happened to me. At the same time, I find that reassuring, knowing that everyone and everything hasn't had to stop and wait while I catch up.

This year we had a great Christmas holiday. We were able to have some company once our decorations were up, which I always enjoy. We got to see Sebastian on Christmas Day (the past few years, he and his mom have been traveling). Everyone in our families was well. We had plenty of chances to watch corny Christmas shows, listen to Christmas music, and bake all sorts of goodies. We had more than one opportunity to see friends, and to remember to be kind.

And I think those are the types of things I miss the most the rest of the year. Not because it isn't possible to have those same experiences, but because the rest of everyday life, regardless of your personal intentions, seldom lets you stop and focus like you can at Christmas (and even then, there are those who scoff at your efforts). I know only too well how your entire universe can change in an instant, and though I try to be conscious of that all of the time so that I can appreciate what is here, and what is now, I fail more often than not.

I usually don't make New Year's resolutions, at least not hard and fast ones. I enter every new year hoping that those I love most will be well and happy, that I will be well and happy, and that I will learn to be a kinder person. A lot of that is out of my control, but hope is something I can continue to have, and try to hold on to, no matter what else is going on. Because real, true hope allows you to be true to yourself, and to the world around you.

So for those of you who have not stopped reading this rambling series of [sentimental? philosophical? sappy?] thoughts, the gift I wish for you this Twelfth Night, for the coming year, is that you will always have hope.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at our house. Let's hope we can do it again next year.

02 January 2009

December Book Report and a Challenge for 2009

Before I become all literary on you, I have something that may amuse you. A couple of posts back, I said that part of our New Year's Eve tradition was to have holiday cheeseball. In the comments to that post, KSD said:

"For a split-second there, I imagined you were going to drop the cheeseball --- in some sort of odd Pennsylvanian ritual."

Well, that in and of itself I thought was funny, because a) a dropped cheeseball would be a tragedy of epic proportions, and b) "Odd Pennsylvanian ritual" just struck my funnybone, and not being a native Pennsylvanian, what do I know about their rituals, odd or otherwise?

Then I saw this on the news, and my amusement was complete. I remember hearing about Hershey, Pennsylvania dropping a big Hershey's kiss on New Year's Eve, but dropping a huge Peep - well, that's a winner in my book!

And speaking of books (nice segue, huh?), it's time for my December Book Report. You may or may not have noticed, but there never was a November Book Report. The reason is that - sadly - I did not finish a single book or story for the whole month of November! A large part of the reason is because I was finishing up the knitted Christmas gifts, and devoting most of my free time to working on them, so I'd be finished by December 1st.

A book I started reading in November, and then finished at the beginning of December, was A Most Wanted Man, by John LeCarre. The Tim had an Advance Reader's Copy that he read while we were in Puerto Rico in August, and he said that I would probably enjoy it. (I do like spy/espionage stuff, though I am usually so confused about who is who, and all of the double-crosses, that the ending is always a surprise to me ...)

I enjoyed this book very much. The story takes place in Hamburg, where a young Russian man, claiming to be a devout Muslim, and carrying a large amount of cash, is smuggled into the country. Once he is discovered, he is set to be deported, but he claims that in Russia he would be further persecuted, and begs to stay in Germany. At this point, he meets a young civil rights lawyer from a prominent German family, who takes his case, even though it eventually threatens her career. Through a series of events, they become involved with an older man who is from a prominent English banking family, who is based in Hamburg.

As the story unfolds, the web widens, and spies from three nations become involved, certain that by capturing the young Russian, they will have spared innocent victims from further harm in the War on Terror.

The thing that I liked most about the book was that the characters were pretty believable, and the story moved along quickly. By the time you are finished reading, it's hard to decide who was right, who was wrong, and if any of them were justified in their actions. There are some humorous parts, but mostly it is a work that, to me at least, showed a lot of compassion and humanity.

After I finished reading A Most Wanted Man, I was in the mood for something related to the holiday season. I came across a book I bought last year after Christmas, the Everyman's Pocket Classics Christmas Stories. It is a collection of 20 stories, by authors as diverse as Charles Dickens, Alice Munro, Nikolai Gogol, and John Updike.

I chose the following stories: The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton (from The Pickwick Papers), by Charles Dickens; The Blue Carbuncle, by Arthur Conan Doyle (a long-time favorite story!); Christmas at Thompson Hall, by Anthony Trollope; Where Love Is, God Is, by Leo Tolstoy; Vanka, by Anton Chekhov; The Burglar's Christmas, by Willa Cather; A Chapparal Christmas Gift, by O. Henry; Reginald's Christmas Revel, by Saki (H.H. Munro); and, Christmas, by Vladimir Nabokov.

These were really varied stories, but all of them dealt with the way that Christmastime can affect different people. From drunken revels, to the bittersweet tale of a father missing his dead son on his first Christmas without him, the stories were not only interesting and approachable, but many of them have stayed with me in the past few weeks. If you enjoy collections with authors that run the gamut from humorous to "serious literature," you may want to make a note to look for this book, and add it to your December reading lists.

Last year, I signed up for several reading challenges, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I was introduced to new authors, made some book-blogging friends, and enjoyed reading reviews that other readers submitted to the main blogs of the challenges. I wasn't really planning to sign up for any challenges this year, but I came across this one the other day, and decided to sign up:

The Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge has the following rules:

Rule #1: The challenge runs from January 1 to March 31. (No cheating and starting before!)

Rule #2: You must read three books. After that, it's up to you how much you want to read.

Rule #3: The books must:

have a food name in the title


be about cooking/eating


have a place name in the title


be about one(or more) person's travel experience


be about a specific culture


be by an author whose ethnicity is other than your own.

Rule #4: They must be middle-grade on up, but can be either fiction or non-fiction.The purpose, this winter, is to take yourself someplace out of the ordinary, to go on a literary trip, whether that be challenging your expectations, discovering a new place, or enjoying the experience of reading about good food, places, and people.

Here are the three titles I've chosen for this challenge:

Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris (food name in the title, author of a different ethnicity)

Italian Backgrounds, by Edith Wharton (travel experience)

Julie and Julia : My Year of Cooking Dangerously, by Julie Powell (about cooking/eating)

I'm looking forward to this one! If you think you are interested, I think you can still sign up through the link above, so maybe I'll see you there.

01 January 2009

Best wishes for 2009!

Happy New Year!

This year may the hands
that touch the earth
be a little gentler
and the hearts that care for it
a little wiser.