Thursday, December 31, 2009

Inspiration

A new cookbook for Christmas, combined with watching Julie and Julia creates a desire to cook through an entire cookbook. Probably not Mastering the Art of French Cooking that seems like a bit much and a bit costly (lobster is not commonly found in McCall, though the cow's foot might be a bit easier to come by). However, I am seriously considering taking up the task with the cookbook I did receive entitled So Easy by Ellie Krieger. Doesn't that sound so much less daunting that Mastering the Art of French Cooking? I thought so too. Plus, it only has just over 150 recipes, not 524, also much less overwhelming! As for a timeline, I don't think that I shall actually be setting one, unless it's dragging on for decades and then it might be necessary to impose a time frame to expedite the process. But for now, it will happen when it happens. Though one thing I would like to add to my project is to actually rate the recipes as I make them so I can recollect if it's something worthy of making over and over, or perhaps just now and or if it should be never attempted again. Because really, even 150-ish recipes is a lot to attempt remembering which ones you did and did not like for future reference!
Yes, the idea was inspired by Julie and Julia and yes, there are probably hundreds of other people in the United States right now with the very same plan in mind. But, if it is something that seems fun and pleasurable does it really matter how many other people are doing it? I think not. And thus the cooking shall commence!



Thursday, April 16, 2009

As I was sitting in a fellow coworkers cubical yesterday I saw this quote she had posted on her wall and I really liked it.
"Be yourself, not what you think others expect. Be what emanates from your core that cannot be duplicated by another.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Art of Bread

I began baking bread last year out of a desire for quality bread and an aversion to the high prices they charge for it at the store. Since then it has developed into more of a passion. There is something to be said for the feel of the smooth dough between your hands as you knead it, watching it rise as it waits to go in the oven (at least, most of the time they rise, though I've learned there is never a guarantee!) and then the amazing smell that wafts through the house as its baking. I quite enjoy! And I am continually amazed at the massive variety of recipes to be tried. I'm afraid I shall never get through them all! My two latest interest have been sourdough-I made up a sourdough started a few weeks ago have since been experimenting with pleasing success-and more recently, artisan breads. What are artisan breads? Well, I'm not exactly sure but as far as I can tell they are pretty much anything that falls into the category of the beautiful (though not necessarily perfect-looking), often crusty, delicious breads that you get at quaint bakeries and restaurants. They seem to have much more of an art form to them than a typical recipe you might throw in the bread machine at the last minute. Not that I'm disregarding a regular loaf of bread, it's quite yummy and definitely has its place, but still, to be able to bake a loaf of bread with the crunchy crust and the soft airy filling, I don't know, it feels more gourmet, I guess. Perhaps that is the appeal. Well, as I write, my first loaf of "rustic bread" is waiting to be put in the oven so I shall close with this quote I read that sums things up nicely.


"No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of baking your own bread."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quotes

I don't really know the reason for this interest, but I love quotes. Funny quotes, serious quotes, quotes that inspire you... Anyway, I've come across a couple lately that I really like, especially this first one, and I thought I would share them real quick this morning.

"You are most fully alive when you are on an adventure with God." - Erwin McManus

I'm not sure who said this last one, but I still think its good.

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I change... we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seem to come almost unnoticed."



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thoughts of Spring

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while now, and today I decided it was time to go ahead and do it. I can't say how often I'll write, or what I shall really be writing about. As the title Little Pleasures suggests, though, I want it to be a place to write about the small joys in life. I personally want to grow better at find the little pleasures in everyday life that make it so lovely and here I shall have a place to share them as well.

It is the middle of January and there is presently about 2 1/2 feet of snow covering the ground. An odd time to think about gardening, but that is exactly where my thoughts have been drifting lately. I have grand visions of growing lush tomato plans (I'm quite excited about the idea, now that I actually like tomatoes!), lots of basil, squash, spinach and many of the other bounties of summer (space may dictate I reduce my grand schemes, but I shall deal with that when the time comes). Seeing as how I can hardly keep a house plant alive, I'm not sure how well my plans will turn out in all actuality, but I have a friend who considers herself a master gardner so I am hoping I can learn much from her. I spent some time yesterday researching seeds and found a great company called Seed Trust that specializes in heritage seeds as well as high elevation seeds, both of which interest me. We shall see what actually happens, but meanwhile I shall keep dreaming of my bountiful crops of tomatoes, basil and squash this summer and all the delectable things I could make out of them.