Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Latest Food Gurus

How could I have gotten to this place in my food-driven life without having come across the writings of Robert Farrar Capon? Well, all I can say is I am glad he finally found me! This book, "The Supper of the Lamb" was first published in 1969, right about the time I was beginning my own self-directed culinary journey. Oh, I wish I had found this book then! Father Capon (he's an Episcopal priest) speaks as if from my very soul - making connections between food and drink and cooking and life and the divine and life as we know it. His meditation on an onion is a thing of beauty to behold. He writes with such wisdom and wit...I am humbled and verified at once.

I have my friend B.G. to thank for introducing me to Father Capon. I am in particular state of grace at this moment to be living in the presence of this beautiful, natural cook and hostess, music lover, supporter of artists and most especially a READER. Her house is filled with wonderful books, among which not the least are her collection of cookbooks. She is delightlfully engaged with these books and it makes her happy to talk about and refer to a particular author, recipe or passage. She pulled Father Capon off the shelf and handed him to me, saying - "You need to read this. He is so wise." She is right! B. G. is particularly known for her bread baking. This morning we had toast from a beautiful braided loaf. As she set the bread on the bread board, she said to me "This is a particularly supple dough that just cries out to be braided." I thought that was a charming turn of phrase.

B.G's braided loaf

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Barbara's Cookbooks

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My new guru

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Inanimate objects

So the point of posting the picture of my ancestral waffle iron is that I have recently been doing a LOT of thinking about STUFF - like for the last 10 years, since I started going through my parent's stuff and my own stuff - editing, evaluating, keeping, throwing away - STUFF. Such is the life of the orphaned and homeless domestic goddess...

My parents received the pictured waffle iron as a wedding gift in 1938. It's such a beautiful example of Art Deco functional style. The Super Chief of waffle irons. It has been in constant use in my family for 73 years! Well, maybe there were some years in there where in was stuck in a closet...Mom & Dad gave it to me (correction, I "liberated" it) from them in 1988, replaced the cord, got it up to "code" and USED it. It makes the BEST waffles - crispy - not the flaccid, soggy things that modern waffle irons make...Of course, the first one is always a throw away - 1938 being in the pre-teflon era - but the inside of this cast iron beauty is a thing to behold - seasoned and square and elemental....

The night we watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Mom made us waffles with this waffle iron - Sunday Supper Waffles were (are) the BEST. Filled with bacon for a salty, sweet chewy treat...Oh yeah...The Beatles, bacon & waffles....My youth in a nut shell right there...

I realize I have carried so many "ancestral" things from life to life. I've thrown away ALOT of STUFF in the last weeks in preparation for my next incarnation. Letting go of my parent's memorabilia and much of mine! Lightening my load...Time to move through and on. I have off loaded the ancestral card table, step stool and garden wagon...but the waffle iron stays - Why? Because it is a thing of beauty and because I USE it.