Monday, January 25, 2010

My Wonderful "Find"

While trying to regroup after a very busy, hectic weekend, my computer decided it was time to come down with a serious illness ( dare I say virus). So this morning it was rushed to the "emergency" room, aka, the computer repair shop, where it will undergo a series of tests to make it all better! In short, it needed cleaning up and I have to rely on my son's computer to post, without sadly, any photos.

My busy hectic weekend involved preparing to sell at a flea market/antique show, depending, I guess, on whether you consider your "stuff" as having any real value or if you think it's just junk and you'd like to get rid of it, at any cost..or actually at almost no cost! Then, of course, I had to bake for the farmer's market this weekend also.

By later in the second day of the flea market, the buying really slows down, and you count the hours, or minutes, til you can start packing up. This is about when I look for something to pass the time. Anything will do, a magazine or perhaps a book.

I wandered over to a neighboring table where they were selling books for a dollar and my eyes fell onto a book titled " Home Cooking, A Writer in the Kitchen" by Laurie Colwin. Hmm, I thought to myself, there's something so familiar about that name. And anything remotely related to food these days interests me. Thinking back to the moment I first saw this little gem of a book, I guess I thought I was just buying another cookbook. I didn't even look at any of the pages inside the book. I merely glanced at the title, briefly read a few sentences on the front and back cover and, pleased with my dollar purchase, scurried back to my chair, satisfied that I had found something to make the next few hours fly by!

I opened the book, quickly read the table of contents, read the foreword and settled back to read, what I thought, were going to be recipes. Well, can I just say, she had me hooked after reading just the first few sentences. I immediately knew this book was something special.

You have to understand that I'm fairly new to this whole food blog thing. And the more I research recipes, other blogs, food magazines, etc., the more I learn about who's who and what's what in the foodie world. So, having said that, I need you to understand that I still didn't really know who this Laurie Colwin was. I do remember thinking that I must have read her name mentioned on a few blogs, so she must be another one of those great cooks or bakers, like a Dorie Greenspan type that's out there.

Well to say that I couldn't put the book down would be an understatement. When anyone actually approached my table in those last few hours, I tried not to treat them as the annoyance they were at that moment. Why were they interrupting me? Didn't they see I was deeply engrossed and didn't wish to be disturbed?

After I packed up all my things, finished out the day and finally had time to pick up the book again, I read a few more wonderful chapters and found myself wondering about this author. I turned the book to the back cover and decided I should take the time to read all that was printed on the back. I read the little blurb next to her photo about all her other works..and then I read this " She died in 1992."

Suddenly, I felt as if I'd just found out a good friend had died. I couldn't believe I hadn't read this before now. Thoughts of how she never lived long enough to experience all that was to come in the food world, no more wonderful stories from her about the tiny apartment she says in the book that was " a little larger than the Columbia Encyclopedia"! Where she had not even a kitchen sink and she had to wash all her dishes and pots and pans in the bathtub! All this talent, this style of writing that makes you feel like she's an old friend. An easy going style that pulls you in, to share her humorous stories, all this, cut short. How sad.

So, I urge you to make it a point to acquire not only this book but her others, as I intend, such as the book published a year after her death, " More Home Cooking". I think she would be happy to know we still love her stories and look forward to trying each and every one of her recipes! Once that computer comes back to life we've got a Nantucket Cranberry Pie recipe to make!

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