September 10, 2009

Domestic Books

I have two books from the library (actually ... I always have more - got audio books, and some garden books, and some DVDs)(found out once that our library limit of books-per-person is 100! "One hundred!" you might exclaim. "Yes." When leaving on a road trip, little Dawson cleaned the shelves of wild animal kid books and the librarian said, "I can't check out any more since you've come to 100" [we had some at home all ready].) One of the books I had out last fall and bought one for a Christmas present, but wanted to read some things in it again. Monte and me, while driving around Wisconsin last fall heard the author interviewed, which is why I got the book. It's called: Milk - The Surprising Story of Milk through the Ages with 120 adventurous Recipes that Explore the riches of our First Food, by Anne Mendelson.

Since I've been making soured milk/ buttermilk sourdough breads I'm wondering about making cultured buttermilk like I regularly make yogurt. And yes, it can be done. If the buttermilk says it has "live cultures" and no added gums or stabilizers, it can culture milk just like you would make yogurt, tho sitting out at room temperature for 12-18 hours. Of course REAL buttermilk comes from the process of beating cream to make butter and draining off the liquid which is buttermilk.

The other book I have, as I'm sitting outside on my pergola, is The Gentle Art of Domesticity - Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home, by Jane Brocket, who lives in England. As a back of the book quote says, it's "A deliciously charming book crammed with garden plants, cookery, chickens, childen and all life's good things ... presented with wit and articulation." It truly is lovely, full of beautifully colored pictures and great thoughts. Like "Domesticity, not domestication", "The gentleness of the gentle arts", "The art of the possible", and "Yarnstorm". She knits, quilts, creatively bakes (or "Bizarre baking"), reads inspiring books ("The domestic library"), tells stories (like "Peas peace and laughter"). Thank you Kaye for thinking I'd like this book - I DO!

And oh ... I forgot ... I do have another book from the library I've been reading at night (finished it last night). It was recommended by one of my blog friends - Debbie from California: Clementine in the Kitchen by Samuel Chamberlain (Phineas Beck). The Beck family were living in France and Clementine was their cook. When Phineas's company called them home because of WWII rumors, Clementine wanted to go with them (so she could go to the movie theaters a lot). It's a delightful read, with spatterings of French, as he tells of Clementine's recipes and her excursions into the Boston countryside markets for food for her recipes (she can't speak English). If I had a pear fruit tree I'd like to try growing a pear in a bottle and preserving it in brandy as a table decor, which is what Clementine's father did. It was fun to experience with her, her first taste of a barbecued hot dog and beer in a paper cup, and her dislike of American's ice water at meals.

I do love books! as you'd discover if you visited us and saw all the built in bookshelves in just about every room (let me think ... Yes, every room in our home has built in bookshelves, except one of the bathrooms and laundry room ... but books are still sitting in those rooms too).

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