The School of Essential Ingredients

ImageNormally, my mother and I like different reading material. But we both enjoy food and cooking, so when her book group read The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, she recommended it to me. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this book. Even if you’re not a foodie, food appeals to you in some manner, and the way Bauermeister describes both food and cooking is wonderful. Even without that, her writing has a flow which is very inviting and easy to read, and once I started I couldn’t put it down.

To very very very briefly summarize the book, Lillian is a gifted cook who gives cooking classes in her restaurant’s kitchen once a month. She has a gift of healing people with food, and the lives of her students are changed.

While Lillian is certainly a nice character with eccentricity, it is the lives of her students which really shine in the book, and which kept me interested. Each one of them is given a section of the book, and their stories are varied and compelling. This is definitely a warm, fuzzy, feel good kind of book, while still dealing with difficult issues in the various characters lives.

There is also a sequel, entitled The Lost Art of Mixing, which I’m hoping mom will let me borrow when she’s done with it.

As for my thoughts, it would be totally cool to be able to have Lillian’s gift for cooking people out of their funks. But essentially, we’re all comforted by familiar food. A bad meal can ruin one’s day, and a good one will leave us reminiscing for weeks, months, years. Maybe it subconsciously inspired me to do all that cooking this weekend. Nothing fancy, just meals and some squash bread (think zucchini bread). But it filled our apartment with good smells and our stomachs with good food, and the experience of both preparing and partaking a pleasant meal, and what it does for our souls, which is what this book was all about.


First Blog on the New Site!

A Little About This Blog

After having a blog through my gmail account for quite a while, I’ve finally decided to switch to a more accessible platform. Blogs tend to come either in spurts, or far and few between, but so far most of them have been about flowers–specifically, arranging them. While I’m not a professional florist, maybe someday I will be. Second topic seems to be food, as I enjoy cooking and baking new things. Other blogs have been about writing.

The purpose, I’m not really sure of all together. Journals and diaries have never been draw; as a writer, I spend plenty of time writing about better things than me and my life. It is the major passion of my life, and so far the flower thing has stuck around, as well. Generally the things I’m into are art-related, and I have practiced many over the years.

But that’s probably enough about me. If you want to know more, you need only ask.

The Flower Blog

A memorial altar arrangement in pink and white.

This week’s flowers were in memorial of a lovely older lady in the congregation who passed away after illness many years ago, and so I was looking for lighter, feminine colors at the market. Since it’s summer flower prices have gone down significantly, and one can usually find roses for a few dollars a dozen. Here we have 2 doz. two-tone pink roses, white carnations, and both white and pink calla lilies.

This was done with a new greening technique from Design School by Michael Gaffney, a well known florist. Instead of inserting greens around other flowers, or free in the vase, a bundle of greens is made and put in the vase as a base for adding flowers, and then more greens are added later. I have to say, it fixed some of the problems I’ve been having with greens (who wants to see all this cheap green material instead of flowers, anyway), and will be doing it again. Possibly tomorrow, when I see what they have at the market.

Small complimentary pink and white arrangement.

After creating the large arrangement, there were enough flowers left over to do pieces for the welcome center (right), a vase of tall white callas for the secondary entrance, and a few small containers which hold only 2-3 flowers each.

Tomorrow’s flowers are in honor of a wedding, so I will probably again end up with something very feminine. Not sure what I have in mind yet, but as usually happens, what they have at the market will put me on the right track.

We’re also having my parents over for dinner and The Hobbit tomorrow, so we’ll be rather busy. There’s a new crock pot chicken recipe to try, so perhaps I’ll blog about that, as well!