I've been reading a book by Judith Jones called "The Tenth Muse". Don't know if she's still alive or not but she apparently has been in love with and very much involved with food for most of her life. She ended up working at Knopf Publishers and her first big success was the editing of Julia Child's and Simone Beck's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".
Anyway, the book is a memoir and has been a pleasant read. And there are a bunch of recipes in the back that I've been peeking at now and then. Actually, she's also the author of "The Pleasures of Cooking for One", a book I have and mentioned on a post quite a while back.
She made bread too and here I have to confess to what little snots my sister and I could be - we loved the buns she made - where she took the bread dough and made them into buns about the size of hamburger buns but totally beyond spongy hamburger buns. They would come hot out of the oven and we would slather them with butter and peanut butter and wolf them down. But she also made loaves of bread for sandwiches and we didn't want to eat that bread - we wanted bread from the store like we were used to, so on their weekly trip into town, she'd buy us our bread for sandwiches. Children are so strange...
And she made cherry pies and apple pies with the fruit from her trees, and meringue pies too. Lemon, of course, but she also made a lemon-cream pie that I remember that was a cream pie but with just that little bit of lemony taste to it. I loved that one. Back then I wasn't a big fan of apple pies but I loved the cherry pies too. Ooh, and gingersnaps - just remembered those. And I remember one summer when we were a little bit older, we were there and she made something new - again it was using bread dough (although it may have been sweetened a little) and she rolled it into little balls, rolled each ball in melted butter and cinnamon sugar, arranged them in a layer in an angelfood cake pan, sprinkled chopped nuts over that and then did another layer and another, until the dough was all gone. Then it would raise for a bit and she'd bake it. As they say nowadays, OMG!!! it was incredible. When we'd go up to my aunt and uncle's cottage at the lake, she'd sometimes take one of those and everyone would just sit pulling those little balls of deliciousness off and popping them in their mouths. And then years later when I was grown and married, here came a mix for what they called "monkey bread" that, again, was basically that same thing and, again, not nearly as good.
And that's a lot of what this book is about - the memories we all have of the food we grew up with, our first experiments with cooking as "grown-ups", memorable meals we've had with family and friends (or in Italy!), etc. And it sure has opened up my memory banks which has been very enjoyable.I think about my childhood and how very, very lucky I was to have such a wonderful one and those summers at Grammy's were a big part of it. Probably helped too that most of my childhood was in the 50's which sure seems like "the golden age" looking back on it now.
All that reading and looking at the recipes in the back of the book is keeping me inspired to keep cooking. It's funny - today at the grocery store I noticed they had lamb (Ms. Jones uses lamb a fair amount) in various guises including individually packaged lamb shanks and I thought "I'll have to try and find some recipes for lamb shanks". Came home, got my mail and there was my new "Bon Appetit" magazine and in it is a recipe for lamb shanks! And one of "The Tenth Muse" recipes is for a Cornish hen that has all kinds of good herbs and seasonings stuffed under its skin - want to try that too. That's one thing winter is good for - cooking!
- Mary Lynne
- West Virginia
- When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!
P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).
I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.