January 4th, 2011



The Carbonnades a la Flamande just boiled over into the squash and yams and carrots roasting for the soup.  I don't expect a little concentrated beer and beef stock will do them any harm, since we're not expecting any vegetarians for dinner anyway.

There's nothing like cooking to make the house smell like someone lives here.

We've been away too much.  I like travel and I adore my in-laws (and the fact that I have them, being decidedly short of family of my own) and warmth and sun in midwinter is never bad.  But there's something in me that would have liked to spend the last week here at home, cooking and doing some House Things that need doing, and, oh, yeah, finishing my stupid book, doh.  At the NYRSF reading last month, when I said that I began this puppy in 1987, somebody from the back row very reasonably pointed out that it was old enough to go to college and I should let it go already.  Which I will.  But not until I've read the last 100 pages aloud and made sure Beau's name-change is consistent all the way through the ms, and that I've managed to incorporate that really important thing I just learned from a book on sugar culture in Louisiana that I wish I'd known about in 2005 when it came out rather than two months ago when we went to visit Laura Plantation.

But I digress.

Since we're not exactly quitting the travel thing cold turkey, I've decided that I'd like to live more mindfully in my home when I'm in it, for however long or short a time that happens to be.  I've got deadlines coming up, so a good deal of time must be spent with my nose to the grindstone, but when I'm not writing, I'd like to be cooking and hanging pictures and doing something about the kitchen curtains and the piles of books I have read and don't want to keep that I trip over in the hall.  Not all at once, (I Will Do All The Things!!!) but in bits and bobs, over a couple of months.  Except for the cooking.  The cooking should be a constant.  As should inviting people over to share it with us.  Because, hey, woman doth not live by literature alone.

Which is a great last line, and I really ought to leave it at that, but while I was chopping onions, I was listening to a program about the translation of the King James Bible on BBC1.  How much do I love the wifi radio in the kitchen?  How much do I love shouting "Cranmer! What about Cranmer!" while the on-air expert witters on about how Tyndale changed the course of the English language?  And how long will it be before I chance upon a spot as absolutely up my alley as that one?