|Grown-up furniture in my very own house.|
In addition to a lot of brown furniture, my mother had thousands and thousands of books. Books in practically every room of her house. There were strict systems for where books went. She relegated tacky-looking paperbacks to the shelves along the staircase to the basement and, of course, that was always the best place to find something you actually wanted to read. Something by Toni Morrison or Len Deighton or Herman Wouk or Judith Krantz. These were mostly books my sister or I brought home as teenagers.
Boring, handsome, old books -- noble books that her father gave her -- went in the living room. When I was a child, I remember one of my mother's friends ribbing her about the pretension of keeping pompous books you didn't read in the living room. I thought he had a point, but I also remember thinking he was being pompous in his own way. I took the boring, handsome books from my mother's living room and put them in my living room. It's not pretentious. This is just how I grew up thinking a living room should look. And it looks great.
Although. . .
|What are the sources of the Japanese tradition?|
I love that The L Word is about an inch away from The Fabrication of Farmstead Goat Cheese. I keep intending to put these books in some kind of order, but maybe I won't.
When we put in this shelf eight years ago I swore I would cull before I let the cookbooks overflow.
But I didn't.
The books have overflowed to the jam shelf and a new shelf we lodged in the skinny space between the stairs and a wall and they are starting to pile up on the floor. The pile is only getting higher because
there were about thirty cookbooks to be taken from my mother's house and I couldn't resist any of them.
I finally found this, which I had been hunting for madly a few months ago. It contains the recipe for the first cheesecake I ever made when I was about twelve. I did not remember that the cheesecake contained dry milk, which sounds dismal to me now, but I swear it was the best cheesecake ever. I am going to bake it again soon.
And then there were cookbooks I wasn't looking for, but which I can't let go of.
I could never cast aside a cookbook that contains such gorgeous pictures:
See, I am helpless. Being a hoarder of cookbooks helps me empathize with people who are hoarders of everything, which, by a miracle of fate, I am not.
Happy 4th of July, everyone.