A few things have been happening in my life recently that have not made it into this blog. Nevertheless, I think they need to for various reasons.
It’s been a while, but we did go camping!
I’ll start with my recent employment and unemployment.
A few weeks back I found a job listing for a baker at a startup bagel company. Baker?! Bagel startup?! I took a very different approach to my cover letter and had an application submitted within minutes. To my surprise, I received an email back requesting an interview (for the first time in my recent job search). After a successful interview I was hired!
I worked at the bakery for less than a week’s worth of days. In that time, I learned that a) I cannot work at night, b) I’m not really into cleaning/washing dishes on a commercial scale, c) the scent of garlic stays on ones hands for a veeerrrrryyyyy long time after scooping handfuls of raw garlic onto bagels. Yuck. Lee was not a fan.
I really liked my coworkers at the bakery and the company itself was awesome. The bagels were delicious and it was pretty nice to come home from every shift with a bag full of reject bagels. Hey, I always wanted to make bagels! It just wasn’t meant to be, though. I couldn’t handle never seeing my husband and working till midnight in front of a blazing hot oven. I guess I’m not cut out to be that kind of baker. At least I know that now!
News item #2 is much more exciting and positive than getting a job and then quitting it.
Last week, I started another blog! Yes, I needed a third blog (technically, Pirat doesn’t count cause we’re not sailing so I’m not writing). I needed a blog about my troubled relationship with food and my body. You can read all about it here so I’ll spare the details. In short, I had an eating disorder in college, never really gained enough weight back, and am now realizing that I cannot go through life chronically underweight. If I was not so skinny I’d be much happier and healthier. Head on over if you’d like a hopefully not-too-boring account of my push to recovery.
not so skinny includes all my lovely eats, like this
I suppose news item # 3 is that Lee and I are looking for a house. Last night I thought we’d found the one but someone snatched it out from under us. It was a big disappointment and I really, really don’t want to look at any more houses : (
My grandmother organized her recipes and newspaper clippings alphabetically. It seems appropriate to start with the A’s in my quest to sort through and cook from her file.
Today I made labels for the sections in the new folder I got last week. Then I went through the papers that had fallen out of the old folder. Most of them came from the A,B, and C sections but a few were difficult to categorize (an obituary in a recipe file?).
There are some really, really old handwritten recipes in the B’s and C’s. Bread, cake, and cookies were ever popular with my grandparents and great grandparents! I think looking at these old recipes will always take my breath away and leave me more than a little awestruck at what I’m holding. I promise, those slips of paper, ingredient lists, and vague instructions will be on here soon.
Until then Lee and I are off on a weekend visit to my aunt’s house. I can’t wait to relax by the pool and catch up with my aunt. I also have the urge to do come canning before the summer is over so hopefully I can pick up some jars on our travels.
Next week I’ll be making something using this lovely kitchen inheritance.
Does anyone want to guess what I’ll be making?
Ever since Lee and I moved into our San Francisco apartment a few weeks ago, I’ve been sitting next to a very important presence in our home. A paper shopping bag against the wall next to my seat at the kitchen table holds my grandmothers recipe file. A cardboard box next to it holds some of her cookbooks.
When I first came across the file, bursting at the seams from all the paper crammed into it, I realized that my grandmother and I had more in common than I thought. It is clear from her collection that Helen maniacally clipped articles and recipes from any newspaper food section or food magazine she got her hands on. I remember my bringing her the entire Los Angeles Times food section when we visited my grandparents in Colorado. Helen devoured food writing as nourishment for her gourmet brain.
I like to think that I’m developing a similar habit in the vast world of online food discourse. I spend more hours a week than is healthy reading blogs, commenting, saving recipes, and clipping restaurant reviews or food-related articles from the Chronicle on my Kindle (yes, you can do that!). The cookbook section in bookstores is a deadly trap that often waylays me for much too long.
If my grandmother was alive now would she be a food blogger? Would she read blogs on her computer and email me recipes that she wanted to try? I think so.
The recipe file has not gone untouched. I have glanced at letters A-D and thumbed through most of the cookbooks in the box. What I have seen so far has inspired me to do a thorough sort and inspection of my grandmother’s recipes. The mix of newspaper clippings and ingredients scrawled on the backs of envelopes begs to be curated. Of course I’ll have to cook from the file as I sort through it! I will be posting recipes I test and telling whatever stories go along with them.
Step 1: A new file! (The bottom is ripping off of the old one and clippings are spilling out all over the place!)