Hello again! The package man brought my slightly loved copy of Laurel's Kitchen today (the whole thing, not the short-cut copy) and I found the parts I longed to read again! Would you like to have a little taste of this cookbook poetry?
Here's an excerpt.
"One morning, out for a walk, I stopped at Laurel's house to see if she'd join me. She was packing Ed's lunch - his dinner rather . . .
No lunch pail was in sight, just a big wicker basket with a lid - quite a large one really, for just sandwiches and fruit. Then I saw the sandwiches: think slices of dark rye around an egg salad sparked with sweet red peppers and parsley, so thick she had to cut the bread in half before assembling the finished product. But the sandwiches were the least of the story. A fragrant barley soup with translucent pieces of zucchini, celery, and mushrooms went into a wide-mouthed thermos carefully preheated with boiling water, and a tiny packet of grated cheese went in alongside to be sprinkled on top of the soup. She rinsed and dried lettuce and cherry tomatoes and put them into a plastic container with a tiny bottle of herb dressing, then got out a cantaloupe and cut it in half in perfect zigzags, scooped out seeds, and packed one of the halves with cottage cheese and a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds."
Ready for lunch now? If you have been lovingly preparing whole foods for your family, searching out recipes that stay true to fresh, clean ingredients, and baking bread and other grainy "staff of life" type offerings, well . . . just know that you are doing something very important, very noble.
The descriptions of Laurel's apartment and later her house, her tiny kitchen and then her bigger work space are so romantically domestic. This book was written 35 years ago. Women were happily dressed in long skirts, heads sporting plain, straight pony tails, and trying to keep things "real" in the kitchen. I like that. It was before the Food Network and HGTV. It was a simpler time and those of us who were child brides (smile!) tried so hard to do good work as budding homemakers . I'm not sure if I'll actually use the recipes. I think I really wanted to revisit the commentary. So good.
After skimming and savoring my new book, I headed out for a walk.
I didn't get far because as I passed the park, I spied my neighbor playing with her granddog. I had to zoom in and take some photos of Marley as he chased the tennis ball down the grassy hill. Because I ate too much lettuce for dinner, my stomach started churning. Thus the end of my walk. I hopped in my neighbor's car and she drove me home. So fun. So comfortable. Neighbors. Dogs. Parks. Fall colors. Back home in my chair by the window. Crickets chirping. Yes, it's fall. Good things prevail.