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on the nightstand

In books, on the nightstand on 02/04/2010 at 12:11 pm

An itty-bitty mouse,
pitter-pat, tip-toe,
creep-crawls in the cave
from the fluff-cold snow.

Mouse squeaks, “Too damp,
too dank, too dark.”
So he lights wee twigs
with a small hot spark
.

Karma Wilson, Bear Snores On (New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002). 

 Drop in unannounced between breakfast and lunch, and at some point you’ll likely find us back in bed, nestled between two pillows and a pile of beloved books. We have a lot of favorites – old and new –  that we’d like to share. You can see what else we’re reading by clicking the nightstand in the sidebar. Feel free to add your own favorites to the list we’ve started there.

p.s. If anyone knows how to get blueberry juice out from under a two-year-old’s fingernails that doesn’t involve an old toothbrush and a lot of drama, I’m all ears. As you can see, I let it slide yesterday.

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a sweet read

In books, recipes on 01/20/2010 at 10:52 am



“Amish baking is by its very definition simple, self-sufficient, and often sweet and sticky. The worn hands of an Amish homemaker kneading loaves of bread carry the lessons of generations past. There’s a calming comfort in watching hands shape the dough, of watching bread balloon into a billowy golden pillow in a wood-fired oven. Throughout centuries of religious persecution in Europe and sometimes harsh settlement conditions in the United States and Canada, the Amish have turned their hands to feed themselves: men to plant and harvest, women to bake and cook. This insular self-sufficiency has elevated the Amish into legendary creators of cakes, pies, rolls, and doughnuts out of the building blocks of baking: flour, eggs, butter, vanilla, oatmeal, seasonal fruits, cinnamon and molasses.”

Lovina Eicher, Kevin Williams, The Amish Cook’s Baking Book (Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2009), xvii.

Even if you never bake a single recipe, this book is a feast in itself. Colorful imagery and simple storytelling are scattered among recipes for Bumbleberry Pie, Rhubarb Squares, and Blueberry Streusel Coffeecake. You can read a little about Lovina, mother of eight, here and here.

 

p.s. I added some new names to “the regulars” this morning so drop by and say “hello”!

the best blogging book…ever

In books on 12/30/2009 at 6:13 am

Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or a rookie, Blogging for Bliss deserves a spot on your reading list for the new year. This little gem by Tara Frey is so packed with goodness, it’s hard to do it justice. Think Artful Blogging meets tech geek – the perfect blend of information and eye candy. My only problem with it is that I can’t decide whether to keep it on the coffee table or the computer desk. It’s that good.

The book covers photography, blogging platforms, etiquette, and everything in between with easy-to-follow instructions and links to useful online sources. However, the layout keeps the reader from getting too bogged down in the technical aspects. It’s also chock full of bios sprinkled with personal blogging tips and enchanting screenshots from some of the most beautiful journals on the web. At first glance, I recognized many of the names but was elated to discover so many fresh new reads.

It’s my new fave. It has a little something for everyone. If you’re a blogger, this book is for you.

p.s. Thank you for all of your kind words in response to yesterday’s tutorial. This space wouldn’t be the same without you in it.