Sunday, December 29, 2019

More Of This Year's Essay Reading

This year I've done a couple of posts on books of essays and other short form writing that I've been reading in support of my 2019 goal to work on short-form writing. (If you are one of my Twitter-followers, you've noticed that I've been posting links to other short-form reading I've been doing nearly every day. You have noticed, right? What am I thinking? Of course, you have.)

Well, today I'm going to do another one of those posts. I chose to read Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine, A Love Letter To Life Around The Table, With Recipes, because it was a Kindle sale book sometime this past year, it was a book of essays, and it was a book of essays about food. I am interested in trying my hand at writing some essays about eating. Not food writing, which is a totally different thing. I'd have to know more about food than I do and eat better than I do to write about food. I want to write about eating, for reasons I will spare you now.

In Bread & Wine, Neiquist does what I'm interested in doing. She writes about eating, but in relation to something else. In her case, we're talking eating in relation to connecting with others and spirituality/faith. She would probably be described as a Christian writer rather than a food writer (she has written other books that appear to have nothing to do with recipes), and Bread & Wine was published by Zondervan, a Christian publisher. If you enjoy reading about someone living their Christian faith, you'll enjoy this book. If you'd really rather read about food, you'll enjoy this book. Because Neiquist comes across as one of your seriously Christian friends who prays for you but doesn't try to convert you. I will be very surprised if you don't have at least one of those.

What kind of freaked this introvert out about Bread & Wine was not the religious aspects of the book but the number of friends Neiquist has. And how often she gets together to eat with them. And she often gets together to eat with large numbers of them, at once. For a large part of the book, I felt as if there was something wrong with me, because I don't live like that. But by the end, I'd turned around and was thinking, "What is wrong with these people? Don't they ever stay home? How about dinner in front of the TV once in a while folks?" And then I felt better.

The book was definitely a good choice for my purposes.

Gail And Bread

It's been a long time since I've included any cooking pictures in a blog post, but this one involves a book called Bread & Wine, and I used to be a serious bread baker, so I think a photo is appropriate. I've been off gluten for a year and a half now, which has tossed a wrench into my bread baking, though I do have one gluten-free bread machine recipe I make a couple of times a month. Also I am surrounded by wheat-eating philistines who prefer brown-and-serve rolls to bread made in the kitchen. You see why I'm interested in writing about eating? About eating bread, anyway.

So, at Thanksgiving I tried a peanut butter twist recipe. Did not go over well. As one person said, "It's essentially a peanut butter sandwich. Why go to all this work for a peanut butter sandwich?" Yeah? Well, next year they can eat peanut butter on their brown-and-serve rolls!

I put half a pan of these twists out on a rock for the sweet little woodland creatures. The next day a flock of crows came for them. They also took most of the artisan bread I made for Christmas. My giving up gluten is the best thing that ever happened to the local crows.

The Tuscan toast triangles you see to the right of the twists turned out better, by which I mean someone will eat them, though not me. (I do gluten free Tuscan toast.) 

I'm also taking part in Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads today. Haven't done that in a long time, either.

Mmm. Writing about eating. This feels good.

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