So, I gather some of you would like me to hurry up and write that novel. I just met with a friend in Connecticut yesterday who wants me to hurry up and write that children's book whose plot I've discussed with her. She wants her Emily to be able to read it while she's still a child. I've (sort of) been learning to knit. This is an absolutely crazy month in which I've just been up to New England and back and am only home for three days before I take off for Salt Lake City for another week of conferences. Thus, what better thing to do than to take on two more challenges (especially since I have yet to finish one book for the science book challenge, although I've started The Double Helix)? But I really just cannot resist either one of these two new challenges (maybe I'm a challenge slut as well as a book slut?).
The first is Kate's modest poetry challenge. It's not a difficult challenge at all. In fact it's a perfect challenge for someone who has only started getting her poetry feet wet over the past couple of years. We're just going to post something about poetry (either a critique of a particular poem, or a review of a collection of poems, or something about a poet) sometime during the month of April (you can eagerly await my post showing up at 11:59 p.m. on April 30th). That doesn't sound too difficult, especially since at my favorite bookshop near the office, I picked up two poetry collections on Tuesday: May Sarton and Margaret Atwood. Oh, and if worse comes to worst, I can just change the date on my recent Emily Dickinson post. Everyone's already forgotten it, right?
The next challenge is GREAT fun! It's Ex Libris's Soup's On! Challenge , which involves not only reading 6 cookbooks (something I pretty much do every year anyway) between now and March 31, 2009, but also cooking and writing about at least one recipe from each book. Where else am I going to get the chance to pretend I'm Nigella Lawson or Mark Bittman, cooking away and then sending my articles off to The New York Times? The question is: should I choose really, really difficult recipes, thus resulting in what will probably be funnier posts for everyone to read, or just go with the ones that sound too delicious to ignore? I guess I'll have to think about it as I start reading.
Anyway, I'm hoping some of you other chefs out there will join this challenge. I'm also hoping some non-chefs will join (because I'm sure some more-hilarious-than-I-could-ever-write blog posts would result from all you talented writers out there). Most importantly, I'm hoping everyone will invite me to dinner at their places once the challenge has been completed.
Here are the books I'm planning to read and from which I'll be cooking:
The Best of Amish Cooking by Phyllis Pellman Good, because of my recent move to Amish country
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, because I'm in love with Mark Bittman, and we don't eat a whole lot of meat in our household
The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken, because I haven't read it in years, because I'm also in love with Peg Bracken (she's SO funny. If I remember correctly, she sometimes has instructions such as, "Light a cigarette and stare dreamily out the window while meat browns"), and because I want to try adapting some of her "so-1950's" recipes to suit the 21st-century (maybe even turning some of the meat-based dishes into vegetarian ones)
Mrs. Schiang's Szechwan Cookbook by Ellen Schrecker, because I'm tired of not being able to cook Chinese food as well as my husband can, and it's one of the cookbooks his family has always used
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon, because I'm not only into cooking but also into nutrition, and isn't this just such a great title?
The Wonderful World of Indian Cookery by Rohini Singh, because Lancaster County, PA doesn't exactly have a good Indian restaurant on every corner
Stay tuned throughout the rest of the year...