My reading list is filled with books that I have been accumulating and stacking around my house, in hopes of getting to read them at some point. Now it’s time to get focused on making it happen. I see this as marathon of reading. I cannot imagine running 13-ish miles (the ½ marathon, which many people I know just did), and I certainly can’t imagine running the full marathon – 26-ish miles (which a few of my friends did). This seems an impossibility. I cannot imagine the months of training leading up to this event, with all of the sacrifice and energy day in and day out! Furthermore, the idea of doing this ALONE sounds impossible and miserable. I have found that even my marathon-running friends deem going it alone to be absurd. How could you train for this, week after week without the companionship and camaraderie of partners? So, I am thinking I want to attempt a READING MARATHON (okay, ½ marathon maybe). And I’m beginning to think partnership would greatly enhance the experience and increase the likelihood of me completing this. Not to mention a whole lot more fun.
(I am trying to find some friends who would be interested in reading a book from my list alongside me! We could set a goal date to have it read, and then meet to discuss it… like multiple mini book clubs. It would help me to prioritize my list and motivate me to do what it takes to make it happen. And make it even more fun!)
Speaking of camaraderie, I have recently called on my cooking lab pals to help me redeem my failed attempt at homemade crackers. A couple of months ago, I cracked open my King Arthur Baker’s Companion to give a recipe a try (knowing I would have to wait until summer to study the book). I decided to start with Crackers. They seemed quick and basic. The recipe is very fluid and loose, which is nice if you are craving creative license, and torture if you are wanting a clear and guaranteed successful recipe. I made a batch to serve with homemade chicken noodle soup. They were a little mediocre and my family responded with, “Really? Why did you make crackers, Mom?” I then proceeded to eat them and they nibbled on them a bit. It was discouraging and felt pretty much like a failure.
I asked Blair and Caroline, my poached egg cooking partners, to join me in a cooking lab for crackers. And it was a success!
|our taste test|
When we had our taste test, I threw together a fruit and goat cheese studded green salad to have with our piles of crackers, and my family joined us. Dave asked, “now WHY would you go to the trouble to MAKE crackers? Is this for fun or is it a whole lot cheaper?” I stumbled around with my answer, explaining that they were fresh, without preservatives, varied in flavors, and cheap to make. He didn’t seem convinced. I then said, “…and it is my hobby, so it’s fun.” That answer seemed to make more sense to him. After tasting them though, he agreed that it was a good idea to make homemade crackers, as these are super yummy! I think the idea of my homemade cracker-making began when I was a young girl and went to Darrell’s restaurant. Did you ever go to that bizarre restaurant that had a bus and a jail and an elevator in it? They served free form homemade crackers as an appetizer. They were salty and buttery and memorable… clearly!
|pricking with a fork|
|chopping fresh rosemary from the garden|
Place crackers onto pan and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice:
Italian seasonings, garlic powder, etc.
|ready for baking|
Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly
browned. (Watch closely to see how it’s
|8 varieties of crackers|
Find a friend or two to join you in running a race, reading some books, making some crackers, or any pursuit that sounds more do-able and fun when done together.