In A Room of One's Own (1929), Virginia Woolf wrote: "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
I've always liked that quote...so much, in fact, that I had planned to stencil it all along the top of the walls in my kitchen. Of course, I never got around to actually doing that. Nevertheless, I've always whole-heartedly agreed with Woolf's sentiment. I think a good life is made up of eating good food and drinking good wine. That's basically why I still work at the winery on weekends...access to good wine, which I can and will drink for no particular reason...other than the fact it might be "Red Wine Sunday."
And, I've always liked looking at and reading cookbooks. I found myself reaching for the cookbooks recently when I was bored; I'd flip through them, browsing recipe titles and lingering on pages with color photographs, as if I were thumbing around a magazine. As much as I enjoy reading cookbooks, and I have actually read a few cover-to-cover before, I also love reading books about cooking. So, this weekend I finally began reading Julie & Julia: "the story of Julie Powell's attempt to revitalize her marriage, restore her ambition, and save her soul by cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, in a period of 365 days." I've had Powell's book for a while now and haven't really gotten around to reading it. But, after finishing some heavy non-western novels I assigned to my literature class and a couple novels featuring dysfunctional families, I was ready for something a bit lighter and more entertaining.
Plus, I figured that I could use a little ambition restoration and soul saving myself.
I haven't written much about what's going on in my life right now; I'll just say that it has taken quite a turn. Nothing is as it was 6 months ago. And I need to have some goals, to try something new, to have an outlet for my stress & frustration, to feel creative, to do something worthwhile. Blogging used to be that outlet for me, but ever since Bloggergate 2005, I've been hesitant to be honest. In the past several months, I've written a few new posts, but I always chicken out and don't published them online. The one time in three months that I actually DID write something heartfelt, I got this comment from a relative: "Wow--it seems like you are more confused and mixed-up than I thought.......I hope you realize what you are doing before it's too late....". And that's not something to encourage me to put more of my vulnerable self out there.
Anyway, I'm already 100 pages or so into Julie & Julia, but within the first chapter I was inspired to create a cooking project of my own. There are many things I've always wanted to cook but never have, things I always say I am going to make but never do. So, I am going to cook something "new" at least once a week. I am finally going to get to making all those things I always think about making (like moussaka), and I am going to teach myself how to make some things I simply don't know how (like homemade bread).
And I'm going to write all about it here.
I'm starting tomorrow with the first recipe from Julia Child's first cookbook (and also the recipe that inspired Powell's "Julie/Julia" project): Potage Parmentier (potato and leek soup).