An icy morning, minute morsels of sunlight scattered like stars, a deep cold that goes right to the bones and threatens to ossify one's whole metabolism - the parts not already frozen in place by Lady Winter, that is. The situation is underwhelming to say the least, and I am not alone in my feelings. When I tried to entice Spencer into going out a few minutes ago, he peered out into the garden, gave me a filthy look, turned his back on the door and trotted back to bed.
What to do? On days like this one, faraway spices and exotic concoctions go dancing through one's sconce. The quick fix is a nice long sit, frothy cappuccino or latte in a bright mug and a stack of favorite cookbooks nearby. This morning's selection includes the books below, but there are bound to be a few others added to the pile before I plunk myself down to ponder and scheme. Here is a koan of sorts.... How many cookbooks can one female read at a go? Does it matter?
Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Mangoes and Curry Leaves, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
The Seductions of Rice, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Beyond the Great Wall, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
The Complete Tassajara Cookbook, Edward Espe Brown
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
Sunlight Cafe, Mollie Katzen
The Greens Cookbook, Deborah Madison
Savory Ways, Deborah Madison
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison
Full Moon Feasts, Jessica Prentice
Everyday Greens, Annie Somerville
Fields of Greens, Annie Somerville
The Vegetarian Epicure (Volumes 1 & 2) Anna Thomas
It's off into the kitchen a little later. I feel a fiery Asian concoction coming upon me, something filled with color and redolent of spices - whatever I batch up this morning is definitely going to contain saffron and a little curry. Such creations evoke sunlight and warmer climes, perfect for a winter day when one can't run around outside with her camera, and even her canine soulmate refuses to go out.