I am still thinking about the conversation with you, my readers, that will unfold over the coming months and how I can do a better job of engagement, creating interest and inspiration for all of us. No concrete resolution yet, but in my musings, I've thought about authenticity, what it is that makes me happy, and what are the lifestyle choices that define me. Where are the gaps that exist between the person I aspire to be and the one who walks in my shoes day to day.
My husband and I had a wonderful Christmas holiday in Athens, Georgia where a good deal of my family gathers each year at my brother's house. It's a time of good cheer, good food and drink and generous gift giving. Books are always high on the list and this year was no exception....I have a LOT of reading to do....
Among the titles are a number of books that will enhance my life in the kitchen, where my aspirations are to live a life filled with nourishing, beautifully prepared food. I love good food, but often find that I'm in such a hurry, I don't take time to enjoy the process of preparing food that is equal parts healthy and beautiful. A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented For Your Kitchen is wonderful book by the owner of 5 & 10, a fabulous restaurant in Athens, Georgia, where we go each year. John and I have become very intrigued with the world of cheese in the past couple of years and ended up giving each other books on the subject. My book, Artisan Cheese Making At Home, promises a lot of goodness in our cheese future....if I'm up to the task! I'm also interested in learning to bake bread and one of the books in the pile here is my source of knowledge, From A Baker's Kitchen: Techniques and Recipes for Professional Quality Baking In The Home Kitchen. I've admired this beautiful book, Vegetables: From Amaranth to Zucchini, as it's been given to some one of the family members each year for the past several....this year John and I were the recipients and I'm so glad to have it....well researched and beautifully presented, the book gives all kinds of background information and recipes for all the vegetables you've been curious about, but have been too intimidated to try, not to mention the ones everyone knows and loves.
So, when I'm not in the studio or in the kitchen, I have plenty of other reading to do....among the lovely new titles on my shelves are the following:
The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, by David Mitchell
I'm overwhelmed! Meanwhile, there is job hunting, time in the studio, yoga practice and my usual musings about life to keep me occupied. We are all a little bewildered by the weather in this part of the country these days. No snow....how we could have driven from South Dakota to Georgia and back at the end of the December and not seen any snow is beyond me! I'm not complaining in the least....not with a weather forecast predicted to reach the upper 50s in a few days. Strangely enough, here's the view this afternoon from the front of the house....not the usual January view.
But here's something that calls to mind a more normal vision for this time of year....Trees In Winter, a new piece in my shop:
Hope the start of the new year has been full of new energy and inspiration for you...feel free to share new visions for your year!