Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Saturday, July 7, 2012

day one

In preparation for some of my summer intentions/ideas, I've played around with the pages just under the sewandsowlife header here on my home page.

As I concentrate on localizing and lightening up what goes on in my kitchen this summer, I thought I'd share some great resources I've been gathering. Check them out, under the food page, above.

I'm also going to try to read a book a week, with a special concentration on Vermont authors, illustrators and themes. Keep an eye on my progress (and keep me accountable!) under the summer reading page.
Things are slow to start in the gardens, but this little pumpkin is ready to grow. We found fresh fennel at the Farmer's Market this morning and the eager young farmer invited us to try grilling it, so tonight we'll cut it in half, sprinkle a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper and give it a try. We've got some bok choy to add to the mix. Snap peas, tender greens and sweet little onions will make a nice salad, with a splash of maple vinaigrette to make our mouths water.

Dearest readers, what are reading right now, or what's next in your reading lineup? Leave a note or two in the comments below! Thanks!


  1. Hi Karen,
    Good to see you back in Vermont, where you thrive. I've been reading "Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh, after hearing her on podcasts with Lesley Riley on Art and Soul radio.
    You and I live very different lives, but I always enjoy reading about your gardens, your cooking and your lovely family. I hope you have a wonderful time in Vermont!

  2. Funny you should have as a goal reading authors from your soon to be home state. I am currently enjoying Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers, written by Marcia C. Carmichael the the historical gardener at Old World Wisconsin.

  3. I just finished 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman, which recounts the foodways of five immigrant families (German, German Jews, Eastern European Jews, Irish, Italian) between the mid 19th and early 20th centuries on the LES in NYC. Fascinating both as a cultural study and immigration history. My German farmer ancestors skipped urban areas completely to settle in rural Texas so it was especially interesting to read about their city counterparts.

    Otherwise, I'm also reading Bill Bryson's book about small-town America (which I'm about to give up on; his tone is not companionable and his humor is at everyone else's expense, which isn't my thing right now) and Natalie Goldberg's "Long Quiet Highway," which is a memoir after her two books on writing. One is my upstairs book and the other is my downstairs book.

    Sorry I have no VT writers to recommend, beyond Christopher Kimball's thoughtful and local essays in each Cook's Illustrated.

  4. I was reading the first Game of Thrones book, but I packed it for the move and now I can't find it! Argh! That 97 Orchard book of Jamie's sounds pretty cool, although the next book in my "serious reading" queue is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It's about the Great Migration of African-Americans to the North and is supposed to be fantastic. Good luck on your goal!

  5. I just finished "Stone Garden" which was a heavy but thoughtful pondering of the meaning of death in the life of survivors in novel form. I needed to lighten up, and so am reading a REALLY funny (but irreverant - you have to be o.k. with cursing) book titled "Let's Just Pretend this Never Happened" - a memoir of a woman who grew up poor in rural Texas - it's a hoot!

  6. I'm reading "Weird Sisters", a story about 3 grown sisters and their personal life trials, mixed with the experience of their mother's breast cancer. It's not gripping, but good.

    I had "Long Quiet Highway", that Jamie is reading, on tape, and would listen to it in the car when I needed to de-stress. Natalie Goldberg's voice was very soothing:)

  7. I've been on a reading kick of quick books. I just finished Sherman Alexie's new collection of short stories and poems WAR DANCES. Very good, he can make you care about his characters in even a very short piece. SMUT by Alan Bennett. I liked his UNCOMMON READER much better. The best of the bunch is WILD by Cheryl Strayed about her hike on the Pacific Coast Trail. Read this amazing memoir!