(George Orwell) (Can you believe I’ve never read him?)

Food and books, books and food, the story of my life. Or at least it’s all I write about lately. This morning I was overwhelmed by the number of tomatoes gathering on my table, and decided it was time to make a tomato sauce. Which I’ve never done before. I let Betty Crocker be my guide, and figured with the next round I can try something more, oh, authentic. I cooked onion and garlic (twice as much garlic as Betty recommended, I’m not daft) in olive oil. Threw that in the crock pot. Added all my ripe tomatoes, chopped, plus a can of tomato sauce. Generous lashings of basil, oregano and parsley. If I’d been thinking, I would’ve blanched and skinned the tomatoes, but as Betty called for canned whole tomatoes (blasphemy) I forgot until it was too late. Oh, and fennel. It’s currently doing whatever it is things do in the crock pot.

Then, of course, the next order of business was to bake a chocolate cake. Last week, for a coworker’s birthday, I tried this sheet cake from BabelBabe (I want to call her BabelBake when I refer to her recipes) and it was a hit – gooey frosting, hint of cinnamon in the batter. And easy – no mixer or extreme arm strength required. But of course I only ate my one piece at the birthday interlude, and have been drooling over the thought of it ever since. So I made another today, but split the batter into two 9×9 pans (instead of one 13×9) figuring I can take one into work and keep the other. Any minute now I’m going to go cut into one and devour it.

This morning I finished reading At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman, she of Ex Libris and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down fame. Quite pleasant. I made sure to drink my morning coffee while I read the coffee essay. Sadly, I didn’t manage to time a bowl of ice cream to the ice cream chapter. And lest you think it’s all delicious comestibles, there’s a dose of Arctic explorers and Romantic scandals as well.

Now I’m finally on to Roller Skates, by Ruth Sawyer of The Way of the Storyteller fame. Okay, at least in my circles that amounts to fame. It’s a lovely hardcover copy that cost my library all of $3.77 in 1967. Ah, library binding. Nothing lasts quite like you do. I’m reasonably sure I read this as a child, but I have no recollection of it. It will serve as the next installment on the Book Awards Reading Challenge – Newbery.

I also did some more work on my LibraryThing, until I tired of typing ISBNs. I’m forever ten-keying at work (both jobs) but my laptop only has the annoying row of numbers across the top. Also, the day is fast approaching when a paid account will sound like a wise way to spend money. Curse this desire to organize…