The Week in Books 2009, No. 26

I enjoy reading cookbooks rather than just surfing them for recipes, and Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking was an entertaining read. In the preface, she writes that her cookbook is for those times when “we don’t want to feel like a postmodern, postfeminist, overstretched woman but, rather, a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our languorous wake.” I don’t know about you, but I am all about enhancing my languorous wake, so I marked several of the recipes to try out, including Snickerdoodles and a very substantial looking apple pie with a cheddar crust.

Updated to add: I tried making the pie with the kids. I was intrigued by the fact that she had the pie bake in a springform pan, but I probably won’t try that again. It just didn’t come out that great and the crust was not anywhere near as good as the recipe I usually use. Oh well, it was still a fun book to read!

I love Amy Butler’s fabric designs, and someday maybe I will actually buy some to sew with. In the meantime I will stick to pillowcases I already own and cheap calico. :) I enjoyed looking at two Amy Butler books this week – the first of which, Midwest Modern: A Fresh Design Spirit for the Modern Lifestyle, includes pictures of her house, her garden, thoughts on what inspires her when she’s designing fabric, and so on. I especially enjoyed the parts that showed real flowers that inspired particular prints.

The next Amy Butler book I read was Little Stitches, a book of patterns and inspiration for making things for babies and mothers. I enjoyed the pictures and ideas, but didn’t come away feeling like I needed to make any of the projects. Still, if you are in need of sewing inspiration for things like nursery decor, children’s clothes, toys, and diaper bags, you might like this book. The book includes an envelope of patterns for all the projects, which would be very helpful if you did intend to make the projects.

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