Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Other Bedside Books
I always read before I go to sleep. Back up reading scattered around bed from nights when I had no detective novels from the public library:
- Mark Twain, Life On the Mississippi. Reread nearly all of this, including the tedious Chamber of Commerce hype & stats Twain packs into the second half. The first part -Old Times - is masterly.
- Selected Journals of Henry David Thoreau. He wasn't a sociable man.
- The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version. Various authors.
- Dashiell Hammett, The Dain Curse.
- Richard Forman, Pine Barrens, Ecosystem & Landscape. Much of this book is too arcane for me, the photos are lousy, but I enjoy the maps, graphs, descriptions of flora & fauna, & even the soil types.
- Best Short Stories of the Paris Review. 1961.
- Weird N.J. #29. Very entertaining. The amateur historian in me gets grumpy at the poor writing & research - many interesting places reduced to rumors & a couple of factoids, but it's the nature of the beast, a magazine written by its readers. Every issue has loads of great stuff, too.
- Parish Cuisine, St. Mary of the Assumption, Elizabeth, New Jersey. 1979. A true cultural artifact. Snapshot of the kind of large, urban, working/middle class, multiethnic parish that no longer exists in Jersey. Also a compendium of post-WWII home cooking, odd mix of treasured family recipes, basics (perogies, meatloaf - golden or soupier, lasagne, stuffed cabbage, soda bread, borscht), & the pre-enlightenment quicky suppers of working moms (Macaroni-Cheese Puff, Hamburger Pie, Leftover Casserole - chicken or turkey). Also Frogs Legs with Mushrooms, Impossible Pie, Yum Yum Cake, Fantasy Ambrosia using Miracle Whip. Contributions from men are segregated to a single section at the back. Nostalgic if not always mouth-watering for most middle class Jerseyans 40 & up.
Comments:"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson
I think I have a few of those parish cookbooks. Is it bound with a plastic spiral? The Yum Yum cake sounds familiar.
Yep. & still done that way. Computers make the page formatting nicer now. Street Prophets website compiled one last year.Post a Comment