The Reading List

Anybody remember Book It? ... That Pizza Hut reading program where, as an elementary school student, you could earn that super-exciting coupon for a personal pan pizza simply by reading books! As I remember it, this pizza prize was basically about 4 ounces of grease in a tiny cast iron pan, lightly dusted with tomatoes and cheese. But whatever... we all read more because of Book It. Or at least I did. So Thumbs Up to those folks! (No, I'm not being paid to say this, by they way. I can guarantee you that Pizza Hut really does not give a care what I say.)

Regardless of the gastronomic disappointment, those Pizza Hut bookworm dinners really are a sweet memory. Because more exciting than any tiny pizza was the fact that, in our family, a Book It coupon earned you a dinner date to the Hut with Dad. (I have 3 siblings... one-on-one time with anything was a prized possession.) Father and daughter sitting in a vinyl booth over those 4 ounces of grease was about as dreamy as it got as a youth.

There it is again... Words and food... bringing us together.
Like here. Right now. Via my current reading list... (Presuming you care more than Pizza Hut)

Elise Hofer Derstine, writer and farmer in Goshen, Indiana, (who you may remember from her interview here!) recently started publishing her words on her own blog, Hoof and Wings. Her latest posts (which come out each Thursday) are about the lovely story of her grandparent's courtship and their road to farming. Consider me hooked and awaiting Thursday.

Photo courtesy Elise Hofer Derstine

Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi.
Tosi's recipes are fun and creative. She doesn't take herself too seriously, reminds me of the playful because at the end of the day... it really is just a cookie. Why not have fun?
That said, it's a really really really good cookie.

Cornflake. Chocolate. Marshmallow. Crunch. Right?! Right.
Today I unashamedly made Fruity Pebble Crunch Cookies. Then ice cream sandwiches with lemongrass ice cream (because it turns out lemongrass ice cream tastes EXACTLY like Fruity Pebbles).

Here's the recipe for the cornflake cookies. Me? I took out the chocolate and subbed about a third of the cornflakes for oats. You?

The Joke by Milan Kundera. Kundera's words, and his ability to get you in so deeply in the heads of his characters make me feel full. In the best way possible.

Do stories, apart from happening, being, have something to say? For all my skepticism, some trace of irrational superstition did survive in me, the strange conviction, for example, that everything in life that happens to me also has a sense, that it means something, that life speaks to us about itself through its story...

The Random...  
Poem on my frig

Read the full poem by Machado here.

Katie @ The Shoofly


The Answer is Pastry (and I love you)

I know what you're thinking. And I love you too.
Oh wait. that's not what you were thinking? Well, one can dream. (And I still love you.)
Especially if you took that survey way back when. Your responses were overwhelmingly helpful! So overwhelming that I went comatose for a bit. See blogs are always so hungry, and sometimes a gal is just too tired to cook every night.
Then I woke up.
Yeah, you. Fact

Also sometimes I am seized with decision paralysis. Like trying to order food at a counter while staring UP at the menu on the wall (like those trendy chalkboard menus... bah!) sends me into a stuttering stress response. I'm trying to learn to breathe through it. Which is what the last several months have amounted to... several deep and quiet breaths.

If you're gracious enough to still be reading (thank you thank you thank you) here's the plan... 
  • NOT attempt to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking... for Mennonites (at this point). 
  • Peel away pieces and stick them in the "To Do In My Lifetime" file. 
  • Choose one piece and stick it in the "To Do This Year" file. 
  • The answer, that one piece I breathed a lot to get to, is... PASTRY! Mennonite baked goods galore shall be the aim. 
So perhaps you were actually thinking... "Reeaaal nice, Katie... You go and promise us cookbooks and then you just waft away like the Carolina breeze. Into the world of beaches, sorghum cakes, and loafers sans socks. " Touche.  Let me break the ice for all our future affairs with cute pictures of children.

photo courtesy of Sarah Boyts Yoder

That last one is Sofie drawing a name from Zeke's (my nephew) fireman's hat. A very dear reader who took the survey was in fact chosen that day. And then promptly elected A Girl and Her Pig by April Bloomfield.

Then I got all caught up in that breathing thing, a niece doing spectacular things like growing fingernails, a sister getting married, another doing amazing artwork (see below) a few lovely east coast excursions, and of course some kitchen work with the creatives at Two Boroughs Larder.

With that... I'm back and I'll see you quite soon!


That's my sister getting married. That's me singing Business Time in my head to keep from weeping. 

east coast excursion = baltimore
Sister Sarah's most recent work... Loving the culinary themes.
Where one finds the milk when living with toddlers.