Writing (and reading) can be dangerous

I wanted to share a post I love written by Valerie Davies of New Zealand, an accomplished writer and journalist who left blogging for a while and has now returned, to the great pleasure of her many followers.

David Copperfield book cover

Valerie writes about reading aloud to your children in front of the fire or under the covers on a cold winter night….David Copperfield (Did you read it at a young, impressionable time in your life?)….a Queen who couldn’t stop reading….what Stephen King says about writing truthfully….the dangers of reading and writing….what some brave bloggers are doing….and for good measure, a recipe.

Click on the link below to read Valerie’s post:

The dangers of words.

The Uncommon Reader book cover

On the eighth day of Christmas: The Teacup Chronicles

juniper berries

The Teacup Chronicles

Because I like good stories about ordinary things, fine photographs, unusual recipes, and anything with “teacup” in the title.

On the second day of Christmas: 66 Square Feet

Two turtle doves

Originally from South Africa, 66 Square Feet blogger Marie Viljoen lived in Brooklyn for many years while cultivating an amazing garden (from which she harvested fruits and vegetables) on her small terrace. Recently, she moved to Harlem, and it will be interesting to see her new not-so-secret garden in progress. Marie calls herself a writer, gardener, forager, and cook.

66 Square Feet book coverI have her new book, 66 Square Feet: A Delicious Life, which I love. I’m a former New Yorker, and I especially enjoy her nature and foraging expeditions around the city. I don’t have much of a garden, but I garden vicariously when I visit 66 Square Feet.

If you only have time for a quick blog stop, 66 Square Feet is perfect – the photography is fabulous, and often there is just a bit of text. Marie has another blog, 66 Square Feet (The Food) where you’ll find her recipes.

It so happens Marie was in South Africa when Nelson Mandela passed away. Here is a link to her post, Madiba’s Garden, about Mandela cultivating a garden while he was in prison and what it meant to him.

(Vintage bird illustration, turtle doves, photo from Vintageprintable1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Let’s share family cookbooks and food traditions

Antique cooking utensilsIn one of my recent posts, Children’s lit of my ancestry, my Italian cousin wrote about a book traditionally read by Italian families, and I wondered if my father read it when he was growing up.

A friend of mine commented that she’d inherited many of her father’s children’s books, and her grandmother had passed on to her a family Czech cookbook.

That gave me the idea of sharing our best-loved family cookbooks and food traditions as we approach the holiday season. I’ve a few books I’d like to share, and it would be fun to hear from you, too.

Is there a much-loved, well-worn cookbook your mother, father, grandparents or even great-grandparents used? What is special about it or meaningful to you? It could be out of print or a familiar classic. I’d like to share an eclectic mix of titles and traditions.

Maybe you have a story to tell in connection with a particular recipe, meal, holiday, or family memory.

Over the next two months, as we prepare to cook some of our favorite holiday meals, I’d love to hear about cookbooks unique and special to your family. Guest posts about a valued family cookbook or food tradition, or slice-of-life memoir snippets are especially welcome.  Please send cookbook titles, comments, anecdotes, and inquiries about doing a guest post to my email at valoriegracehallinan[at]gmail[dot]com.

Photo from Library of Congress photostream.