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Pickle Me This

February 6, 2007

Bookishly (sort of)

I want to address two books, not of the literary sort.

The first is Vegetarian Classics by Jeanne Lemlin, which I mention because Ms. Calhoun was talking about cooking the other day. I credit this cookbook with teaching Stu and I how to cook. Our credo that a Jeanne Lemlin recipe has never failed us remains ever-true, and we often wish we could be adopted into her family so she would cook for us. Failing that, we cook her stuff ourselves. Vegetable Tagine, Greek Pasta Casserole, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesidillas, Veggie Pot Pie, Garlicky Squash Penne, and the pizza dough are now some of our favourites. A variety of salads that saw us through a summer too hot for the oven. She has also provided me with two of my very best cakes: lemon almond and carmelized apple upside-down. And the thing is that we aren’t even vegetarian, but last year when we were ninks (no income, no kids) meat was just too precious. And we rarely eat meat now. Thanks to Jeanne, we don’t really have to. So yes, a cookbook recommendation to other burgeoning cooks.

The second is very loosely considered a book– my passport, expired-just after five good years. And what a time it’s been. I applied for it in my final semester of my undergraduate studies, as I was all set to go continental come graduation. Previous to that, I’d hardly been anywhere. But this little passport saw me in and out of a variety of European countries by air and plane, on a two year working holiday to the UK, on a visa to work in Japan for a year (with one extension), in and out of Thailand, and my favourite visa of all: my UK entry clearance as a “Marriage Visitor”, issued by the British consulate in Tokyo. For the last year and a half, my passport has been rather unoccupied (see “ninks” reference in above paragraph), but we’re off to England (hurrah!) in June. And I do look forward to seeing where my new passport takes me, because these things, of course, one can never predict.

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