Two of my favorite pleasures rolled into one. I read cookbooks much the way I read novels - page by page - and they inspire me to cook, travel, learn a new language. Menus percolate in my mind as I play with colors, textures and flavors. As happens every year at this point in August, the weather is beginning to shift toward autumn. The days are drier, the nights cooler. Instead of salads and seafood, I now have a hankering for robust meals. Meat sauces that simmer for hours and fill my kitchen with rich aromas. I am tickled when friends walk up the porch steps and ask before they even step inside, "what smells so good!".
These are the books currently by my bed, whose pages I dog-ear and write notes on. I fall asleep dreaming not only of food but of a quality of life - simple, restrained, meaningful. As William Morris wrote, "Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery but the very foundation of refinement - a sanded floor and whitewashed walls and the green trees, the flowery meads, and living waters outside."
What inspires you?