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Monday, November 5, 2012

Trusted Source

There are a few cookbooks which I use on a weekly basis. Lora Brody's Basic Baking is one I love reading for pleasure, as well as for the excellent recipes, and I used it twice yesterday. Louise Rosenblatt's transactional theory of reading (see Literature as Exploration, 1938) posits that we read both aesthetically (for pleasure) and efferently (to find out information). What one person reads in one way, another might read in the opposite mindset. While my husband would never read a cookbook aesthetically, I find the text and the recipes filled with intrigue and pleasure. He, on the other hand, might have an aesthetic experience with a book about fish or fishing, and I would need to read that efferently, taking time to understand and process the text.

Yesterday I made Cranberry Orange Bread with fresh cranberries from a Wisconsin bog near a friend's cabin. My husband was intrigued by how lovely the cranberries look on the inside with their star-shaped centers and tiny seeds. In her chapter about quick breads, tea loaves, and coffee cakes, Lora says, 
"There is something intensely satisfying about these plain-looking but fancy-tasting desserts. I don't know whether it's their heft, their dense, sweet moistness, their comforting taste and texture, or their unintimidating appearance that makes me think of snowy days, warm, toasty kitchens, woven pot holders, and freshly brewed pots of coffee served with half-and-half instead of that anemic no-fat "blue" milk. They are the quintessentially old-fashioned dessert that never went out of style. Isn't it lovely that you can serve them at all three meals?"
Thank goodness someone else thinks it is okay to have dessert for breakfast!

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