Not too long ago, I was catching up with a friend over lunch. We were covering all the standard topics: movies seen, television watched, music listened to, books read. I had answers for all but the last question, as I haven’t been reading much fiction lately.
Cookbooks was my answer. I read a lot of cookbooks. And I have a lot of cookbooks. Shelves and shelves of them. And there’s a pile of them beside my bed and because of some recent good fortune, a new stack in the living room. I entered the ‘Cookbooks for a Year’ contest offered by Eat In Eat Out magazine (http://eatineatout.ca/) and won twelve new cookbooks. Yay!
I may not have bought all of these books on my own, but I am enjoying going through them, adding yellow sticky notes to recipes I’d like to try. Thank you again, Eat In Eat Out magazine.
Around the same time, I entered a contest that The Cookbook Store in Toronto (http://www.cook-book.com/) had on their Facebook page. I helped them celebrate their 30th year in business by winning second prize in their ‘Picture This Dish’ photo contest. The task was to make, then photograph a dish from a favourite cookbook. I made Whole Baked Cauliflower with Tomato and Olive Sauce.
Second prize was the prize I wanted to win: an autographed copy of the latest book by Nigella Lawson, Nigellissima. I am putting yellow sticky notes all over this book too. Thank you Cookbook Store!
As a result of the recent good luck I had going, I figured I’d better buy a lottery ticket or two.
Not one matching number on either of the two tickets. Is the winning streak over? I guess as far as winning the lottery… yes, as I’m not going to waste any more money on tickets for a while. I would have been further ahead to have spent the $10.00 on a bottle of wine.
Then came more sadness: my favourite book store in Toronto was closing. After operating for over 40 years, the owner of the Nicholas Hoare book store (http://www.nicholashoare.com/) on Front Street is retiring and closing the last of the stores. I’ve spent hours in the store since discovering it.
The shop is beautiful, with custom made shelves and fittings. The books were, for the most part, displayed with their covers facing out to make it easier to judge them. And an incredible selection of books… chosen with care, which made it easy to take a chance on buying a book I didn’t know anything about. There was always a knowledgeable staff who left me alone while I browsed but answered any questions when I asked.
I made tracks to the shop to have a last walk through before it closed on April 1st.
Coming from St. Lawrence Market.
Inside the door.
Made sure I pushed the sliding ladders one last time.
Didn’t get too upset that someone was in my spot on the couch.
Checked out all the books.
Admired the details.
Listened to the way the floor creaked as I walked.
Pushed the sliding ladder back to where it was.
Looked out the front window at the Gooderham Building (aka Flatiron Building) across the street.
Went to the cashier’s desk…
And bought a book. Not a cookbook, but so very close. It was As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, by Joan Reardon.
Here it is on my nightstand. I am reading a book that isn’t a cookbook for the first time in a while. Thank you Nicholas Hoare.