November is just the beginning. We’re barreling full speed into the holidays, the time of The Full Cold Moon. Winter cold fastens its grip, nights are at their longest and darkest.


The Moon before Yule. The days are ticking away. Soon we’ll exist in a blur of ruby-red gems, parsnips and pies. I’m surrounded by people who live to eat and respect turkey and its trimmings as much as I do. We’re thoughtful and prepared ~ the road from here to the holiday is paved with parsley, sage, rosemary and, well, you know. We’ll be on it most of the time until 2014.  Gosh.  So many days ahead filled with butter, flour, sugar, chocolate and cream, heavy. And no regrets, trust me on this one.

Cookbooks are my BFFs.  I have a few. Let’s start with Jacques.  He taught me and millions of home cooks how to chop an onion and perfect a cheese soufflé.  Any cook book of his is riddled with genius.


Need a gift?  Want one for yourself?  Pick up one of these ~

MOOSEWOOD was listed by the New York Times as one of the top ten best-selling cookbooks of all time. Sophisticated, easy-to-prepare vegetarian recipes, charming drawings, and pages of beautiful full-color food photography. Healthy and great-tasting food from Molly Katzen.

More than 225 recipes in ROOTS ~ salads, soups, side dishes, main courses, drinks, and desserts ~ that bring out the earthy goodness of veggies from artichokes to yams.


Mark Bittman’s collection is absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks.

Of course, everything looks better, sounds better, and tastes better in Italian.  We discuss dinner at the breakfast table.  I’m not brilliant in the kitchen but I am an authority on eating.  Italian cookbooks comfort, inspire and satisfy me. 

The holiday season can be a bit overwhelming-intimidating-oh goodness gracious what am I going to make-crazy busy. Just play. Whip up some jolly and unbearably wonderful things.  Make time for deep breathing, a little wine, old movies.  It’s living..and it feels really good.



Meet you here next Sunday.

Toni 11/17/13

Day 17



  1. Cookbooks are dinosaurs of delight (sort of like me, I guess!). I know that cooks can log onto the internet to get recipes in the techno age we’re in, but I prefer my collection of comfort, which includes the I Hate To Cook Book. Cooking With Hot Flashes is part of the collection, but it’s only “dish” is laughter–as necessary to life as water and air! I loved this piece, Toni! M.


    1. Mary,
      I adore cookbooks, especially when the pages are splattered and dog-eared. I culled many of my shelves but not the cookbook one..or three. And my own notebook where the real treasures are, like Uncle Frank’s b blueberry muffins.


  2. Cookbooks are wonderful! I had a full library of them including a complete set of Williams Sonoma. I loved to cook. Then He-Who came into my life. His idea of a gourmet meal was a hamburger and french fries, or pizza with extra pepperoni. I continued to buy cook books that I was eager to delve into. But, alas, it was only wishful thinking on my part. My recently married niece loves to entertain and enjoys spending time in the kitchen so she was more than happy to receive my entire collection (some never used) cook books. I’m happy they are being used.


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