I do have other interests besides food.
Some interests, like quilting, are mutually exclusive with food. For quilting you need both hands – and sometimes a third hand would be helpful! – and the last thing in the world you want to do is spill food on a not-yet-finished quilt!
Others, like reading, are difficult to combine with eating. I mean, if you have finger foods, like cookies or brownies or cheese and crackers or even a sandwich, if you are picking up the food, then turning a page…you’ll get the page all sticky or crumb-y. And if you use a fork-type food, then you have to look away from the page to stab the food and not have it slide off onto the page. And liquid-y foods that need a spoon – just dangerous around a book! But I always have a drink – usually hot tea at this time of year – handy when I am reading. Isn’t it true? Long bouts of reading can dehydrate one even more than exercise: I can read for a much longer time than I can exercise!
But what I read sometimes affects my food choices. When I am deep in adventure or fantasy, and the protagonists are trekking cross-country, eating a ploughman’s lunch by day (bread, cheese, pickles and sometime other transportable cold foods like a boiled egg or ham) or stewing up something recently caught over the campfire by night, I find myself wanting bread and cheese, or a nice stew (but with purchased, not fresh-caught, ingredients). And didn’t we all want a butter beer when reading Harry Potter? When reading mysteries, a glass of wine or tumbler of whiskey often seems to crop up. And to settle my thoughts or clear my mind after some heavy non-fiction, a round of baking and kneading in the kitchen is helpful. And tasty.
Reading and eating are on my mind today because I’ve just signed up for a reading challenge for 2015, to read 1 book a month from the books I have already owned for at least one full year. For the details, to join up, too (in the next few days) or to see what books others are reading for the challenge, http://roofbeamreader.com/category/2015-challenges/
I’ve made a separate page on this blog to list and track the books and associated foods. I’ve had to start with The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan – I am so embarrassed I have not yet read it. I’ve quoted from it. I’ve recommended it. I’ve discussed it intelligently. I’ve read all the books he wrote after it and some he wrote before. I’ve heard him speak in person. But I have not yet actually read this book.
I fear what kind of eating this book may inspire, but today, as I start, I’m having some crunchy baguette slices with warmed brie and drizzle of fig-honey conserve for lunch. Yum! I wish I had remember that’s it’s easier to scrape/slide melted cheese off parchment paper then foil. OH, well. Still tasty! It’s a cold rainy day, following a cold rainy day, and will be followed by yet another cold rainy day. So comfort food in force is called for! And a good mug of tea.