Monday, June 9, 2014

(Just Another) Melange Monday

Hello everyone - it's Monday, time for melange.

Sorry, taken with crappy cell phone camera
 I am in the process of reading Ann Mah's Mastering the Art of French Eating (on which I will have more to say, probably next week), but knowing that Ann would be including a lot of French food history in her memoir, I thought I would re-read portions of Linda Civitello's Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People to prime the historical pump. If you've not read too much food history, this is a good survey book to start with. As an undergrad I read (in what now feels like a parallel universe) Changes in the Land which, while not a history of food but ecology, pretty much planted the seed in me concerning food history. I had never really thought of food and its impact on cultures until that undergrad watershed moment. 

Civitello's book is a fascinating (if somewhat facile in places) look at how we've come to our 21st century views of food. A few (of so many!) interesting notes as they pertain to France: (1) Catherine de Medici introduced the fork to France more than a century before Louis XIV's indulgent dinners at Versaille (at which he always ate with his fingers); (2) the first Paris cafe was opened not by a Frenchman but an Italian (which cafe Mah briefly describes in her steak frites chapter); and (3) the Enlightenment brought us the term nouvelle cuisine, which actually referred to "wicked dishes": dinner guests were always "presented with wicked dishes, that is to say with just those dishes that make you eat even when you have no appetite at all." Oh the things we've done for food (myself included). 


I am a huge Cirque du Soleil fan. A long while ago, I saw Alegria live and was completely mesmerized with the acrobatics, costumes and great live music, as well as impressed with the show's excellent use of the hero motif and Cirque's ethos. Recently, I rented World's Away and I highly recommend it. Again, it's as close to mythic storytelling as you'll get this side of science fiction/fantasy, and their use of light, costume and music to tell a tale is unmatched.  


Finally, I leave you with what's currently on my hooks/needle. Isn't this a wonderful colorway? And of course, it's alpaca, so I couldn't ask for anything more.


  1. That yarn is very pretty! It looks incredibly soft as well.

    1. It is soft, with a wee halo. I'm enjoying it immensely.

  2. Oh, I have got to read that book. I'm sure it would benefit me in the classroom greatly :-)

  3. There's a ton of great trivia as well as fable debunking - it's really quite a good read. :)

  4. Wicked foods. That would be bacon :D