Saturday, July 26, 2008

Reading, and chocolate, is fundamental

I bought some knitting needles today. I'm very excited to test them out. I have a book that a friend lent me, which seems to explain things clearly. I'm sure I'll still have questions, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try. My first crochet attempts were rather lumpy but I still wear those early scarves with pride.

I also whiled away a huge chunk of time in Half Price Books. I find these days I really don't like buying new books. It seems wasteful. I'm sure I'm way behind the curve on this one, but it's a semi-recent thing for me. Well, for a while there I wasn't buying books, because I was getting freebies at work (magazine editors get loads of books, and I worked for one). When that eased up, and I got to where I was wanting new reading material again, I just couldn't bear to pay full price. So maybe this is more me being cheap than eco-friendly. Oh well. Ain't no shame in digging around in thrift stores for books (I do this too).

So back to Half Price Books. It's no Strand - God I miss the Strand - but it'll do as a substitute. It's a good bit easier to move around in on a Saturday afternoon, at least. Though it's harder to find things I'm interested in. Those big tables at the front at the Strand - I would always bust the budget before I made it past them. Here, I went in circles. The hunting and finding was not as intuitive. But I did find a couple of books I'd been wanting to read, plus that Ogden Nash collection I'd been hankering for. Remember that E? You don't need to get me one now. :)

It contains such gems as this:
I test my bath before I sit,
And I'm always moved to wonderment
That what chills the finger not a bit
Is so frigid upon the fundament.

It doesn't get much better than that. I love that this copy is old, and the pages are yellowed around the edges. I had to wait forever for my pad see eiw order at Titaya's, so I was glad I'd just bought it, and had the sense to bring it in. It kept me from getting too grouchy.

Speaking of food, this cake was part of me maxing out on my summer zucchini allotment. I'm not interested in eating any more. No thank you. I had bought a lot to make the pie (remember the pie?), then found I didn't need that much. So I had some left, and then brought more back from my dad's - fresh from the garden too. So it just couldn't go to waste. Finally I was so maxed out that I found a way to eat it in a cake. Yes thank you! I'll take that. Yum.

As usual, I took a big hunk of it into work, cut into easy-to-grab squares. It went over so well that I had to share the recipe almost immediately. You want it too? Okay. This comes from my From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce cookbook, and is credited to Scotch Hill Farm. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

3/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk (I soured some milk with lemon juice)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and cloves (I didn't have cloves so I did 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
2 1/2 cups flour
small bag of chocolate chips (here I bought a bag of dark chocolate mini chunks from Whole Foods and poured in half the bag - I think the amount worked well, and the dark chocolate was a nice touch)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 30-35 minutes. Consume.

No comments: