Sunday, February 10

Marginal notes

The cook book came to me from my friend. She was going to sell it for a quarter at her yard sale. I brought it home and, feeling inspired to prepare a hot dish, I perused the pages. In addition to recipes, I found cautions, reviews and raves written in pencil.

Next to the Eggplant Rollatini with Corn Bread Stuffing "Two hours? Try four!"

Peach Crisp "Cut the butter next time, too rich."

White Bean and Vegetable Stew in Red Wine Sauce "The Best."

Essentially I had stumbled unto a treasure trove of information. All the lame guesswork of a recipe could be avoided with the simple help of my friend's notations. This wasn't some foreign cook show host, this was someone with a skill set similar to my own, providing insight. I had to wonder, is this cheating?

Marginal Notes. For some of us it is instinctive. But, thinking back, I have my 9th grade English teacher to thank. Mrs. Hawkins assigned us the task of selecting sentences that resonated with our adolescent minds. She called them "purple passages". She instructed us to copy and compile sentences and engage with them. Over the course of the year, purple passages became a habit. They were everywhere! Transcribing key points in a text became a favorite study tool. Along the way I learned that I had something to say.

Purchasing hundred dollar text books in college entitled me to the thrill of writing notes in the margins. This 5th edition of Human Physiology book was mine and I could do with it what I pleased! However, many of those comments, jotted hastily years ago are now cryptic and unintelligible. Doodles were a sad display of underdeveloped illustration skills and were best when kept to flowers. Seriously.

I now find myself compelled to respond to articles I read, or things I hear in the so-called news. I take notes. A lyric, turn of phrase that I fancy, or inspirational quote may be found scrawled in my work notebook or elsewhere, on the back of an envelope or receipt. For whom? Nobody. Until this blog.

Welcome to my cookbook pages.

No comments: