How to Cook a Tart

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today I reached a point with the Book-A-Day project where I began to formulate a "Never Again" list in my head. I had an extremely busy day and didn't have a chance to even begin reading today's book until 5 o'clock this evening, creating a stress filled evening. I have vowed that this will never happen again. Other items on the never again list: 1. no more books that are 500 pages long 2. no more science fiction books and 3. No more picking a book based on the cover. That's right dear readers, I'm never picking a book again based on the cover. Mark this day on the calendar, write it down in the history books, 9 months and 8 days into the project and I have finally reached a breaking point where I can no longer suffer through a horrible book that had an interesting cover. I know what you must be thinking, But what will she whine about for the remaining three months of the project. And all I can say to you dear readers is, where there's a will there's a way. I will find something else to complain about, of that I am sure, because I have become convinced that complaining is a part of my creative process. If nothing else I can complain about how I have turned into the kind of person who can use phrases like "my creative process" without feeling even the slightest bit as if I should immediately start hanging my head in shame. Yes, I've turned into the kind of person that I used to mock.

Today's book, "Cookbook author Jasmine March's life is like a perfectly prepared b├ęchamel-rich, satisfying, and drenched in butter. But even a great b├ęchamel curdles sometimes. Her husband, Daniel, has taken up with one of his Zone-dieting drama students; Careme, her daughter, is bent on starving herself to death; and Jasmine's fellow foodies have had just about enough of her astronomically caloric recipes. To make matters worse, her publisher is threatening to cancel her contract. And then there's the small matter of the dead body she finds one morning on her kitchen floor."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I picked today's book based on the cover (last time ever, I swear) and because of the title, which I figured would give me a chance to whine about myself for a minute or two. I have been making a concerted effort over the last week to talk about myself less and the book more (I had some reflective time after reading previous entries and I had an honesty moment that went a little something like this, "You are too self-involved. Snap out of it.") but I'm starting to have talking-about-myself withdrawal, and I'm getting the shakes. MUST. TALK. ABOUT. ME. So here goes, I can't make pie crust or tart crust, which I consider to be my biggest flaw (no seriously, it really bothers me, more than all of the other real flaws put together.) There I said it. I hope you will not think of me differently now that you know my hideous secret. The problem is so severe that I can't even use those ready made pie crusts because I am unable to transfer the pie crust to the top of the pie without it crumbling into a hundred, tiny, ugly pieces. But I will not be defeated by the pie crust. I am determined to make a pie crust that is worthy of Martha Stewart Magazine before I die (in fact, it's going on my "Project That Have No Point to Them" list.)

  • I'm sure you already figured out from my "Never Again" list that I didn't enjoy today's book. Several of the characters were quite obnoxious, and not even in an entertaining way. What's the point of that? It's like those people who constantly lie and then don't even have the decency to tell lies that are interesting. If you're not even going to bother telling the truth about stuff, then is there really any excuse for being boring? No there is not. And there is no excuse for a literary character who just takes up space being annoying, and wastes page space saying things like this, "Show Jasmine a skinny woman and you'd be showing her a mentally deficient being."

  • The other flaw of the book was that there was too much talk of weight, calories, fiber, and colon cleansing (I really wish I was kidding, but no, sadly I am not.) Now I can appreciate a good discussion on any of those subjects (except colon cleansing because it's on my mental list of "Subjects I Don't Ever Want to Have to Think About Ever Again") but I don't feel like reading about it for 250 pages. It made me feel like I was back in my Mary Poppins days, bored out of my mind because the baby is still sleeping and I've already finished reading the book I brought, and so I cave and start reading the fitness magazines on the coffee table before eventually putting them down in disgust after reading an article where the topic at hand was whether grapes or oranges have more calories (answer: oranges.) So that is your fun fact for the day dear readers, a cup of grapes has 62 calories and a cup of oranges has 85. And aren't you glad you know that know, otherwise you may have eaten an orange for breakfast tomorrow and then end up spending the whole day feeling the shame of eating those extra 23 calories.