Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Recently, we had a few good friends over; we were playing a rousing card game, and somehow ended up a with this spread of food on the table. Even I was a little surprised at the variety of things we pulled out of our fridge for the tasting. And I was reminded (once again) how much I love to share food with others. Here are some things on the table: home-made granola; sauerkraut; white bean (Great Northern) hummus; coarse grain beer mustard; mini mincemeat pies and mini cranberry relish pies; pickled Spanish radishes; peaches in light syrup; samples from two different batches of kimchi. Hiding behind the metal bowl is a small jar of roasted pepper hot sauce that we made. The only thing we didn't make that is in the picture is the beer, chips, and the two different kinds of hot sauce (made from fermented peppers).

And of course, we are now in the process of fermenting peppers for our own hot sauce. I can't help but feel a sense of awe and pride at how much I've learned since last year. Humbly, I will proceed to learn more, to mark progress as I go.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 Books and 10 books

There are some books I can't seem to escape. A lot of them are novels that I teach or that I work with in the course of my own studies. I tend to choose books to teach and to work with that have been important to me. This is a short list of 10 books that I will read again this year. They have shaped me as a person and they have shaped my intellectual interests and development.
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
3. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
4. Anatomy of Criticism by Northrop Frye
5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
6. The Political Unconscious by Fredric Jameson
7. Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
8. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
9. Phenomenology of Spirit by G.W.F. Hegel
10. White Noise by Don DeLillo
11. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This is a second list of books that I will read this year, but which I have not read before. I anticipate them having a similar effect.
1. On Liberty - J.S. Mill
2. Goldbug Variations - Richard Powers
3. You Bright and Risen Angels - William T. Vollman
4. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
5. Minima Moralia by Theodor Adorno