Hello – Goodbye

I had a hard decision last week.

Even though the last thing I really need in my life is another dessert cookbook, I could not resist Frosted by Bernice Beren.  It presents some more complicated techniques than the usual sweets cookbook but in a way that made it seem like I could take them on. 

But you know my rule.  The cookbook shelves are full – if a new cookbook comes in, something has to go.  This has been easier in the past but it took me a few days to finally choose.  I have a handful of cookbooks that I have never used (not even once) but because they are cookbooks from my travels, they have always been protected by the “something has to go” rule.  For many years I would pick up a cookbook while on trips but most of them have just sat on the shelf for all these years as a testament to where I’ve been.  The Hawaii cookbook is a case in point.  It wasn’t very expensive and had a pretty little cover, but I’ve never made one darn thing out of it.  Hawaiian food isn’t one of my favorites and this particular little cookbook is mostly meat and fish recipes. 

When selecting a “to-go” cookbook in the past I’ve always felt like I shouldn’t oust a travel cookbook.  Having them felt like a statement.  But last week when trying to decide I realized that nobody stands back there in the breakfast room reading through all these titles.  I’m not making a statement to anybody but myself.  And I certainly don’t need an unused cookbook to do that.  Even if I don’t remember where I’ve been, I actually have a world map (in the very same room) with push pins of all the places I’ve visited around the globe!  (This is not the first time I’ve had a revelation about keeping books around for the statement I think they make, but the first time I’ve applied it to my cookbook collection)

So the Hawaii cookbook is going to a new home in my friend’s Little Library.  I expect some of the other travel cookbooks will also make an exit one of these days, although Scandinavian Cooking (from my Baltic cruise) and The Africa Café (from my first trip to Capetown) will stay, since I have used them repeatedly!

Anything you’re hanging onto because of a statement it makes?

47 thoughts on “Hello – Goodbye”

  1. My suggestion is inherently foolish, since I know how wedded Sherrilee is to physical books. Recipe storage isn’t a problem if you store YouTube tapes of recipes, and some folks enjoy seeing how a dish looks as it goes from early stages to a delight on the table. My favorite recipes mostly come from American Test Kitchens, Jacques Pepin and Glen and Friends.

    Someone I’m enjoying these days is a friendly guy called Chef John who manages a channel called Food Wishes.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I do like chef John quite a bit. I really like the way his voice goes up at the end of each sentence. And I’ve made some of his recipes. I do actually have a binder for recipes that I find it online. It’s just not my favorite way; I really like to sit with a pile of cookbooks and look through the one I’m looking for a recipe

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh, you’d like my friend Eva. She’s Swedish and that’s how she talks. I find it weird, but in her case, I understand where it’s coming from With Chef John, it just strikes me as odd. He is a fine cook, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Chef John kind of grew on me. I admit that the first few videos I watched of his a couple of years ago surprised me. But now I kind of like it.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. How about a dress suit with pants waist size 36?
    Nostalgia? Motivational? Naaah! The statement is, “I yam what I yam and dats what I yam!”
    The tie that looks like a paramecium I might wear to an ugly tie Zoom meeting as a submittal and a statement.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Me, right now, being very wasteful of time and enrgy. Taking furniture and art and decorations over for Sandy made a right mess out of this apartment, but provded lots o f open space. Despite the fact I STILL do not know about my money (It is as if the county gave me a seed and said now figure out what the fruit looks like.) and so despite do not know if I am staying here, I rearranged the whole apartment.
    Then I dealt with the “art” Sandy likes. 1) Watercolors by a very close friend (Who went off the deep end of fundamentalism and became a Trumpite and hated me as her former pastor who led her wrong, into “communism”.) who died a couple years ago, and who gave Sandy much of her second or third best work. Not that her best work is so very good. 2) Preframed slock imitations of old paintings, in overornate frames and weak mat choices she bought in furniture stores. I sent the best of her friends art over to Sandy and used the frames and mats from the other paintings for my pastels. Many came out very well with the mats and frames. A few are a degree or two away from ideal. I did the same with the things she bought, other than the two I sent over. They did not marry as well with my art, but I can live with it. And I must say I am impressed with some of my art that has been in boxes for a decade.
    The only people who will see this are my daughter and family, who are disinterested in art or my art, and then me.
    I an doing (still not done) this all just for me.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. BTW one of the ways I decided what few cookbooks to keep, I made its current state (Braking binding, soiled, loose pages, etc.) one of the two criteria for keeping them.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. One of my current typing problems is mixing up homophones. I could actually move in with Sandra. I am thinking about it.


        1. Clyde there isn’t a baboon on here who hasn’t made some stupid mistake on the blog. Steve’s comment yesterday, mixing up astronomy and astrology, is a good example. I knew full well that he knew better, but I pointed the error out because I didn’t want Fenton to think that the U of M gave science credits for a class in astrology. I figured the rest of you knew that it was a momentary lapse on Steve’s part; I certainly did.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. Why not astrology at the U of M? During the pandemic sequesterI took a free online course sponsored by Harvard called PredictionX: Omens, Oracles & Prophecies

          The course was an overview of divination systems, ranging from ancient Chinese bone burning to modern astrology.

          Liked by 4 people

        3. I’d have no problem with an astrology class of the U of M, but it shouldn’t be for a science credit.


  4. Inspired by my friend, Ann, I’ve been making some sporadic and feeble attempts over the last couple of years, to rid myself of some of my belongings. It’s hard. It’s not a matter of “making a statement” that gets in the way, it’s the memories attached to those things, it’s what they represent. In some cases we may be talking about something that has some actual monetary value, but in most cases, that’s not what I’m focused on. For instance, I have some baskets, hand woven by Seri Indian women, that I need to get into the hands of someone who will appreciate their beauty and what they represent. I’m not looking to sell them, but I don’t want to give to someone who will. That’s not the kind of value they hold to me. I’m concerned that they will end up in somebody’s yard sale without anybody realizing what they are. This probably makes no sense to most people, but it’s one of the reasons I have so much of this stuff still taking up space at our house. As they say, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. You probably already know this, PJ. Older people everywhere in this nation are struggling with the idea that the stuff that has meant so much to them is pretty much worthless to most younger people. My friend Marilynn collected a vast library of paperback books that no library would accept as a gift. She fretted endlessly about that.


    1. I’m not talking about books, CDs, dishes or anything else that’s mass produced, Steve, though I understand Marilynn’s attachment to her books. Of my books, there are a handful that are signed by the authors that may be of interest to somebody else, the rest will no doubt go to Goodwill or some such place when the times comes, and I’m fine with that.

      I’m concerned about the unique, one-of-a-kind things, that are special because of who made them and what they represent. The Seri Indian baskets, my small antique Navajo rug, the soapstone sculptures and tupilaks carved by Inuit artisans from Greenland, my ceramic sculptures, that sort of thing. To me these thing represent something more than their monetary value, and I hope to hand them off individually to someone who shares that appreciation of them. But I do know what you’re saying. Much of what we older folks have accumulated holds no value or interest for a lot of younger people.


        1. That perhaps wasn’t clear. What I mean is, if you were to offer them on eBay or Etsy with a description of what they were and an appropriate price, at least prospective purchasers would be interested because they understood what they are and appreciated them for that reason.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. You may well be right, Bill, but because I’m not ready to part with them yet, it’s difficult to line up potential buyers. I keep hoping that serendipity will step in and I’ll find a solution. It’s not something that’s keeping me awake at night, but it would be nice to know that they’re not just going to be tossed.


        3. I ponder the same thing with my books. One of the problems with putting together a rarified collection, aside from the difficulty of finding the titles you seek in the first place, is that a limited number of people have the background and inclination to be interested in them. Because of the subject matter and because of my limited resources the condition of my books is not always up to the condition preferences of any specialized library I might offer to donate them to. They might accept them only to put them into a friends of the library sale.

          Many of these books are examples of books for which only two or three other copies are on offer online. Correspondingly, very few people are seeking them. The books are worthy and significant but they are outside the frame of reference of all but a few and those few are scattered.

          I have donated books to specialized libraries, accepting that they might not be retained, but I’ve begun to think that selectively putting up books for sale may be the best way to pass them on appropriately.

          Liked by 3 people

        4. I get exactly what you mean, Bill. Those books are treasures, and finding that rare person who will appreciate them may take some effort, but it will be worth it.

          When I gave my vinyl records to tim a few years ago, I held onto one. A signed copy of a Steve Goodman album. Eventually I’ll be sending that off to a woman in Iceland who is an avid Steve Goodman fan. She never actually heard him perform live, but she has read and listened to everything by and about him. To her that album has a value far beyond any price tag, and I love knowing that I can make her day.


        1. Oh yes, quite a bit. Also, pots by Ken Olson, Mike Mikkelsen, Chuck Halling, Warren McKenzie, and a number of others. A lot of my pottery is functional, it’s stuff that I use every day. Mike’s pots will eventually go to his adult children who want them. I don’t think any of the pottery will be hard to find homes for.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. As long as I have (just) enough hair, I will defiantly hang on to my DA haircut, mostly in order to make a statement I don’t fully understand.


    1. I hate to tell you this, Fenton, but I don’t think anybody gives rat’s ass what anybody over 70 thinks. Maybe they do in Spain, but in my neighborhood they don’t.


  7. OT. I have completely fallen down on my Blevins cat-herding. I don’t have any notes with a date but I’m wondering if it’s this coming Sunday? Did we decide on a date? Do we have a location? Millions of apologies.


  8. Some great days on the Trail, baboons! I finally got to read yesterday’s this morning.. so many ideas that came up, one that I wanted to reiterate – the idea that there is often more energy, passion when the work is done as a volunteer, where one gets to choose what they’re doing.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I don’t think anything I own makes a statement, or if it does, it’s a statement I can’t really articulate well.

    When tim had his warehouse he had a windmill. Not sure if he still has it. But here is a poem that might or might not apply:

    A Windmill Makes A Statement

    You think I like to stand all day, all night,
    all any kind of light, to be subject only
    to wind? You are right. If seasons undo
    me, you are my season. And you are the light
    making off with its reflection as my stainless
    steel fins spin.

    On lawns, on lawns we stand,
    we windmills make a statement. We turn air,
    churn air, turning always on waiting for your
    season. There is no lover more lover than the air.
    You care, you care as you twist my arms
    round, till my songs become popsicle

    and I wing out radiants of light all across
    suburban lawns. You are right, the churning
    is for you, for you are right, no one but you
    I spin for all night, all day, restless for your

    sight to pass across the lawn, tease grasses,
    because I so like how you lay above me,
    how I hovered beneath you, and we learned
    some other way to say: There you are.

    You strip the cut, splice it to strips, you mill
    the wind, you scissor the air into ecstasy until
    all lawns shimmer with your bluest energy.

    – Cate Marvin

    Liked by 1 person

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