Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

This is the best idea I've seen in awhile...

The Fountain Bookstore is a little wonky as a retail establishment as we're not all that busy on the weekends being in a downtown business district.

That means that I have weekends off most of the year to read!

So, unlike my fellow retail warriors, I will be able to participate in this event enthusiastically and without guilt for not being in the shop.

Join me!

"Welcome to the very informal Thankfully Reading Weekend. Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves gets full credit for coming up with the idea. She happened to tweet that she was going to have a fairly quiet U.S. Thanksgiving weekend and was hoping to spend much of that time catching up on her reading. Almost immediately Jen from Devourer of Books and Beth from Beth Fish Reads chimed in, saying what a great idea that was. And thus the birth of Thankfully Reading Weekend, which will start on Friday, November 27 and end on Sunday, November 29." Read More Here...

I'm looking for suggestions for a big, fat, new novel to swallow whole that weekend. I've already read Wolf Hall and loved it, so that's out as is the new John Irving which is great if you're a John Irving fan...probably not as fun if you're not.

So, post here or come by the shop and tell me what you'll be reading. I'll post to #thankfulreading on Twitter.

Now you have an excuse to spend a few moments away from your family (they'll be watching football anyway) and have some quality YouTime. Your bookseller approves.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lee Bros.: Will You Marry Me?

...or (in order to keep from violating several state laws and generally accepted social conventions) maybe you could just come sign at my shop?

I got a preview copy at the store a few months ago and have since purchased a hardback for myself and it is definitely my present of choice for this holiday season.

Perhaps I should just list the top 10 reasons for my devotion....

1. Lemon and Cucumber Pickles
I think I went through about 8 quarts of these myself this summer. I also took jars to garden parties for friends. (great on a grilled burger!)

2. Celery Julep
Refreshing! About the only summer libation I prefer as much is The Green Lantern.

3. Cheese Relish
A variation on pimento cheese made with Swiss, capers and banana peppers rather than cheddar and roasted red peppers. Is it good for me? No. And I don't care.

4. Radish Butter
So weird I had to try it. Lovely on rye toasts. Pretty as the magenta picture you painted. Stunner for entertaining.

(have I said thank you yet for the fact that none of the recipes so far take more than 10 minutes to prepare?)

5. Oyster Soup
While it will never replace the traditional oyster stew that I eat every Christmas morning (a deeply simple recipe from my mother that just means Christmas to me), this charmer of a dish will be a staple for the rest of the year's special occasions.

6. Skillet Green Beans with Orange
Boring old green beans for dinner? Not anymore! Inexpensive and gorgeous in a plain white bowl.

7. Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin
Say goodbye to mac and cheese. This is my new comfort food. How do you two stay so svelte? Dancing on that porch you're always mentioning, I guess.
Whoa! Just checked my Facebook mail and there's a thumbs up there for this recipe from an editor of Blackbird Magazine (and confirmed foodie). That's almost a little creepy.

8. Smoked Shrimp with 3 Dipping Sauces
Now I know why I bought that stovetop smoker!
(It's an illness...I know...I'm trying to stop...but honestly a stovetop smoker is absolutely a necessary item for any kitchen...along with the 10s of dozens of other random items I seem to have accumulated....well, maybe not the quesadilla maker with the handle shaped like a chili pepper...I told you...I'm sick.)
And you're so conscientious for kindly giving instructions to make your own MacGuyver-style if people don't have one.

9. Fig and Bourbon Compote
Equally versitile as a dessert topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream or as an condiment for roast pork. Yum.

(cue the angel chorus)

10. Whole Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Onions
Sounds boring, right? I thought it did, but the true test of any cookbook (or any cook) is the humble roasted chicken. Mainstay entree of the suburban family and the single bookseller. Affordable, available, and so, so easy to $#&* up...usually by trying too hard.
My 99 year old Eastern Kentucky Granny gave me her cast iron skillets when she quit cooking (and you fellas know how important a gift like that was the only thing I asked for when she moved to the home). The bird sits proudly in one of those coal-black, seasoned beauties and looks (and tastes) like a million bucks. Genius.

So, I apologize for missing our two first dates:
  • BookExpoAmerica 2008 Fried Chicken Party (I was stuck in a cab on the Brooklyn Bridge)
  • SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Trade Show 2009 dinner...I was supposed to be at your table, but I got the flu
Let me make it up to you by hosting a party for you and every foodie in Richmond. Trust me. I know them all.

Cheers, Boys. And thank you.