A Book Meme & Some Bread

I'm drawing inspiration from Asha with this post. I have some food for the soul and the body. I hope you enjoy both!

Book Meme - Food For The Soul

I've been tagged by Gunfighter. Here it is!

Hardback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback?

It doesn’t matter to me.

Amazon or brick and mortar?

It doesn’t matter to me.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Both are fine. I have no preference.

Bookmark or Dog Ear?

If I have a bookmark, I’ll use it. If I don’t, well I have no choice, but to just fold it over…I don’t mind books that are dog-eared.

Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by title, or random?


Keep, throw away, or sell?

I keep the books that I will refer to again. I tend to borrow a lot of books from the library, so I will not need to get rid of a lot of books. If I ever have unlimited space, I will buy a lot more books. Books that I will not refer to again, I give away. I think it's really horrible to throw any book away. Words are too precious.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?


Read with dust jacket on, or remove it?

Leave it on.

Short Story or Novel?

Both, but I do love collections of short stories.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

I love them both!

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?


Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

When I’m tired.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once Upon a Time"?

I like them both. The dark stormy night sounds more exciting, but that’s only the beginning. A good writer could veer off in a whole new crazy way even if they started out with Once Upon a Time.

Buy or borrow?


New or Used?

Both, but there is something about a used book. I love strolling through old book stores. I feel like I'm in touch with people from another time and place. It makes me wonder who they were. Did they like the book? How did they react to these words?

Buying choice: Reviews, recommendations, or browse?

All of them!

Tidy Ending or cliffhanger?

Tidy ending.

Morning, afternoon, or evening reading?

All of them!

Standalone or series?

I tend to read stand alones, but I’m not against series. I read those too.

Favorite Book of which no one else has heard?

The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn. I’m sure someone has heard of it though.

Favorite books read last year?

Last year, I read the least amount of books ever. I think because of blogging, so it’s not a good year to pull from.

Favorite Books of All time

The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn – No book has had a greater impact on me. It changed the way I think and my image of myself in the world.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez – I have never been more transfixed by the opening line of a book. There was so much in this one line. I knew this book was a masterpiece, a book that I had to savor over my lifetime. I had originally borrowed this book from the library, but I ordered the paperback online within a couple of weeks.

Food Lover’s Companion, by Sharon Tyler Herbst. This book is a Barron’s Cooking Guide and has definitions for all things food-related. I first saw this book in a store, but couldn’t justify spending the money for something that I didn’t really need. In keeping with my new way of thinking after reading The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn, I knew that if I was supposed to have this book, it would find its way to me. Within a few days, I was walking by a yard sale in Harvard Square and saw the book used for a dollar. I was meant to have this book!

Bread - Food For The Body

A few weeks ago I had dinner with some friends at Maggiano's, a chain Italian restaurant with surprisingly good bread. I mean really good bread. I always feel like the bread is the indicator of the restaurant and the meal. First off, everyone was super friendly at this restaurant. We were seated right away. Everyone we encountered smiled; we were at ease right away. The food was wonderful too. We all really wanted to have dessert, but the portions were so big that we didn't have room. Plus we had filled up on bread. Let's get back to the bread.

I had some sort of whole-wheat bread with nuts, some sweetness and another taste that I cannot place. It was served warm. The center was soft and the crust was just crusty enough, but not too hard. Perfection. I asked our waiter for the recipe on the off chance that they may give it. They did not, but I tried to keep the taste in my head and replicate it. I couldn't do it, but I made some good bread anyway.

I used my standby Honey Wheat Bread recipe, but I added extra honey, walnuts, and dates. I use rice milk instead of regular milk and I used grapeseed oil for the vegetable oil. The recipe is from a book that I sent away for years ago, Fleischmann's Yeast Best-Ever Breads. I think it might have been free, except for maybe shipping charges. It has some wonderful recipes, but I admit that I usually buy the store-brand yeast if it's cheaper. The yeast that I used for this bread was about a year past the expiration. I was a little nervous that it might not be good, but it worked just fine. Here is the recipe.

3/4 cup warm water
1 package Active Dry Yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
2 T honey
2 T vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Put 1/4 cup warm water in large bowl. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. Add milk, honey, oil, salt, and wheat flour. Stir with large spoon. Add about 1 cup all-purpose flour. Stir and add remaining flour until you cannot stir anymore.

Remove dough from bowl and knead on floured surface until dough is smooth and easy to handle, probably 6-8 minutes. Keep adding flour to get the correct consistency. Place dough in bowl and cover. Let rise about 45 minutes.

Punch down dough and form into shape of bread that you would like. Place on pan that you will use to cook. You can make a loaf and place on baking sheet. Cover loaf. I use paper towels or you could use a clean dish towel. Let rise 45 minutes. After rising, place in oven and bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until done.

And A Surprise Ending ...

Another random movie review. Vasilisa had a great post about Russian New Year's Traditions and she mentioned the movie Irony of Fate. She likened it to how we Americans watch It's A Wonderful Life for Christmas.

I was intrigued and rented it. I just watched Part 1 last night and I'm going to watch Part 2 today. So far the movie is really good and I can see why it is a classic. I cannot imagine how it's going to end - unlike this post, which is ending right here.


Sai said…
Hi Anali:
Love your meme!

That bread looks so delicious. BTW I do the same thing....try to discern the different flavors and then replicate them at home. I am not much of a baker....I am good at it when I am in the mood....otherwise I just don't attempt it! You are very talented!
FH said…
Oh thank you Anali!! Good food is always soothing to the soul and fresh baked bread and the aroma of it always uplifting!Looks great,wish I could take a piece and eat it with little butter!!Mmm..!!:))
Loved the MeMe and Lisa's new year article too.Chinese have new year as well,year of the PIG!!Supposed to bring good luck to all who are born this year!:))
starry said…
Loved reading this MeME ..The bread loks so good.felt like reaching out and breaking a piece.
karmic said…
Loved your book meme, and the bread looks yummy. It is making me hungry again.
Nance said…
What an eclectic post! A loaf of bread, a good book...and a film. I have a bread machine that I haven't used in a long while, and my boys have recently let me hear about it. Maybe I'll give your recipe an adapted try in it. I'll let you know.
Margie said…
Hi Anali
I so enjoyed reading your MeMe!
I love bread, and will have to try this recipe...it looks so very yummy!
Thanks for sharing the recipe!

amisha said…
that bread sounds amazing. i have not baked bread in awhile and i've been craving it... there's something about making bread that makes you feel so connected to your food.
wheresmymind said…
Congrats on such a beautiful loaf of bread!
Dezel Quillen said…
Yeah, that bread look yummy! What do you know about 'ice ice baby' (lol) ..You are to young : )

Happy Baking!

Lisa Johnson said…
sai - Hi! I'm so glad you liked it! And thank you! I do love to bake. As a matter of fact, I think I've finally found the perfect pizza crust recipe...

asha - You are so welcome! That's so funny! I didn't realize until your comment that I actually did watch the movie on New Year's Eve - just that it was Chinese New Years. What an odd coincidence...

starry nights - LOL! I'm glad it looks that good to you!

sanjay - I guess you have to prepare to be hungry when you read my blog! Or eat in advance! : )

nance - Those are some of my favorite things! I must admit that I'm partial to making bread by hand and not machine. Kneading the dough is so calming and it makes me feel like I am truly creating the bread.

samuru999 - Hi Margie! Glad you liked it! Let me know if you try the bread. : )

amisha - I completely agree about that feeling of connection when making bread. Especially when you reach that point where you can feel the dough change in your hands and you know the yeast is working.

wheresmymind - Thank you! It was my first bread of the new year!

dezel - LOL! I admit to shakin' a tail feather to the tune back in the day! : )
vasilisa said…
Yeh for Irony of Fate :-) I'm glad you're liking it so far... Welcome to the club :-)

And "100 Years of Solitude" is one of my favourite books too. I have it in Russian and English, so I can land it to everyone I know...

Though I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Harry Potter...
Peter N said…
Anali, you never fail to bring a smile to this guy's face! Thank you for that on this Tuesday morning. I hope your Mom is doing well! ALWAYS!! P
Suldog said…
I am SOOOO glad to hear that you don't throw books away. I never do, either. There's just something inside of me that dies whenever I hear about books being tossed.
Lisa Johnson said…
vasilisa - What a great movie! Thank you for the recommendation! I watched the DVD extras and it was interesting learing about the history of the film too.

peter n - Glad to bring a smile to you on a FAT Tuesday morning -Mardi Gras! And thanks for the kind wishes!

suldog - I completely agree! I love books too much!
Anonymous said…
The honey wheat bread looks amazing. Thanks for posting the recipe.
Lisa Johnson said…
jennifer - You're quite welcome!
Lotus Reads said…
Hi, Anali!

Loved your post, it had something for everyone! :) What a great meme, and I swear there is nothing so delicious as freshly baked bread...my dearest wish is to buy myself a bread maker one of these days.

Thanks for mentioning "Irony of Fate", I am on a movie trip at the moment and am very tempted to rent it!
Lisa Johnson said…
lotus reads - Hi! Glad you enjoyed it! I must admit I had fun putting it all together. And fresh bread is the best. I feel like making it is one of the nicest things I can do for myself.

I've never wanted to buy a bread maker though. Kneading the dough is the best part, where I can really connect with the bread. And I feel like it brings me back in time almost. People have been making bread by hand for thousands of years. It's one of the most basic things that sustains us as people.

And rent the movie! You'll love it!
s said…
great meme..and the bread whew!!! its awesome...bookmarked!
Lisa Johnson said…
s - Welcome! And thank you! : )

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