Friday, June 29, 2007

Wake to Songbirds, Wake to Crows
photographs by Jonathan Levitt

This coming Friday, July 6th, we're opening our first exhibition at Rabelais, photographs by Jonathan Levitt. Levitt's two series of photographs explore cycles of dream and sustenance. "It was not long ago when people didn't leave. The stoves, the roast, the eggs and the yellow fat, the wool and the milk and the mutton. All breathing together." [from the artist's statement]. For more of the artist's statement and some images, check here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Life beyond the store

While the store occupies most of our time, we still make time for the important things like digging in the dirt, waiting for the appliance repairman and, occassionally, making new friends. This past week we put in extra time eating and drinking with some new folks, including a fantastic Portuguese meal and wines at the home of M. and B. and a needed relaxing evening at the farm of "The Goat People". They seem comfortable with the moniker, perhaps because they've spent the last year traveling the country to view goats in all circumstances. Margaret and Karl will be publishing a book on the subject this fall, and we can't wait to host a goat-centered event in their honor.

Around home we're still struggling to get the gardens up to speed, with the tomatos not in the ground. But new tomoto beds are almost ready, and the peas, young lettuces, radished and more seem to be doing just fine. I sifted what seemed like a ton of gravel into what will soon be a sunflower bed. With the barn red wall of the garage behind them, they should look great in late summer.

Friday, June 15, 2007

some interesting recent reading

Beyond the huge pile of books currently in reading rotation on the bed table, there's some interesting reading on these days. The Zagat's (of restaurant guide fame) have an op-ed in today's NYTimes about the dearth of real Chinese food in America, and predict a new age of tastes and techniques when real Chinese finally his our shores. Reason has a review of Barry Glassner's new debunking project, The Gospel of Food: Everything you Know About Food is Wrong. Glassner takes on various elements of the food industry, particularly nutritionists, who reduce food to an nutrient intake problem and dismiss the element of taste and the joy that can go with it.

Sushi's been getting alot of attention lately, with two books, Sasha Issenberg's Sushi Economy and Trevor Corson's The Zen of Fish arriving on our shop tables simultaneously. Nick Tosches weighs in in Vanity Fair with a long, and characteristically muscular article.

Friday, June 08, 2007


A contemporary history of French bread, the way it is made, and the people who make it.
Steven Laurence Kaplan's new history of the decline, fall and rise of French bread is reviewed at length in the new issue of the Time Literary Supplement. The review itself is a good, quick introduction to the history of bread in France and to its decline due to the increasing industrialization of what is, in the end, almost an alchemical process. Kaplan's book concludes, “It is worth recalling, in the end, that good bread depends above all on the quality of the men and women who make it”. We'll have the new book in the shop at the end of next week.