Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pie, Art, and Books

I read Southern Living for the recipes. Here's a killer one for banana pudding pie. And one of my best holiday memories is the time it took all four of us in the kitchen (hubbie, me, and two kids) to make their "Down-Home Supper" which featured Chicken-Fried Steak with Milk Gravy and Creamy Mashed Potatoes. (A task easily handled by one grandmother, I might add.)

But other than the recipes, I ignore the rest. I can't grow a plant to save my life, and design tips seem worthless when you move as often as we do. But I do have a "When we finally settle and I get to hire a designer because my books have made me fabulously wealthy" file. And most of it is filled with ideas for book rooms.

I recently tore from the September issue an article called "Great Looks with Lots of Books" which showcases a room with a book gallery. Uh-huh, the walls are covered with bookshelves, which are fronted with a wide step and a railing that runs around the perimeter, making your collection look like an exclusive library. And this room has works of art mounted---floating really---over the bookshelves. I could just die in that room. Especially if I were allowed to eat Banana Pudding Pie first.

*Interesting note: In the Southern Living piece, the art work is by Matisse. On the designer's site, the art is a giant skull and crossbones. Hmmm.

*And in MY fantasy room, the shelves run all the way around the room, broken only by space for a built-in daybed and a few wide windowsills with cushion seats. And the books are shabby, well-read, and not shelved for design effect, but by content. The art rotates, on loan from the R. Michelson Gallery. Oh, and a dumbwaiter brings up pie from the kitchen.


  1. ...and you periodically roll down from the daybed, and do PUSH-UPS, just to keep your blood flowing, and someone comes in to dust the bookshelves...


  2. Oooh, can I housesit when you go on vacation?!

  3. That book gallery is unbelievable. I am drooling over here. About the room, not over the banana pudding pie. ;-)

  4. Tadmack, you make me wish LOL was not just a cliche anymore. Your comment really did make me laugh out loud.

    And all three of you: if I ever have a room like this, you are all invited!

  5. I want some chicken-fried steak and the creamy mashed potatoes, too. Yummmmmm.

    I'm one of those people who reads cookbooks just for fun. I have one at home right now that's all macaroni and cheese recipes.

  6. Yum on the chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes :) And the library, wow.

  7. That banana pudding pie sounds so decadent! Maybe I'll take a break from the pumpkin pie this year... ;)

    Oh, a book room...I'm so excited about having a real office once we finish our renovations (who knows when that will be), but unfortunately, it'll be too small to really be a proper book room. Still, I have these visions of built-in shelving and a window seat...

  8. Hey, Sara. Recently when I was visiting an ill relative in the hospital, I ate in the cafeteria a couple of times. Now, mind you, this is a hospital in Miss. One day for lunch they had chicken-fried steak (with milk gravy) and fried okra. (Of course I got it.) Another day fried catfish and hush puppies, which was also just as good as I remembered. A hospital cafeteria! And each item only 9 million calories or so apiece. But I loved it. I probably missed the banana puddin. I'm sure it was somewhere.

  9. Once I saw 'banana pudding' in your post, I could barely read the rest. Oh, the nostalgia!

    When we were kids, this was the one thing I can remember my mother making that no one else's mother made. I didn't even know it was southern until a couple of years ago, when I mentioned it wistfully and someone said, 'Oh, those southern recipes.' I'd had no idea until then that it wasn't just something my mother concocted on her own. I always remember that the graham crackers she used were all moist, and the custard was wonderfully smooth and cool on hot days. And it's a great way to use up fast-ripening bananas.

    Good thing I'm not in a Mississippi hospital. Fried okra and hush puppies? Merciful heavens.

  10. Why is it the FOOD posts get all the comments? I think I'm going to put Pie, Cake or Tart in every post title. Yeah, Writing Tart would be good. ;)


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