#Behindeverybook – #Behindthisbook

See that face? That is the face of a proud and happy translator. For those of you who don’t know: I was privileged enough to be part of the team who translated both of those volumes, thanks to my esteemed colleague U. who suggested I participate.

It was my husband who bought me my two-volumed boxed Julia Child’s ‚Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘ in the early aughts, after the Julie/Julia movie came out. To be exact, he bought me the book the movie was based on first, and then I asked for the cookbooks, because I needed those :-).

I’ve wanted to translate them ever since.

At the time, I had this habit of reading cookbooks before falling asleep. This was before we had i-Phones and e-readers and such. I found it educational, as well as comforting. My favorite was my grandmother’s cooking and housekeeping bible, a thick old tome called Christine Schuster’s Kitchen and Household Book (Küche und Haushalt in German).

It’s comparable to Julia Child’s works in terms of being more of an encyclopedia of all things a person running a household in the late 19th and early 20th century needed to know: cooking, nutritional information, housekeeping, cleaning, making preserves, shopping and, of course, tons of recipes. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a long forgotten time, terribly outdated in some ways, and astonishingly on point in others. Anyway, I love that book, and as I just found out while writing this, it has been republished in the meantime. I just ordered a copy, because the one that I have is quite literally falling apart at the seams!

I’ve read my fair share of cookbooks over the decades. Julia Child stands out to me because, apart from writing from a gourmet point of view (and always suggesting an appropriate wine pairing!), she has this very down to earth attitude of never wasting food, using every scrap that you can, and generally being smart about housekeeping – all very relatable to me.

Oddly, I never really make any of her recipes. Not because some are ridiculously cumbersome (and some are!), but because we don’t really eat like that, in this house. But: many of the cooking basics mentioned have become second nature to me, as has the very technical knowledge behind baking, and making sauces. I cherish her books because of their practicality, more than for a Lobster Thermidor or éclair recipe. And of course, I adore her writing. If you’ve ever watched any of her television shows, you can’t help seeing her in your mind’s eye as you read the instructions for making a soup, learning everything there is to know about the respective vegetable or meat all the while, as a side bar.

So, it made me really happy to hold the two translated volumes, and to know I was part of making them happen!

In my last post, I was looking forward to Easter with family, and now I’m looking back on it fondly. There was playing and exploring country life with the littlest one, and there was cooking, eating and talking among the grown-ups. I loved having my ‚own‘ family for a change – my husband’s relatives are so many, and mine are so few. It was a good few days, and I hope they enjoyed themselves as much as I did. It’s so cute to have a little cousin-nephew-Little-Person :-). Also, kudos to the young couple for having worked out how to be a family, under intense and adverse circumstances, relying mostly on each other, because all the playgroups and music groups and baby sports and swimming weren’t really happening due to Covid-related restrictions. They do an amazing job.

The week after Easter (that I was supposed to have off) was divided between long walks with the pup and long hours at the computer – proofs to be read and quick translations for a friend to be squeezed in.

And now we’re back to school, and I have a number of doctor’s appointments. I’m trying to make my peace with that. Maintenance, and sustainability need to happen, right? As is pointed out to me when I complain, my body has been functioning really well for five decades now, and it stands to reason it would need some looking after to continue doing so. How are you guys coping with the aging process? Are you zen about it, or do you find yourself rebelling against this perfectly natural process of Physical Deterioration?

Last time I wrote I was happy to have finished the Red Sweater, and I still am. My crafts friends N and M don’t think it’s too short, but I must confess that I mostly wear it over a longer shirt – short things just make me uncomfortable.

Wow, that was an disproportional amount of selfies! Let’s move on to an update on the Waffle Blanket, which I had brought as a vacation project, and actually managed to add a few inches to. Here’s where we are now:

I might actually have finished the orange section but unfortunately ran out of yarn; I ordered more, but it hasn’t arrived yet – anything you order from England these days sure takes its sweet time! Grown impatient, I started in with the light turquoise yarn (that I already have) on the other side. Initially, I was going to use the colors in a different order, but it might look nice like this, too, after all. What do you think? This was the original design:

I’m happy with the pattern itself, even though the blanket will be quite heavy when it’s done, but it’s warm and cozy, and wool just weighs a bit more than acrylic yarn, so … it appears that I’m making a therapy blanket, inadvertently. Might come in handy for cramps, growing pains and other ailments!

And that is it for today – shop talk all the way, professionally and crafts-wise. No recipes this time, but I can show you what happened to my oh so prettily arranged apple cake when I baked it :-DD!

I was hoping it’d turn out all fancy, and was imitating the tulips on my kitchen table … oh, well. Thankfully, the cake was still good, if less elegant!

Have a good week, everyone, and thank you for reading!

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