Tag Archives: kitchens

A Non-Fiction To-Do List

While Aisha has been trying to get more fiction in her diet, I’ve been making an effort lately to read some non-fiction books. I like learning new things, so this shouldn’t be that hard, but I keep reaching for more fiction…

I’m currently working my way (slowly) through The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen, by Susan Bordo. Part biography and part cultural history, Bordo unpacks what we think we know about the infamous queen. Turns out,  Henry destroyed nearly all of the traces of Anne from the royal palaces in a clean sweep right after she died. Most of the remaining information came from Eustace Chapuys, who served as the Spanish ambassador from 1529 until 1545. As you can guess, he was on Team Katherine of Aragon, so he’s really not the most trustworthy of sources, but his letters have lasted the longest.


Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity is the crafting commentary I’ve been waiting for.  I’m 100% serious. After being disappointed by Handmade Nation, I’ve been on the lookout for something that digs deeper into some of the socio-economic reasons behind the movement toward crafting, cooking, gardening (and blogging about it).

I’m thinking that Consider the Fork: a History of How We Cook and Eat will read very much like Bill Bryson‘s At Home – exploring why the way we eat has influenced new tools and vice versa. And I do want to know why it took so long to figure out the dang’d fork.


I’m a Chuck Klosterman superfan. I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined) is a collection of essays on villains from Darth Vader to Hitler to some kid he knew in 1985. If anyone can figure out why we root for the villains and anti-heroes, it’s Klosterman.

What’s on your non-fiction to-read list?

– Jess, who totally took book 3 in the Outlander series on vacation


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Take It to the Fridge!

Or, rather, take it out of the fridge: today is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Only a select few holidays can legitimately claim the word “national,” but anyone with a fun idea and an internet connection–or a reason to sell something— can give the rest of us a temporary day-brightener. This is a good thing, because I know my fridge could probably use a pre-company scrub-down, and I’m guessing yours could too.

No judgement here. Just useful resources.
(This sign actually hangs in my kitchen.)

My gift to you, on this auspicious occasion, is a quick and dirty list of books and resources on getting clean and staying safe.

Kitchen Basics

Because not everybody is Martha Stewart.

The Organized Kitchen, Brett McWhorter Semper

The Germ Survival Guide, Kenneth A. Bock, et. al.

Joey Green’s Kitchen Magic, Joey Green.

Can Your Kitchen Pass the Food Storage Test?,  Paula Kurtzweil. Also available online.

Green Housekeeping

All of the clean, none of the toxins.

Squeaky Green, Eric Ryan.

Green Housekeeping, Ellen Sandbeck. [I eventually bought this one after checking it out multiple times–definitely a keeper!]

Green-up Your Cleanup, Jill Potvin Schoff.

Clean Naturally, Sandy Maine.

Food Safety

Because the five-second rule will only take you so far.

The Safe Food Handbook, Heli Perrett.

Nutrition and Food Safety, Terry L. Smith.

Just the Facts: Food Safety, a Learning ZoneXpress production.

Emergency Measures

Food safety for doomsday preppers:

Emergency preparedness fact sheets from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Food and Water Safety Tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Food and Water Sanitation Tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And, on a more practical note, storage times for the refrigerator and freezer, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If that doesn’t inspire you to crank up the tunes, pour yourself a refreshing beverage, and get to scrubbing, I don’t know what will. But, whether you choose to observe this whimsical “holiday” or not, rest assured that, even if you don’t feel like doing it right now, you’ll always have the data you need to make informed decisions about whether or not those gummy bears you threw in the freezer last summer are still viable.

Leigh Anne

too tired/happy from last night’s Neil Gaiman lecture to discuss anything overly serious.


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