Sunday, July 15, 2007


While the Baby was napping this afternoon, I pulled a fast one; ran out to Toys R Us and bought a different ball, and swapped it out for the basketball. (When she woke up, she noticed it was a different ball, but decided she didn't care.) The new one is made of some Nerf-like material, with a smooth outside. And it's way, way softer. So far, so good.

Thank you, all of you who gave politely worded cautions about the idea of a basketball in the house. Not a one of you said "ARE YOU INSANE??" which was what we deserved. The husbeast had gotten away from me on the basketball idea. I hate having to be the mom.

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Let's have a book review! It's been so long!

"Food in History" by Reay Tannahill.

This is a good one. On the 'If you only buy one book on this subject...' level of good. Unlike many food history books that are nothing more than overgrown time lines (wheat was domesticated here, wine was developed there, blah blah), this one contains a lot of more practical detail. Like how, in the paleolithic, GATHERING unfarmed grain with flint tools, one man could gather enough grain for a family of four to eat a pound of grain per person per day, for the entire year. In a couple weeks. THAT is useful (okay, to me anyway) or at least more interesting than the timeline approach. (And supports the theory that farming was not originally developed for the major crops like grain, but for hard-to-find medical and spice plants.)

It also has a very good handle on how food reflects societies and cultural shifts. And instead of the usual one-continent bias, this book tries to cover as many cultures as possible, even including info on central Asian nomads, which I've never seen in a food history book before. (So I've read a couple on the subject. What? It's interesting. If and when I go back for the botany degree, it's agriculture I want to specialize in.) The author's not squeamish or ethno-centric either; they just report what facts they are and offer reasonable speculation.

Anyway. If you're looking for a good read that's on a new topic (for you), you could do a lot worse than this book. Particularly since we all eat, and it should be of at least passing interest.

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Today I went down to James Island to have tea with Terby and knit for a while. It was a lovely, lovely break, and I worked on Innsvinget. I really need to finish it, so I can use the needle to finish Tut Tut.

And Sci Fi is showing giant space spiders at the moment. Gotta go scream.


amy said...

Ha. We have a basket full of balls of various shapes and sizes. I removed many of them to the foyer, out of reach, but still. Balls fly. Is the new ball that squishy sort of foamy stuff? Just asking because my kid likes to bite those, and chunks do come off. (I'm shaking my head did I get this lunatic?)

Sheepish Annie said...

I'm not a mom...I play ball in the house whenever I want. Which is, admittedly, infrequent. But this explains why I might not see a problem with the ball.

Someone should write a book about this kind of stuff... :)

Roxie said...

Ah, the old switcheroo! Good work, Mom! And joy in knitting!