One of the things that I miss after we moved from California are the coffee shops – and the pastries that go with them. Me, I’m a Peet’s girl; I like the pitch black coffee they brew (unless I loose a whole cupful of it on the grey carpet at home, to leave a stain that will last until the carpet dies…) and the fact that they play the classical radio station; nothing against Jazz and Blues, but nice for a change. Close by where we used to live there is a Peet’s next to a Whole Foods with a view of the hills: a win-win combination, coffee, pastry and a nice view (there’s also a 6 lane Highway right next to it, but it sits lower than the hills, so you can’t see it – you can’t win every time).
My friends and family give me cookbooks – for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases; I’m very happy about that, no complaints at all and by now I have an interesting collection that I like to browse, read or get inspiration from. I still remember the very first cookbook I ever bought, when I was sixteen and had just returned home from some time spent as an exchange student at The George School in Newtown, near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. While I was there I had developed a serious liking for sweet things like brownies, pancakes and chocolate chip cookies and once home I fully intended to keep eating them, which meant making them myself and since I had no idea about cooking or baking (which wasn’t on the top of my to-do list at that time), I needed a cookbook when buying cookbooks was still uncool and knowledge of american cuisine virtually nonexistent. The book I bought, by the way, is about as tall as my hand is high and about as thick as my index finger and it doesn’t sport a single picture. But it did the trick, anyway. You might say, you can blame it all on the brownies….