Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kathy Erskine's Spanking-New Novel: Quaking

Uh, oh -- did I say "spanking"? This is a young adult novel with a focus on Quakers, so perhaps I should stick with "brand-new" novel. The release date is auspiciously set for the summer solstice: June 21st. (Okay, so now we're pulling Druids into this discussion.)

Here's what Booklist has to say about Quaking:

"...[T]his is a compelling story, which enfolds the political issues into a deeper focus on the characters' personal stories. Idealistic teens will be interested in Matt's growing acceptance of her new family, of Quaker values, and of her need to take action, rather than simply observe." Francisca Goldsmith Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Congratulations, Kathy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What's up with wedding cookies? Mollie Bryan enlightens us on

Okay, I know that various cultures celebrate weddings in distinctive ways, but mandatory wedding cookies in Pennsylvania?

Mollie Bryan, author of Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes From the Shenandoah Valley sheds light on this custom (and has got me thinking about mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough rather than writing this post) in her commentary on's "Kitchen Window" page of essays on food and entertaining, which is published every Wednesday.

At the end of the commentary are Mollie's recipes and pictures, and... You know, I'm pretty sure we have some chocolate bits in the cabinet, and I know we have eggs... Gotta go.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Letters for Literary Ladies

Virginia LLLer Deirdra McAfee sent a link to MARIA EDGEWORTH. LETTERS FOR LITERARY LADIES. To Which Is Added, An Essay On The Noble Science Of Self-Justification. Second Edition, Revised, 1798.

Deirdra notes, "Maybe our motto is buried somewhere in the first letter, the one from 'a gentleman to his friend.' " [That gentleman was no friend!]

Some choice nuggets:
...we differ materially as to the cultivation, which it is necessary or expedient to bestow upon the understandings of women. You are a champion for the rights of woman, and insist upon the equality of the sexes... I may confess to you that I see neither in experience nor analogy much reason to believe that, in the human species alone, there are no marks of inferiority in the female... In the course of my life it has never been my good fortune to meet with a female whose mind, in strength, just proportion, and activity, I could compare to that of a sensible man.

...Whenever women appear, even when we seem to admit them as our equals in understanding, every thing assumes a different form; our politeness, delicacy, habits towards the sex, forbid us to argue or to converse with them as we do with one another: – we see things as they are; but women must always see things through a veil, or cease to be women. – With these insuperable difficulties in their education and in their passage through life, it seems impossible that their minds should ever acquire that vigour and efficiency, which accurate knowledge and various experience of life and manners can bestow....