Books c18 Food Graduate school

Principal characters

Our Clarissa reading group met for the first time Friday night. About twelve of us, mostly students and a few professors, are reading the book in something approaching real time, with a bit of shifting between now and mid-April to even the reading load from week to week. We have different prior experiences of the text: some have read it before, some have taught it, some have abandoned it after valiant past effort. Some have read (shudder) the abridged version — including me. (It was assigned when I was a callow first-year in my very first college English class.) Some of us have examined the HRC’s editions last semester, looking illustrative ellipses for our exhibit. We’re all excited about reading it, because we’re dorks. The reader-response consensus to date: Clarissa is saucier than one might expect, and everybody is impatient for Lovelace’s letters to begin.

I brought lemon poppyseed cookies, baked at the last minute from a recipe I’d never made before. They’re a bit of work, but they turned out to be delicious — light, sharp with lemon and crumbly-sweet. (I used another teaspoon of lemon zest in the dough, which does require a few more spoonfuls of flour, at least at Austin levels of humidity.) I’d been thinking about making oatmeal raisin cookies, but, as one of the professors attending said, those are too comforting. This book needs something a little acidic to suit it.

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