My Housekeeping Commonplace Book, 8

What is a commonplace book? For me, this is a space where I post interesting links, reflections on what I’m reading, and the newest recipes I’ve been trying out — a collection of miscellaneous micro-posts.


What I’m fixing:

  • Pippin’s been requesting these “cinnamon cookies” made with lots and lots of brown sugar, and as he’s a guy who finds cake, cobbler, and all chocolate gag-worthy, anything he’s into gets a lot of play from me. Sometimes I add chocolate chips or Heath bar bits, though obviously not to his.
  • Doughnut bread pudding, the traditional dessert of the Feast of Pope St. John I. Other foods favored by the good Pope Saint, we decided: brinner foods, mimosas, shower beer.

What I’m reading:

  • a piece inspired by a recent Instagram conversation, inspired, in turn, by a conversation at Well-Read Moms about A Mother’s Rule of Life — a book I’ve been vacillating about reading for a few months now. I think Joy has me convinced to give it a try. The book came up at book club when we read the Rule of St. Benedict.
  • Fangirlby Rainbow Rowell — which I’ve read, but this is the audio version. Somehow, even though I’m not into the fanfic scene, or an identical twin — two factors which strongly inform Cath’s freshman year in college — her experience reverberates really strongly with my experience as a new college student. The book is funny, and romantic, and asks really great questions about the place of art, and creation, and who art really belongs, too. Plus, Rowell gets anxiety, and does great dialogue:

“‘I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.’
‘I don’t want to be your friend,’ Cath said as sternly as she could. ‘I likethat we’re not friends.’
‘Me, too. I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.’”

Although the opulence of the great home of Lord Grantham undergoes some social critique throughout the series, it is that very splendor that makes viewers tune in. Downton is a beautiful estate and simply stunning home, complete with gold candlesticks, silver platters, and crystal chandeliers. In fact, there is something liturgical about it all. This is precisely the draw. In a world or mega-churches and modern churches, many are starved for real beauty. It is innate to our nature to be drawn to something greater.

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