This year’s Christmas was a merry one for me.  The bulk of my presents were bread making books from friends and family who are quite enthusiastic about my newfound hobby, bread making.  Of course, they are all thinking of the warm home-baked dinner rolls which I gifted them before the Holidays officially began.

To  my delight, I was able to bake really soft clover bread.  For experienced bakers, this isn’t probably anything to crow about; but for someone who has next to nil baking background and has learned about yeast and kneading this past month only from the internet, this counts as a small achievement.  🙂

My latest treasures :

Peter Reinhart’s books (those two at the top) appear to be marvelous condensed courses on advanced bread making made simpler for the home baker.  From quick browsing, I think the book touches a bit on the science behind making bread.

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice in particular, had been awarded Cookbook of the Year by James Beard Foundation Book Awards and Book of the Year by The IACP Cookbook Awards.

The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum is filled with wonderfully drawn bread making procedures and techniques, fantastic for novice bread bakers like me.

Classic Breads by Manuela Caldirola , Nicoletta Negri, and Nathalie Aru boasts large mouth-watering photos of many bread types including decorative breads.  Most recipes call for fresh yeast, not readily available perhaps to the home baker but it is just probably learning how to substitute this for the more available instant variety.

Baking by James Peterson is chock full of photos of techniques and recipes with sections on bread, cookies, pies, tarts, etc.

2010 will certainly be a year of baking for me; but I hope this won’t be a year where, heaven forbid, I acquire the average baker’s waistline.  Unfortunately I love to eat what I bake.  😦

Nevertheless, I am so excited to delve well into these books.  I love my Christmas!

I have just been awarded the Splash! Award, my second honor in five months of blogging life,  by sumthinblue of Bookmarked! This just makes  my dracula-like eyes (mostly from reading) and my growing middle (reading and snacking go so well together) all so worthwhile!

The Splash! Award is an honor given by fellow bloggers to blogs which either “allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire”.  For my blog to be one of these is just whew! … super!  Can you say cool, as well?  😀  😉  And, to receive it from someone in the blogging community really flatters me pink!

This blog was born out of my need to take up simple writing once more and a compulsion to share my books with those who love reading as well.

Blogging takes a lot of time, especially for me.  Writing does not come as easily as it used to.  I haven’t been penning much of anything nor getting acquainted with  much books  for years; so,  I’m still wobbly on the writer’s bicycle.

The Rules:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom your received your Splash award.

My Awardees :

I would love to have nine awardees; however, I haven’t been visiting many blogs for me to able to come up with a list.  Also, those blogs I wish to give it to have also been awarded by sumthinblue.  To name them:  Coffeespoons and KyusiReader,  both well-written blogs worth your time perusing.

So, I’m left with a micro list of my awardees :

Sumthinblue of Bookmarked!, as you have linked back to you awarder, so shall I with you.  For great feature and review writing  and a drool-worthy collection of books I can only be envious of,  you certainly deserve being Splashed!

Verby of Verbivore, my first cyber friend in the blogging community, for your informative and sometimes amusing articles on life in Bangalore, I Splash! you!

Grammar Pulis, for your hilarious posts on grammatical sins and for authoring a blog so useful to those who have forgotten a lot of the rules (guilty, as charged), I Splash! you!

Nicki of Fyrefly’s Book Blog, for your meticulous blog  and well-written reviews.  Nowhere have I encountered a book blog which has everything it should have.  Features like a vocabulary list for each book reviewed, the opening lines of each book,  a reading calendar,  author interviews, a monthly wrap-up, and even (wow!)  a reading tracking spreadsheet and graph!   You’ve got it all covered, and for this, I Splash! you!

Lightstaff , the newest addition to my blogroll,  for marvelous, artistic  photos I have been enviously gazing at  for a few months now,  here’s a Splash! for you!

Halloooo!!!  I’ve been away from my blog for almost a month—way too long for me and for most of my blog viewers.  I’ve been on vacation and I still am, in modern, stylish Dubai.

In between shishas, sightseeing, partying, and foot-sore but heavenly shopping, I’ve been trying to finish Philippa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance, mainly  for my new blog comrade,Verbivore, who had mentioned waiting for a review on this novel.  But I’ve progressed to only three-fourths of the book so my goal of writing a review before the year ends is hopelessly gone.  So regretfully, no reviews ’til I get home sometime in January.

Just dropped by, however, to greet my blog readers A VERY HAPPY, EXCITING NEW YEAR!!!

Cheers! May 2009 be a year of great literary encounters and for the gifted few,  a crack at that first novel.

The late months of 2008 have been very good for my three-month old blog.  I’ve never expected to get pretty good traffic.  To all of you, thanks a lot! You all make this little hobby quite worthwhile.