Inspiration List: February 2019

Welcome to this month’s list of inspirations, taken from around the Web! (You can also check out past inspiration lists here.)

My first sourdough baked in my new, 7-quart, oval Dutch oven!

1. A Recommended Piece of Cookware

Nine months into sourdough baking, I now own an oval Dutch oven big enough to hold my batards! It’s my first Lodge and an item that has been in the Shop’s Wish List section since last year. Pictured above is the first loaf baked in it!

(Note, for anyone who wants to bake a batard without a baker big enough, there is a good alternative. Preheat the oven with a baking stone on the center rack. Then, 15 minutes before baking, add three metal cake pans of water to the bottom rack, letting the water come to a boil. Insert bread as usual on the stone. The boiling water fills the oven with steam to simulate a smaller container!)

2. An Essay on George Bailey and Virtue

You probably don’t usually think about “It’s a Wonderful Life” in February; me neither. But I happened to come across this brilliant essay from K.B. Hoyle, published in December, and it is worth reading any time of year.

“Costly virtue sometimes does look like brokenness, and when we practice virtue, we might find ourselves, as George, weeping at a bar.”

“[Virtue] probably won’t look like actually giving up our lives—not for most of us in the West—but George Bailey gives us a good picture of what it might look like for the average, struggling person. Giving that last dollar when we need it for ourselves, forgoing that vacation we’ve saved every last penny for, sacrificing our life-long dreams. The world says we are nothing if we don’t live for ourselves, but God says we must die to ourselves in order to live.”

3. An Essay Every Creative/Working/Artistic Mom/Dad/Person Should Read

Speaking of brilliant essays: this piece, “My Mother Practiced the Piano,” up at Story Warren, written by Rebecca Reynolds. You don’t have to be a parent to benefit from this article, but if you are a parent, please don’t miss it.

“I don’t know what sort of art you are inclined to chase. Maybe you ache for an hour spent with piano keys, or laptop keys, or mathematics problems. Maybe you dream about working on science experiments, investing in social change, healing the sick, or learning a new language. Maybe you want to learn how to garden, sew, or bake French pastry. Maybe you want to train for a marathon. I hope you don’t feel guilty about these desires if you have them.”

4. A Twitter Thread on Food Blogging

If you’re not on Twitter, you may not be familiar with the many, frequent, often vicious diatribes against food blogging. “Just give me the recipe! Don’t tell me about your life!” “I hate all these food blogs demanding that I scroll down!” It’s funny. Here, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen responds.

5. A Chocolate Lava Cake for Two from the New York Times

The video for this mesmerizing two-person chocolate lava cake came up in my Pinterest feed this week, and woah. I don’t have a microwave, but, if you do, this is hard to resist.

6. Tips for Creating Pretty Pie Crusts

One of my dreams for 2019–or ever–is to make a pie crust as pretty as these posted on the Baked Blog. Pie crust roses! So inspiring!

7. A Long-Form Article on Instagram

There are lots of long-form articles about Instagram on the Internet. I have read lots of long-form articles about Instagram on the Internet. This is an especially good one.

8. A Really Fun Bookstagram

I only started following @Kiterature on Instagram this week, at @lorewilbert‘s recommendation (@lorewilbert has the best recommendations) but I watched her “Book Roulette” Highlight and was immediately hooked. Guys! Forget everything you just read about Instagram above! Sometimes it’s delightful!

PS! Did you catch yesterday’s cookbook review?

Learn more about the best cookbook I’ve read this year, over at the post.

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