Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bush is a Book Lover?

Check it out:

In a column in the Wall Street Journal the other day, Bush's bud Karl Rove wrote that President Bush read 95 books in 2006, 51 in 2007, and 40 in 2008. In fact, he said he would have read more except that he was busy being Leader of the Free World. And, no, these books were not just A Cricket in Times Square. They include books such as David Halberstam's 736-page The Coldest Winter and Stephen Sears' 640-page Gettysburg.

As Nicky knows from my stomping, yelling and screaming during breakfast yesterday when I read this crock, reading this much is simply IMPOSSIBLE. I'm not questioning his comprehension or ability -- although I certainly could if I were not taking the high road here. I am questioning the number of hours in the day and year that a person with a job and a well-known penchant for a good night's sleep can devote to reading.

I think I would know, too. I LOVE to read. But I have a busy job and enjoy a good night's sleep too. Yes, you say, but, unlike Bush, I am also responsible for shopping, cleaning, cooking and paying bills. True, I say, but he also really is the Leader of the Free World. Doesn't that take time?

How much do I read? Actually, I can answer that. I have been keeping track since 2002. This was not because of a competition a la Bush vs. Rove, but rather because I had a tendency to check books out of the library not realizing that I had previously read them.

2006: Bush 95 Bonnie 24; Although I must add that I read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, 6 books ranging from 627 to 1070 pages each.

2007: Bush 51 Bonnie 22

2008: Bush 40 Bonnie 16; (I re-read the Outlander series. Would strongly recommend it.)

Well, you say, maybe he has time to read books because he doesn't read 3 newspapers every day like I do. He has previously admitted to not reading newspapers. He relies on his staff to give him the news because he thinks it is more objective. Like whether or not weapons of mass destruction exist. Whatever. But that takes time, too; doesn't it? Or is he reading his books while the news is being downloaded to him by his aides? That image of him multitasking is too scary to even contemplate, although I pretty much envisioned it after the 2002 election ...

Sorry about that digression. High road here....

My point is that it is impossible for him to do his job and read all those books.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Pastry Chef

Christmas this year was cold and rainy here in Sunny Southern California. A perfect day for staying home in the kitchen to prepare a gourmet dinner: 1) for Uncle Michael who missed Thanksgiving due to not feeling well and 2) for Manny to celebrate a hearty Christmas. The first thing I did --before tackling the stuffing (not easy with a broken food processor) and the turkey (never easy to remove the stupid frozen wire), was to bake a cake. Motivated by Bobby Flay's red velvet cake throwdown and the Cakery Bakery's Buche de Noel which I had purchased for our Alliance Francaise holiday fete, I composed a Moura Secret Family Recipe Red Velvet Cake. Here I am with the finished product. Needless to say, it was delicieux. Oh, and please don't let on about the Moura Secret Family Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting.

While on the subject of gourmet pastries, I will also boast about my Grape Pie. Concord grapes are extremely difficult to find here in SoCal. They have to be imported from Back East. I only found them once this year at Whole Foods. With apologies to the Locavore movement, with whom I completely agree, I bought them and concocted the pie. Even mon ami the French baker asked for the recipe. Note to all: he said he would have put a layer of creme under the grapes. But we all thought it was delectable as is.