So I guess my resolution is to read more books

You know what's perfect for a slow and chilly and slightly superstitious New Year's Day? Eggplant and black eyed pea curry.

I come for the luck, but I stay for the mushy lentils.

At least I assume it would have been perfect for that, I don't know, I didn't get around to making it until January 8th. And thus we begin 2014: The Year of Being Right on Top of Things.

"Things," of course, extend to "new blog projects," which I am less on top of than maybe kind of adjacent to at this point. The working title is Something Something Libraries. Catchy, yeah? I feel like haziness regarding used books is pretty on-brand for me. Anyway, my jumping off point is last year's Cookbook #87, The Book Lover's Cookbook, which I half-heartedly threatened to attack this year and then subsequently failed to think of any better ideas. The Book Lover's Cookbook it is!

The problem with this one is that I'm such a completionist and this one is not really completable in its entirety unless we want to be here until 2025 and we don't, right? We don't. So I've narrowed down a still-long list of things I would be willing to cook that overlap with things I would be willing to read that are also available at my library and I guess we'll just see how it goes. Am I really going to read Les Misérables just so I can make French onion soup? I honestly don't know. I really like soup. At any rate, I'll let you know what book I'm starting in case someone wants to read along. I know a lot of you internet weirdos productive bloggers manage to read like two books a day so you can just toss it on your pile. I have about a hundred-page head start on this first one, which is Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter. I can tell you that so far it is absolutely as fun and cheery as it sounds, so if January has been unnecessarily happy for you I suggest you join me. My goal is to have this finished in time for Chinese New Year at the end of the month. I realize that is more than two weeks away. I am not a fast reader.

Which leads me to the supplemental section of Something Something Libraries (see, it's growing on you): I'm afraid the Book Lover's entries will be few and far between, so while those are in the works I'm going to explore the cookbook section of my library. I got into a bit of a cookbook-using habit somehow, and libraries have cookbooks in them! For free! That's amazing! I feel like I can do plenty of damage two weeks at a time, let's start with Plenty: Vibrant Recipes From London's Ottolenghi.

I went with Socca (sort of a chickpea pancake) with roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions and a zucchini-hazelnut salad. I know this is completely a summertime menu, but it was pushing 70 here yesterday so I thought I'd just pretend we were in the middle of summer in some pleasant, civilized part of the world. It was great.

Seasonality and I have an extremely complicated relationship.

It was hang out on the porch in bare feet weather!

She was pretty ready to come in for dinner, though.

Girl gets hungry.