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An interlude, or what happens when she digs in her archives

Last week I was tagged—not once, but twice—for the 23rd-post-5th-sentence meme, a nifty little game that would have me dig into my archives, find my 23rd post, pull out its fifth sentence, and analyze its meaning. Now, clearly, the universe wants to see me complete this task, and so, we’re off.

A bit of perusal reveals that my 23rd post is a report on the 2004 Knight family lamb roast, opening with a heated battle against a recalcitrant Parisian flan. Case in point, the fifth sentence:

“I swore like a sailor, slapped the dough shards into a pile and bullied them into a ball, and then I rolled them flat before they had a second to protest.”

On the surface, we can suss out a few things here: namely that I have quite a mouth, and that I like alliteration, am good with a rolling pin, and approach my desserts with determination.

But on another level, I’m also aware of the degree to which Orangette has been a work-in-progress. Looking back at old posts is always a daunting proposition. Orangette came into this world with a somewhat murky focus: all I knew was that I wanted to write, and to write about food. For the past fourteen or so months, I’ve written, read, reread, and thereby learned a tremendous amount about what matters to me—in food, in writing, and in the everyday stuff of life—and Orangette has, in turn, gradually taken on a clearer shape.

Most importantly, I discovered that the posts I loved most were the ones that told stories. Isaac Bashevis Singer once said, “I don’t care how eloquent your phrasing. Unless you’re a storyteller, you’re not a writer.” I keep this quote taped to my desk, scribbled on a scrap of yellow paper, right underneath another snippet that reads, “Let the glory out,” from an old Al Gore, Sr. speech. This is what I want to do, and what I want Orangette to be.

And on the days when I think about going back to the archives and erasing the old, rambly, journal-y posts—the proverbial ghosts of yore—I always manage to stop myself, because I suppose I was trying to tell a story then too, and maybe even wringing out some sort of little glory, just in a rambly, journal-y way. And anyway, if I’m to take a lesson from myself, blogging should be approached like baking: with lot of cussing and determination.


Blogger foodiechickie said...

I think Bashevis Singer and Al Gore would be proud;)

12:58 PM, October 02, 2005  
Blogger Nic said...

I had these exact same thoughts when I did the meme, Molly. Who knew a meme could be so useful?

2:31 PM, October 02, 2005  
Anonymous Julie said...

I love this post. Thanks for saying this, Molly. I have a strong feeling it's as useful to others as it is to you -- which is one of the purposes of a good story, no?

4:15 PM, October 02, 2005  
Blogger kickpleat said...

nice post molly. i had never heard that al gore quote before and we all need to let the glory out! thanks.

5:26 PM, October 02, 2005  
Blogger Shauna said...

Brava, my dear. I feel exactly the same. In fact, I"m working on my version of the meme as we speak (took a little break to see if you had posted something new), and I'm struck by how the posts I love bests are not only stories (because I just gobble up stories), but also were the unexpected stories. The ones I never expected to come tumbling out. IT's a good assignment. And you have done a superlative job, as always!

9:12 PM, October 02, 2005  
Blogger T said...

Hey Molly! Thanks for playing along. Im especially glad I tagged you, because it reminded me of those Parisian tartlets that I have always meant to try. And, as others have noted, you've done a service to us all with this post by reminding us what blogging looks like at its best. :-)

10:12 PM, October 02, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Foodiechickie, if I only had the money, I would hire you on as my personal cheerleader. Thank you, m'dear.

And Nic, I know. I'm never one for memes, but this one--for as silly and pithy as it seems--has a surprising way of actually leading somewhere!

Julie, thank you.

Kickpleat, I found that Al Gore, Sr. quote in an old New Yorker piece about Al Gore, Jr. I just had to jot it down and keep it, because, well, sometimes it's too easy to forget about the glory, you know?

Shauna, thank you, as always! And three cheers for stories!

Tanvi, you're too sweet! And yes, do try those Parisian flans! Even though I had some initial trouble with the crust, it still turned out to be some of the best pastry I've ever made, and the filling is outrageously good too. Speaking of which, it's been too long since I've tasted one of these myself...

9:39 PM, October 03, 2005  
Blogger foodiechickie said...

Blushing now and I'd do it for free.

12:13 PM, October 04, 2005  
Blogger Anna said...

Amen! A lot can be learned by looking back. I love to see where/how people started out and work my way up to the present. For one, it shows me that while I'm not that great now, I'm working to get better, and one day I might be great too. Thank you for not deleting the archives, I'm learning a lot.

12:10 PM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger jennifer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:40 PM, March 12, 2010  

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