Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Lost Art of Mixing

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So sorry I was away for a bit. WordPress was giving me fits with some error problems, so I took a hiatus in hopes it’d be fixed when I came back. Looks like it isn’t, so please bear with me as I am unable to load images currently. Sad. 😦

I finished the “Lost Art of Mixing” a while back, but haven’t had a chance to write about it yet. But let me tell you, it was terrific! Like the other Erica Bauermeister books that I’ve loved, this one is still in my mind and making me think randomly. I’ve said it before, but I truly believe that if something is really wonderful, it’ll keep coming up in your mind. And this book is definitely like that!

The book picks up where “The School of Essential Ingredients” leaves off; however, the focus has shifted to different characters, and sees them in another way. At first it takes a bit of adjusting to the new perspective, but once you’ve made that change, you’ll be engrossed all over again, just like with the other books. This one focuses more on the relationships of the characters, and how people perceive themselves and one another in relationships. There are new relationships, old relationships, fulfilling relationships, empty relationships, and even relationships that come to an end. Seeing both sides of the relationship is a unique perspective that we cannot have in our own lives, since we can only see from our own side. We can try to imagine how it is to be in another person’s shoes, but ultimately, we see through our own eyes. When we see from the perspective of each person in the relationship, it is very different. There’s one particular relationship in the book that is struggling, and both of the people in it are clueless about what the other truly thinks of them. They make assumptions that are horribly wrong, and end up leading to the demise of the relationship, which, as a reader, is devastating, because you know how easily it could have been resolved had each person been honest with the other and with themselves. The principles in this book are easily applicable to my own life (as well as yours, I’m assuming), and for that reason, it has stayed with me. I often think of how the people in the book either helped or hurt themselves and each other, and in some ways, I think living through their experiences has helped me to act in ways that will make a positive impact on my own experiences.

In “The Lost Art of Mixing,” there is less focus on the food, and more focus on the characters who were developed in the previous book. The “mixing,” by and large, refers to the mixing of people with one another, and observing how each combination comes together (or doesn’t), much as you would when cooking or baking. Some of the relationships in the book are like mixing oil and water; others, like mixing peas and carrots (Forrest Gump anyone? Anyone?). Each of these combinations yields different results, of course. The interesting thing that comes to mind when considering this is that oil and water CAN actually mix quite happily…when added to other ingredients, of course. Who hasn’t made cookies or cake, and when adding the oil to the water in the bowl, noticed how they repelled one another – and yet, when you stir them into the flour and sugar and other yummy things, they can happily coexist. Perhaps that’s the key – that even the “unmixable” things can be mixed under the right conditions. It’s just about finding out what conditions are required…

Erica Bauermeister’s writing is captivating and engrossing. I wish she had more books available to read, since I am now finished with the three she has published. I’m definitely going to keep my eyes and ears open for any new releases from her. I wonder if perhaps I find myself more enveloped in the stories of books that I listen to, rather than read. I think it heralds to the times of being read to as a child. It seems to be easier to picture with your mind’s eye when your physical eyes aren’t occupied by print. Perhaps that’s just me – but I think there might be something to it. Hmm.

I’m currently working on a murder mystery – something completely different for me, since I tend toward biographies, memoirs, and books like Erica Bauermeister’s and Jen Lancaster. I’ve really been into reading about crime and psychology and sociopathy and such lately, so a murder mystery seemed appropriate. More to follow on that one, as I am just about finished with it!

 

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