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Today's newsletter

(post, Kim Carlson)

Recently someone gave me a new CD — Bill Frisell’s "History, Mystery" — and I love how it’s insinuated itself into my dinner-prep hour. The sound is jazzy and rich, and I catch myself almost — but not quite — lost in the guitar strains as I cook.

More inspiration is coming from a new novel, The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister. The story is full of likable people, and I’m rooting for all of them, even as I pick up advice about food; the “school” in the title is a cooking class, after all.

Bauermeister lives in Seattle, and her novel evokes the Pacific Northwest, with its overgrown gardens and fresh Dungeness crab. Frisell, as it happens, also lives in Seattle, but his music doesn’t say Pacific Northwest to me; still, it’s right at home in my kitchen.

Does music give you cooking inspiration? Do novels? Please share!