A thankyou to Vanessa Food in Books

Every once in awhile, someone makes a gesture that touches you, changes you, in a way that’s profound. Sometimes it might be big, sweeping gestures like a billionaire setting up a go fund me account to save the Toys R Us stores.

Another of Vanessa’s beautiful photos.

Other times and I think even more profoundly powerful, it’s a smaller but more intimate gesture that comes from the heart that really touches. Gestures that aren’t necessarily expensive, but gestures that are kind, thoughtful and special and reflect a nature that observes, listens and thinks about others.

I was the recipient recently of such a gesture from Vanessa at FoodinBooks, a fellow blogger I enjoy immensely. On a post from Vanessa about The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin, I had mentioned that when my house was burglarized, one of the things that bothered me the most was the theft of my Jacque Pepin books.

Vanessa immediately & most generously asked for my address. I had just upgraded my blog and was dealing with many behind the scenes issues, and neglected to do so…but shortly after, Vanessa had a giveaway to celebrate 300 followers. As luck would have it, I was one of the recipients, and low and behold, rather than the book she was giving away, what appeared in my mailbox was a copy of the Essential Pepin, one of the treasured books taken from my home.

I have been meaning for a while to do something for Vanessa, and sharing her blog FoodinBooks with you, I hope is one way to thank her beyond the obvious words. Her kindness makes me remember how many wonderful people there are in the world that matter so much more and make more of a difference than any low-life thief.

I’ve been dying to try this recipe, just one of hundreds I want to make!!

I do so enjoy FoodinBooks. Vanessa’s photography is beautiful, her book reviews are fun, and Vanessa has a way of drawing you in with each post, building drama and suspense as she starts to prepare a recipe while reviewing a book. A photo pops up, and you wonder what she’s making, but you’re so fascinated with her lovely prose that you don’t want to leave it to peek ahead…your interest is piqued even more as the next photo appears.

And so the suspense builds as you read, as each carefully crafted word builds on the previous, and each photo reveals another little hint of what the end result, the final climax, will be. And end it does with the finished dish, wrapped up and tied to into the book, in a neat little package. It’s always an aha moment.

Vanessa making savory blue corn cakes with poached eggs and green chile

Sometimes I guess what sumptuous feast Vanessa has prepared before I get to the very end, and sometimes it’s a book I’ve already read so I have a pretty good idea. Even so, I’m still wowed at the way Vanessa makes me look at it in a whole new way through her eyes.

And when I read Vanessa’s posts, I feel as if I’m walking hand in hand with her for just a beat. That maybe some small smattering of her Je Ne Sais Quas may have rubbed off on the usually too practical me.

Am I reading too much into Vanessa’s apples?

I think that maybe next time I go out, I’ll choose that red lipstick, untouched in the back of the make-up box instead of my more basic shade. I might leave that button (or more!) undone, or maybe I’ll be more generous with those spices, more bold with my words. I’ll sip a cocktail and laugh a throaty laugh as I toss my hair.

Vanessa makes me feel a little braver, a little bit more powerful.

Go visit Food in Books and see if you don’t feel the same. And hit that “follow” button! All photos, except from the Jacques Pepin book, are from www.FoodinBooks.com