Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nibbles and Noshes

by Tawny

Picture this, you’re reading a great book ::::cough:::::any from the sidebar would qualify::::cough::::: and your tummy growls. Or you get thirsty. Or a sudden craving for chocolate hits, undeniable in its strength and delicious temptation. But, then you glance at the pristine and crisp pages of your book. Do you risk getting those pages smudged with fudge? Potato chip greased fingerprints? A splash of chocolate milk? Ack!!! Sacrilege!

So what do you do? I mean, for me reading and eating are two of the greatest pleasures in life (at least, the only two I’d blog about *snerk*) . As far back as I remember, I read while I ate. Cereal boxes at breakfast, library books at lunch. Heck, I’d have read at the dinner table but my mom wouldn’t let me. I spent one entire summer paying my younger brother my allowance to run up to the corner store and buy me more BBQ potato chips as I worked my way through a stack of romances.

But there were always certain books that I didn’t allow food near. My Belgariad series, any of my Nora Roberts or Julie Garwoods. You know, the keepers. To keep them pristine, and since I never knew when I started a book if it was going to be a no-snacking zone, I had a rule. I didn’t allow myself to eat anything for the first three chapters. After that, I’d either be so sucked into the story that I forgot all about food (and sleep, usually) or I’d know it wasn’t a keeper and head for the M&Ms.

As I got older, and my reading time became more limited (kids, work, life) I ditched the rule. After all, if I only had a half hour between getting home and having to get dinner on the table, I’d have that book in hand while I cooked (unfortunately my mom’s rule about eating at the dinner table stuck). Sometimes dinner was even edible! But with the craziness of life during those early kid years, my reading escape became the bathtub, which doesn’t lend itself to snacking. And I got out of the habit (my metabolism slowed down too, so it’s probably just as well since my reading habit didn’t).

So now I rarely eat while I read. In a way, I miss it. Then again, I miss wearing size 5 jeans, too *shrug* and figure some things have just seen their day. And writing definitely doesn’t lend itself to eating, since I need both hands on the keyboard, so my snacking has gone way of those acid washed size 5 jeans.

How about you? Fess up. Do you eat while you read? While you write? And if you do, what’s your snack of choice?

And hey, did you know the Romance Bandits donated a fab treasure chest filled with books, goodies and lots of love to Brenda Novak’s auction? If you’d like to check it out, just click here Bandita Basket


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm missing Leno, so SHOW ME THE CHOOK!

jo robertson said...

Nasty, nasty AC! I was listening to your FABULOUS radio interview and missed my chance to snag the rooster!

Hey, Tawny, who says you can't read while taking a hot bath? Or eat while using the computer? Hmmm, maybe that's why the keys keep getting stuck.

Hey, I can eat doing anything. Really.

I collect bookmarks. Sometimes I make original ones and laminate them. I use them for my keeper books and will NOT lend those books to my children, who are notoriously hard on books. For books, I don't plan to keep I just turn down the pages. Hey, I figure that's all it deserves.

Tawny said...

ROFL -way to snag that GR, AC

Jo, I loooooved reading in the tub, just not with food. And I can't seem to get the hang of eating and typing... tips?

and OMG I'm so with you on turning down the pages. NONONONONONO!!! Not even on NON-keeper books, I mean, they'll be keepers for someone, right?

I was in the bookstore tonight with my daughters and grabbed some cute kitten bookmarks (what can I say, mine just aren't quite appropriate for a 9yo) and asked the eldest if she wanted any. She winced and said she just sticks random pieces of paper in the books to mark her place. At my glare, she chose the doggy bookmarks.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL, Tawny! My mother had the SAME RULE: NO eating at the dinner (or breakfast or lunch) table! Good thing too, or I'd have had my book right beside my plate.

I'm pretty much in the same fix as you, nowadays. Precious little time to read and I DO NOT need any snacks! However, all your yummy piccies of goodies have made the GR and I hungry... Off the the kitchen for literally a midnight snack.

P.S. Thanx for the plug about my radio interview, Jo-Mama. Here's hoping I wasn't the total blithering idiot I felt like I was!
But the GR is still MINE! :-P

Tawny said...

Ahem, a better plug would include the url so I can go listen to the show while I have net... purtly please!!

AC, what'chya snacking on at midnight? I'm at the tea-only portion of my evening ;-)

jo robertson said...

LOL, Tawny, my only tip is LOTS of messes. But sadly, I eat AND read in the tub. There's hardly any bathing going on. VBG

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Aunty Cindy.

I can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner while reading the newspaper because it lays flat. It's much harder to eat with a book, so I mostly stick to snacks which I can eat with one hand. I like to snack on cookies, Doritos and fruit when I'm reading.

jo robertson said...

Tawny, I'm reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid to my grandchildren and the bookmark I use is the beautiful one I got for the Daphne Award (Kim, you have one too!). It's one of my prized possessions.

They're more fascinated with the skull and rose on the bookmark than my reading!

jo robertson said...

Hehehehe, AC must be tired. She said "no eating at the dinner table." Mean mommy, no wonder AC's always hungry!

jo robertson said...

De nada, Mamacita!

Ya'll should check out AC's radio interview. Uh, I don't know the url, but she sounds very smart!

What ARE we west coast gals doing up so late?? And WHY are you eating this late? Hmmm, chunky monkey's calling me . . .

jo robertson said...

Jane, you must be far tidier than I. Don't you drip the fruit?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, AC! Congratulations on the chook! He must have wished they all could be California hens while he was away!

Tawny, glad to see you're bringing your children up with correct principles about the REALLY important stuff! ;-)

Hey, my snack of choice is barbecue chips. Did I hear you say that was your snack of choice too? And I love to read in the bath, but the BBQ chips don't come with me. Wet barbecue chips? Nah, not nice!

Tawny said...

Jo, you've got so many pleasures going on in that tub, it's killing me to behave and not make a naughty comment! I'll focus on your bookmark instead (which now sounds naughty too, doesn't it?) and tell you it sounds gorgous!

Now I'm going to pout while I try to find AC sounding smart on the radio and pretend I'm not craving Heath Bar Crunch.

Tawny said...

Jane, there is a fine art to finding just the correctly weighted items to set on the corners of a book so you can eat and read hands free *g*. I know they MAKE things that do that, but where's the fun in that?

I like your snacks of choice. I'd be more inclined to grab the Doritos and cookies, but know I should be noshing on fruit.

Tawny said...

LOL Anna. My girls know the value of a good book -and bookmark! Every night when I go to bed I have to stop in the youngest's room and clear the piles of books off her bed so she won't wake up with a backache. She's a total book fiend. They both are- if I gave them nothing else in life, I'm so proud they got that from me.

And YES on the BBQ chips. All time, hands down favorite. I'll detour into the chedder and sour cream bag once in a great while, but the BBQ always calls me back.

I knew you had great taste ;-)

Bunny B said...

Oh, I can't eat while reading a book. A magazine, maybe. Usually it'll tidbits like choc or chips :) Yummy!

Tawny said...

Bunny B - I think magazines are mandatory reading/snacking material! I'm the worst when it comes to the fitness mags and eating chocolate ;-)

So do you not eat while reading a book because you get pulled into the story? Or is there anothe rreason? Just habit?

Kelly Krysten said...

I must be really boring because I don't eat while I read or write. Really, though, it's a great weight loss plan.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Acckk! I erased my own comment!
Congrats on the GR Aunty.
I only eat when reading when it can be done one handed. If it takes both hands the food has to wait. My downfall is chips, just plain ole chips, no barbeque, no sour cream. If I want a change I go to ruffled. LOL

Caren Crane said...

AC, congrats on the chook nabbing! I can't believe you missed Leno: did you sacrifice to snag the Golden Rooster?! Shocking.

Tawny, I laughed when you described bribing your brother to get you BBQ chips. I bribed my younger sibs one summer to keep me supplied with Snickers bars. What can I say? I had an abnormally high metabolism then. Now I gain weight if I LOOK at one!

I have been known to weight or hold down the corners of books while cooking or, say, drying my hair. Yes, friends, it can be done! No books at the dinner table at our house, either, which is harder on me than anyone else. *g*

I usually read through lunch EVERY DAY. And, while I have no particular problem with eating while reading, I am usually tidy about it. I sometimes end up with a bit of grease or something on a page, but I assume that lends it "personality". Ha!

peggy said...

i eat bbq chips while reading

Buffie said...

Oh, Tawny, of course I eat while reading!!!! Last night, while reading Slave to Sensation, I was munching away on peanut butter cake (yummy!). I think it is the multi-tasker in me!

Minna said...

Chocolate. And peanut butter and chocolate sweets when I can get them, as they don't sell those here in Finland. If I'm really desparate I make some peanut butter bars myself.

Joan said...

Wonderful. It's 9 am EST and I'm now craving Ben and Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch.....and the scale says "Are you nuts?"

I do not eat while I read. I don't think I'm that coordinated. Too much risk of tumping over the Diet Coke, jamming the edge of a chip (Classic or Ruffled Lays thanks)under my nail.

I would love to be able to read in a bubble bath but I have a standard, boring suburban house tub..poor back support and worse light. (sigh)

But now writing. Yup, I nosh while I write. Usually Goldfish crackers or Dark Chocolate Hershey kisses...yeah, esp. those while composing certain steamy scenes :-)

And hooray for AC and the GR!

Minna said...

Hey Jo, do you collect also those bookmarks that have a picture of some book and a maybe a blurb too on them or bookmarks that just have some nice picture on them and the writers webpage address? I have plenty of those, but since I don't collect them myself...

Christie Kelley said...

The only time reading is allowed at the table is when my husband isn't eating with us. Then I let the kids read the paper or work on homework. But I'm with you...bubble baths. I tend to do most of my reading there now. For all the same reasons--kids :)

The only problem is we bought an air tub (kind of like a jacuzzi tub only better) and when the jets are on there's no reading because water goes everywhere. Once I turn off the jets, then the book comes out from under the towel it's hiding.

Terry Odell said...

My main reading times: At the Y on the recumbent bike. No eating; occasional sips of water.

For an afternoon break: Usually with a hot beverage and my ONE piece of good chocolate from my secret stash.

At night, in bed, no eating.

Now, when I'm writing, I munch constantly. Plotting happens as I walk around the house, all too often through the kitchen.

And -- I also have an e-book reader which leaves me a free hand for a glass of wine or munching as I read, since you only need to press a button to turn pages.

doglady said...

Wow! Desperate measures to nab the GR! You need a button AC that says SHOW ME THE CHOOK! Would make people nuts with curiosity!

Are you kidding? Eating and reading go hand in hand at my house. White cheddar cheese nips. Peanut butter filled pretzels. And CADBURY's!!!!

I have bookmarks everywhere in the house just in case. Most of my books stay here once they come in the house but I don't like turned down corners either. Now my autographed books have their own special shelf and they are usually never read or only read once. Then I buy a "reading" copy to read and keep the autographed copy pristine.

I don't lend books anymore as I have lost several books I loved that way. I have an extensive collection of vinyl opera recordings and I don't lend them either although I have been known to tape one for someone to keep.

I can't read without a glass of Milo's Iced Tea in the summer or a cup of Earl Gray the rest of the year. Earl Gray and Scottish shortbread cookies are a staple on my reading table.

I don't read in the bath, but my Mom does! There is a stack of Annie West books on the little table by her tub!

Joan said...

Bookmarks? Huh. What a novel idea


Joanie T who turns down, grabs the losing lottery ticket or just commits to memory what page she's on...

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Tawny - glad you're back in the land of the 'net!

I'm a multi-tasking reader *g* - any chance I get. And yes, I eat while reading. I'm another expert at weighting and balancing!

Chips of choice - sour cream and cheddar and plain sour cream to dip. Ice cream of choice Ben & Jerry's Banana Split ... but as long as it's not messy I can eat pretty much anything while reading.

No reading at the table in our house either, but since we usually eat in the living room - and we both read- that rule doesn't apply!

p226 said...

Considering I do a great deal of my reading on the ... *ahem* ... throne... It may be a bit unsanitary to also eat. Ya know?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tawny said: ...there is a fine art to finding just the correctly weighted items to set on the corners of a book so you can eat and read hands free *g*. I know they MAKE things that do that, but where's the fun in that?

I'm going to email this to my DH and say "See, see? OTHER PEOPLE do this!" Grins. He LOL at me b/c I like to use the phone or meat cleaver or something else of that nature to to keep the book open while snacking, cooking, reading at the table etc. Since I'm usually feeding everyone ELSE before I eat, I get to eat and read in peace. Ha!

Worse though is when I'm cooking and reading. I've burned more grilled cheese sandwiches that way. Ha!

Joanie, I'm with you. I'll mark the pages with whatever's handy. From growing up with a Librarian Dad, I don't turn down the corners or lay the book spine up and open - it breaks the spine thereby causing the poor library to have to repair, you know - from that early indoctrination. Grins.

Its not that I don't have bookmarks. I do. I really like them. I just don't USE them for marking books. Snork.

And snacking? But ov karse I snack, dahlink! That's one stricture from my Librarian's Daughter days that I didn't keep. I love chocolate covered pretzels, but it's usually nuts or trail mix or apple slices if I'm being "good" that day. Grins. But I love sour cream doritos...yum. Drat. Now I need a snack.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Snork, snork. P226, I agree, not the best place to eat and read. Heehee.

I'm "guilty" of this one too, tho, which gives the DH another chance to shake his head over my reading habits. "You'll ready anywhere, won't you?"

Duh. Yeah.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, forgot to say Congrats on the GR, Aunty C! (Still lovin' that cover, BTW)

MsHellion said...

I always eat while I read (and it shows--and I don't think I've worn a size five since 6th grade); and just about anything. Pasta, Chinese, chips, chocolate, ice cream, sushi...whatever.

I used to read at the table until my friend Pam threatened to burn my books if I continued ignoring her. I wasn't ignoring her. She was talking to STACEY. She didn't need me. They were talking about school for crying out loud...and I wanted to read about Brodrick kissing Helen, thank you much. But eventually I quit reading in front of Pam at the school table. Anytime I was with Pam, really.

I can't eat and write. It's too distracting. But I do try, because I do love eating. That's my other dream job, you know. Being a cook or professional food critic person. (That'd combine writing AND eating. Except I'm allergic to some foods and that probably wouldn't work.)

Esri Rose said...

I love to eat while I read, and yes, I get the occasional tiny chocolate smear on the pages. I'm okay with that. (Hint: boutique chocolates like Chocolove (made in my town!) are less smeary.) I would find it very difficult to eat my solitary lunches without a book in my hand. Auctually, lunch is my primary reading time.

I snack rarely when I write, because I write on the computer, and it's annoying to have to keep wiping my fingers.

I don't take baths, so that's out. We do have a hot tub, but I'm always in there with Angel Joe, so I don't read in there. Plus, it's dark.

What was the other thing? Oh, yeah. I NEVER turn down pages in a book. Chocolate smears, yes. Bent pages (shudder), never.

flchen1 said...

I'm with Jane--newspapers and magazines are much easier to read while eating, but I do admit to eating while reading, either books or on the computer. Things that can be eaten one-handed are much easier. Stuff like nachos works much less well ;)

And I can't bring myself to turn down pages in a book--even non-keepers. But I do dog-ear magazine pages without a second thought...

Congrats on the GR, AC!! :)

Gillian Layne said...

When I crave BBQ thick-cut potato chips, it's a problem. Otherwise, I just grab whatever.

It's obvious my books are well-loved. They are bent, folded, and water-spotted. I hope the authors would take it as a compliment. :)

Nancy said...

Hi, Tawny--

Thanks for a fun post! (and congrats on AC for snagging the chook!)

I've never been big on reading and eating. In grad school, when I first lived alone, I used to take books to restaurants as sort of substitute dinner companions, but I always put them aside when the food arrived. My snack choices tend to be sticky, crumbly, or chocolate-y, none of which I want around my books or my keyboard. I do always have a beverage to hand, though.

On occasion, I used to read in the bathtub, but we the paranoid-about-our-books become very nervous that way.

Jo, I once loaned out my signed copy of A is for Alibi to a trusted friend (alas that I could no longer which one by the time I missed the book), and it never came home. I figured I'd loaned it to one of two people, but neither remembered borrrowing it, and I couldn't think of anyone else who might've. I also loaned my copy of Tony Hillerman's A Thief of Time, my favorite of his books, which I later learned was also his breakout book, to the same person. Of that, I'm sure, but it never came home either. So if there's a book I care about at all, it stays at home.

Jane, I do occasionally read the paper while eating, seeing as how it's going out in the recycling. I can't work the crossword and eat at the same time, though.

Tawny, I ADORE Heath Bar Crunch! Yummm!

Kelly, I used to work as a weight loss consultant, and we really emphasized aware eating--knowing how much one's consuming--which is hard to do if you're doing anything else at the same time.

Oooh, doglady--Earl Grey (shades of Capt. Picard!) and Scottish shortbread. A snack to die for! I usually have a book in pretty much every room of the house, though the bookmarks live in a basket on the sideboard (centrally located). A friend emerged from our bathroom laughing and shaking her head one time. When I asked her what was funny, she said, "Only at your house would the book on the back of the toilet be The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England." But I'm sure other writers of history and fantasy must make similar use of what the Gilbreths called "unavoidable delay."

No, p226, I don't eat in there either. Eeew.

I do not ever, ever, ever turn down pages or break the spine of a book. In fact, I can read a paperback and leave it looking untouched. Too many years of comic book reading with emphasis on condition, I guess. *g*

terrio said...

Congrats, AC on out fine feathered friend. He's more entertaining than Leno anyway.

I used to eat during lunch but the newspaper is easier for that. I don't typically eat when I read though. But then I'm usually watching television while I eat.

I have bookmarks everywhere, but I use the same ones all the time. The others just float around the house. My daughter decides to use them but has to tear them up a bit to make them ok to take to school. She *is* only 8. LOL! I picked up quite a few bookmarks at the RT signing that aren't exactly PG-13. More NC-17.

Oh, and there's a reason the bathroom at my mom's house is called the library. Just sayin'...

brownone said...

Ohh...reading with a bag of puffy cheetoes and a nice can of Coke with the little ice crystals at the top..mmm...yeah, I'm definately a snacker!

Donna MacMeans said...

What a fun post! I'm a shower girl. If there were a way to read while taking a shower - I'd do it.

I have books everywhere so if I ever have a moment's opportunity - there's a book waiting to be read. I'm afraid I'm another who uses scrap pieces of paper, old ticket stubs, an envelope - whatever's handy even though I have some truly beautiful bookmarks. And I will put a book pages down (I know - shoot me now).

And I eat & drink when I read - whatever is about but preferably something sweet. The marks of my devotion are on the pages but surely you can't expect me to put the book down so I can wash my hands! *g*

anne said...

Red Licorice Vines are my favorite snack food ever. No mess and easy to snack anywhere.

Cheri2628 said...

Unfortunately, I do sometimes like to munch on something while I am reading (salty or sweet depending on the present craving!). My very favorite thing to do, however, is to drink coffee or hot tea while reading.

Cassondra said...


Smite me now and get it over with. I'm a sinner in this regard.

I ALWAYS have coffee, tea, or a glass of wine while I read.

I eat while I read. Whatever I want to eat--sitting at my kitchen counter--spaghetti (yes it splatters sauce on the pages)cereal, whatever is for dinner....I DON'T eat at the table if my husband is home. I think it's rude to the dinner companion to be more interested in a book than in the person across from me, so I don't. But whenever I'm alone I eat and read. I've even figured out how to balance my tray at Panera Bread (I sit in the chairs by the fireplace) and read the blog on my laptop while I eat. I DO have to put the tray down to type though.

I can't read in the tub because a) I'll drop the book in the water b) I splash too much and the book will get wet--a wet book is not a good thing c) I soak by candlelight and that's not enough light for me to read. d) The water gets cold too quickly (we have an old cast-iron clawfoot tub) and e)Tub time is "quiet the mind" time for me. It's the only time I get to just "be."

To get clean I'm a shower person. I love showers.

I turn down the pages too. Yep. Only a beloved hardcover is safe from having its pages turned down. Paperbacks--I look around me for a bookmark but there never is one so I just turn the page down. It just doesn't bother me. UNLESS it's a collector book or as I said, a hardcover. Those pages don't get turned down.

Kind of like my guitar or my weapon is a tool so if it gets a little scratch (and they always do if you use them) so what? That's how I feel about paperback books. And when someone loans me a book or I get one used that's out of print, I don't care if the pages have been turned down. As long as I can read the story it's all good. I don't like underlining though, or highlighting. That's distracting.

And Nancy, I'm with you. IF it's a book I want to keep, I NEVER loan the book. I'll buy someone a copy and give it to them, but if I really want to keep it, I don't loan it.

Pat Cochran said...

I've never been too keen on reading
and eating, at the same time, that
is. I'm not saying I never do it,
just that I'm not so taken with it!
Since I don't often snack & read,
I'm puzzled at how my weight could
have escalated the way it did!!

Pat Cochran

Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, you made me hungry!!!

And yes, I eat while I read...of course I do a lot of things while I read. I can rarely be found without a book. LOL

But NO FOOD ON BOOKS! It is my rule.

My snacks vary...last night it was fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls and cookies...not together. LOL.

Minna said...

Oh, yes. I forgot about the tea. I often have some flavoured tea when I read.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Jo-Mama said: Hehehehe, AC must be tired. She said "no eating at the dinner table." Mean mommy...

Actually, if you ever had to eat my mother's cooking, you'd know why I said that! :-P My mother was many things, but a good cook was not one of them!

Okay, here is the link to the radio interview:

Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste. :-( I honestly have NOT gone back and listened to it, but I felt like a blithering idiot the entire time, so be forewarned.

However, I'd be really grateful if any of you popped over and read the excerpt I posted here:

And Tawny, it was so late last night that the GR and I had to be good and snack on raw almonds and dried apricots... I KNOW! SCARY healthy!


Tawny said...

Kelly, I like how you think! The more we read, the less we eat and lose weight LOL.

Dianna - plain chips are good!!! I admit, I do prefer the ridges though ;-) I'm with you on the one-handed snacking, though. For the most part. Unless the book is incredible and I can't put it down LOL.

Tawny said...

Caren, I might have bribed my brother for candy, too, but I had less assurance it'd get back home LOL. He loved chocolate.

And YES!! I've done the reading while hair drying thing! I never managed the reading while doing makeup though :-(

I'm laughing at how many of us had "no books at the table" rules growing up.

Peggy, good choice!!!

Tawny said...

Oooh Buffie, the cake sounds delish! And you know, that multi-tasking just might be to blame. I've been known to clean floors with a book in hand LOL. My mother just figured I was nuts, but if I'd known better I could have used the "smart use of time and resources" angle.

Now I want your cake recipe :-)

Minna - YUM on the peanut butter & chocolate snacking. My favorite is to dip Sees chocolate (I had to do something with that masacred bunny) in the jar of peanut butter. Much much better than the store-bought treats.

jo robertson said...

Okay, Tawny and Anna, it is clear that I must teach you both the art of eating, drinking, and reading in the bath. Here's the process:

1. After adding oodles of bath bubbles, you start the bath water on a moderately hot stream.

2. You place your food and drink stash on the marble shelf behind the tub. If you don't have one of those, you place a footstool by the tub and place your items there.

3. You enter said tub -- slowly. As your body becomes accustomed to the hot water, you increase the temp. There's nothing worse than reading in a lukewarm bath -- heat is essential.

4. With book in one hand, you begin reading, all the while eating chips or crackers or cookies with the other and taking the occasional sip of Pepsi (oh, all right, liquor if you must).

5. When the tub is full, you lie back, cushioning your head on an appropriate towel or commercial head rest.

Note: you MUST cover your belly with a washcloth if you've had more than two children because your husband might walk in on you, and the sight of your belly near all those edible goodies might provoke an irrevocably mean comment from said husband. Don't tempt the poor man; some words can never be taken back.

6. You continue drinking, eating, and reading until (a) you begin sweating profusely or (b) your toes become very prune-y or (c) you run out of food and drink, at which time you get out.

7. Actual washing of the body is optional. This is obviously a sensual experience, not a cleansing ritual.

Instructions compliments of JoMama, who's spent many years practicing this art.

Tawny said...

Joanie T - you could justify the ice cream for breakfast by calling it dairy, then exercising the rest of the day ;-) Just sayin... (thats what I do *G*)

Our current house bathtub situation is less than idea. I have an old, beat up and rusted claw footed tub serving as a flowerpot in my front yard right now that I keep envisioning refurbished and in my bathroom. That is my dream reading spot!

But... seriously, you can write and eat? I just don't have that coordination. I drop food in the keyboard, I make messes, I find excuses not to write. All bad things LOL.

Christie, tell me more about this air tub. It sounds FAB.

jo robertson said...

Yummy, Minna, now you MUST post your recipe for peanut butter bars. They sound scrumptious.

jo robertson said...

MInna, I collect anything I can find. My sis does too, which is really weird because I just found this out last month when I visited her in North Carolina. Isn't it weird how genetics will OUT??

My good friend Kelly brought me a beautiful lacey bookmark from Ireland, but it's too pretty to use. I'm going to frame it instead. Lots of times I laminate cards people send me -- birthday, mothers day.

I have the last card my mum sent me before she died. I've laminated it and while I'm reading, I enjoy remembering her.

jo robertson said...

Terry, tell us how you like your e-book reader. I've been very curious and thinking of getting one.

jo robertson said...

JOanie, you commit the page number to memory?? I read 4-5 books at a time, so that'd never work for me.

Tawny said...

Terry - great combination of reading and exercise! I used to try it, but I get abosrbed in the book and would realize I was doing one bike rotation a minute LOL. Unless it was a hot love scene, of course. Now I have DVDs I only let myself watch while I exercise.

It sounds like you've got your snacking down to a science ;-) LOL on the plotting, pacing and kitchen visits!

Doglady - YUM on peanut butter filled pretzels and Cadbury! I need to try the bookmarks everywhere thing -I do admit to occassionally grabbing a sticky note if I've had to LOL.

I hear you on not lending out books, I still have them disappear, so only lend ones I know I can (or am willing to) replace. and I'm loving the image of your moms little table stacked with Annie West romances *g*

jo robertson said...

P226, I'm a firm believer that magazines are for the toilet area -- none of my precious books. Yuck!

Nancy, once I loaned out an original edition of John Birch's Blue Book -- NO, NO, I am not a rabid conservative, but I just had this book because I was majoring in history at the time. The person never returned it and then I moved away.

Tawny said...

Joanie T - tell me you're kidding. You really turn down book pages?? *shudder* ;-) just kidding LOL.

Anna!!! I missed you, too ;-) Life without net sucks a little. Isn't it great when your hubby reads too? Of course, your hubby is just great all round, but there's something so sweet about laying there with a bowl of chips and a great book and being able to look over and see your sweetie doing the same *g* BTW, love your choice of chips. And I'm so NOT surprised you're a tidy eater ;-)

P226, I can't stop laughing enough to comment, other than a OMG yes, keep the food away *ggg*

Tawny said...

Jeanne - LOL on proving to your hubby that there are others like you out there ;-) Was there any doubt??!!? Although you might not want to tell him that I get so into the book I burn food too, no point in giving excuses for anyone to suggest we do the unthinkable and PUT THE BOOK DOWN while we cook.

mmmmmm, I'm going to pretend the apple slices is the best sounding thing I've read on the blog today and tell myself to snack on those, but your pretzels sound yummy.

btw... what DO you use your bookmarks for then, if not to mark books?

Cassondra said...

Minna, they don't have the equivalent of Reeses in Finland?

Say it ain't so!

That's the equivalent of being a third-world country! (Okay I'm totally kidding on that except....well....that's AWFUL!)

Okay next time Minna wins a prize on the blog, we're sending along PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE!

Terry Odell said...

Jo I LOVE my e-book reader. Not "instead" of paper but in addition to, as an alternative. It's the 'cheap' lo-tech eBookwise, but the back light feature makes it perfect. Great for travel; I have 5 new books loaded for my upcoming trip. Never need to dog-ear a page to bookmark it because it remembers where you left off (but you CAN dogear pages if you want to come back to them.) Also other minor editing features.

Tawny said...

Ms.Hellion, I loooove the idea of beign a food critic. But I'm the pickiest eater in the world and a vegetarian to boot. They'd fire me on day one :-(

LOL on your friends reaction. I admit, there have been times when my husband or family members have been a little irritated that I'm 'ignoring' them. That I can repeat back everything they said doesn't matter. They want me to put down the book and watch their lips move *sigh*

Esri - I'm SO with you on those priorities. Chocolate is excusable in almost any form. Bent pages? Ack! Chocolove sounds yummy- what a cute name!

So many people with hot tubs, now I'm craving one of those too. What can I say, I'm easily influenced *g*. But I can totally see relaxing out there with a book (daylight) or a glass of wine (nightlight).

Minna said...

Well, here's the recipe, only I use a slightly modified version. I usually can't find graham crackers, so I use something else and I put some cream in the kettle and chocolate and melt and mix them together. I got addicted to these in NDSU. Fortunately someone on Lonely Planets Get Stuffed brach knew the recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, confectioners'
sugar, peanut butter and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a
9x13 inch pan. Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the
microwave, stirring occasionally. Spread melted chocolate over the crumb
crust. Chill for about 5 minutes, then cut into bars before the chocolate is
completely set, then chill until ready to serve.

Tawny said...

Fedora, nachos definitely make for messy reading! And ya know, (looking both ways to make sure I don't get in trouble) when I'm done with a magazine, I either rip out the things I want to keep (recipes, scrapbook layouts, etc) and recyle the rest or just toss them in the recyle bin. So dog earing magazines doesn't even make me think twice.

Gillian, as an author, I'd definitely take that as a compliment!

Cherie J said...

I am not a writer but as a reader I don't like snacking while reading. I like to be able to savor the things I eat and it is too distracting to try and read while eating.

Tawny said...

Nancy, I hate it when books don't get returned! Especially books in as great of condition as yours must be ;-) And Heath Bar Crunch eaters unite! We'll have to have an ice cream party in SF this year!! And then right afterward, you're gonna have to sit down with me and share your weight loss consultant advice!!!

Terrio LOL on your daughter tearing off the naughty bits on those bookmarks. And we have a basket of magazines in our bathroom - no books thought, so maybe its like a mini-library?

jo robertson said...

Minna, thanks. Yummmmm, sounds delicious AND easy.

p226 said...

P226, I'm a firm believer that magazines are for the toilet area -- none of my precious books. Yuck!

Oh c'mon.

You have not LIVED until you've gotten lost in a book on the throne for several hours. Because, you get up, take two steps, and face-plant on the tile. (yes, three hours on the throne will absolutely, unquestionably put both legs soundly to sleep)

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, on the odd occasion where barbecue don't suit, I go for plain ones too. All that salt and fat ;-)

Hey, Peggy, great to see another bbq fan!!!!

Buffie, isn't Slave to Sensation great? I read it the Christmas before last and was just blown away by it.

Pam! Tea! Tea! Tea! I can't even spell my name in the morning without tea and I then continue to drink it all day. I buy tea in 200 bag boxes - and multiples of those. I'm like a tea addict!

Minna said...

Yep, no Reeses, no peanut butter m&ms or any other m&ms, for that matter (they do sell peanut m&ms on those ships that go to Sweden, but even there, no peanut butter m&ms) or peanut butter kisses. One of the companys that produces peanut butter sweets sells all kinds of other candies here, but for some reason, no peanut butter sweets.

Anna Campbell said...

P226, too much info! ;-)

When I really need help with my writing, I tend to eat. Which is a BAD, BAD thing. I think I did that last complete rewrite on Tempt the Devil fuelled purely by Cherry Ripe chocolates. They're a local delicacy that completely inexplicably Madame CW despises. No accounting for taste! I think the current book is going to call out for biscuits - Arnotts Creamy Chocolate or Lemon Crisp. Yum! Oh, man, I'll need to book a whole row of seats on the plane for San Francisco if I keep this up!

Tawny said...

Brownone -delish! That image of ice crystals has me thirsty - and its definitely hot enough today in California to need iced soda.

Donna, I admit it, I've read in the shower. But, really, if you read while blow-drying your hair afterward, it sort of balances out! Really!

I'm just gonna pretend I didn't read that part about turning down the pages ;-)

Anne, wow, I never thougth of red licorice vines as a book snack. Movie snack, definitely, but I'm going to have to try them for reading! Thanks :-)

Cheri, I'm a major tea drinker, and always have it with me while I read, too!

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, another bbq fancier! Knew you were a woman of taste and discrimination!

Oh, Nancy, I hear you on the sorrow of book thieves! I lent my copy of the Letters of Heloise and Abelard to someone years ago - I had a couple of options too but they all swore they were innocent. Sigh. Never got the book back!

Ooh, Cassondra, you're right about the glass of wine. That's such a lovely way to pass the time. A nice red and good romance! Heaven!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, I can't work out why it seems to take 30 seconds to put five pounds on and fifty years to shift a few ounces! There's a design fault there somewhere!

Jo, I've printed out the instructions and hope to test the process this evening. Taking Cassondra's advice of the nice red, too!

Ooh, Minna, those peanut things look so good, they're EVIL!!!

OK, this post is making me hungry. Off to see what I can find for breakfast. NOT ICE CREAM!!!

Minna said...

But then again, in the U.S.A. I missed Turkish Pebber sweets and xylitol sweets. Hey, xylitol is very good for your teeth.

Tawny said...

LOL Cassandra - I am in awe of your Panera tray balancing skills. Your tub sounds divine, too - I adore the claw footed tubs! I'm ignoring the turned down pages, since I get shaky thinking about it. Its like when I pick up books and people have written in them. Other than an autograph, which just makes me grin, writing in the margins makes me batty. Ack!

LOL Pat. That weight is a sneaky thing. Its been sneaking up on my over the last two years and I can't seem to catch it. Today's blog inspired snacking won't help, I'm sure.

Jennifer ;-) I'm with you on the rule, and I'm an even bigger supporter of seperating the fruit-flavored tootsie rolls and the cookies LOL.

Tawny said...

LOL Cassandra - I am in awe of your Panera tray balancing skills. Your tub sounds divine, too - I adore the claw footed tubs! I'm ignoring the turned down pages, since I get shaky thinking about it. Its like when I pick up books and people have written in them. Other than an autograph, which just makes me grin, writing in the margins makes me batty. Ack!

LOL Pat. That weight is a sneaky thing. Its been sneaking up on my over the last two years and I can't seem to catch it. Today's blog inspired snacking won't help, I'm sure.

Jennifer ;-) I'm with you on the rule, and I'm an even bigger supporter of seperating the fruit-flavored tootsie rolls and the cookies LOL.

Tawny said...

Jo, I totally appreciate the bathing/eating/reading instructions. If I had access to a printer I'd print them out, laminate them and hang them over the tub *g* I especially love the washcloth over the belly part LOLOL. Of course, I'd do that, cover said washcloth with more bubbles AND lock the door. Seriously, sometimes a girl just needs a little peace, ya know?

So, I have to ask -do you keep a dry towel handy to wipe your fingers before you turn the pages? Just, ya know, to keep them from getting soggy?

Minna said...

Anna, I'm not quite as bad tea addict as you, but still... There are all those flawored tea's Twinings tea, Forsman tea, Nordquist tea... For some reason I haven't seen Twinings wild strawberry tea for a while and I miss that. And caramel Sun Tea. Now I'm thirsty...

Tawny said...

OMG Minna!!! Delish! I am trying these today, they sound wonderful.

Cherie, I hear you on the distraction thing of snacking. If I'm into a book, I won't eat, drink or sometimes breathe *g* But if the book doesn't capture 100% of my attention, the snacks come out :-(

P226 ROFLMAO at the face plant. My bathrooms are so small, I'd just go right into a wall. It sounds like you might want to take little throne breaks to keep the circulation moving (and please, don't even run with all the obvious jokes in that sentence *g*)

Tawny said...

Anna -I get my tea in gallon sized bags! Two gallan pitchers last about, oh maybe half a day here. I'm a major tea-addict. Iced, unsweetened, lots and lots of it! btw, did you give in to ice cream for breakfast (dairy, remember?)

Minna, what on earth is xylitol?

Suzanne Welsh said...

whoo AC, glad you got the GR today, poor bird wore me out with the game of keep away he and Rocky were doing yesterday! I did mention that Rocky likes bird, cooked or otherwise, didn't I?

Great Post, Tawny. I confess I do eat while I read, but only if it's at the computer. When I'm reading a book, I'm usually on the couch or in my bed and am so engrossed in the story, that I have to stop reading to have a snack. While writing on the other hand, lends itself to the snacking on M&M's or chips. Sigh. And sadly my bottom half has taken the brunt of the affects!

Susan Seyfarth said...

I'm with Cassondra on this one--I'll eat & read in nearly any situation. I haven't tried eating in the bath tub yet--but thanks to JoMama's lovely instructions, I might give it a go--but just about anywhere else is good by me. With the exception of the, ahem, throne, as P226 put it. :-)

Here's how we do it in my family:

At breakfast, we all shovel in our cereal & read the paper.

At lunch, we all converse like human beings until the children have finished eating. (It takes them two minutes.) When I've been abandoned at the table, I haul out my book & enjoy the rest of my luch.

No eating at the dinner table. Like Cassondra, I feel it's important to actually chat with my husband while we're both conscious. There have been exceptions, however. Like when we were racing through the last Harry Potter book. Whatever it took to get the person before you through it faster, you know? :-)

As for my favorite snack? A bag of pretzels & a icy cold diet coke. Man I miss nutrasweet. The instant I quit nursing, I'm going to go on a diet coke binge the likes of which this world has never seen. These days I'm more likely to put the kids down & treat myself to a lovely bowl of ice cream & my current book. It's essential to have this treat when the kids are down & I'm off duty, or else what's the point? if I'm going to be interrupted every three second, it isn't much of a treat, now is it??

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh yes Joan, Classic Lays and Ruffles for a change. A woman after my own heart!

Minna said...

This is from Wikipedia:
Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms.[2] It can be extracted from corn fibre,[3] birch, raspberries, plums, and corn. Xylitol is roughly as sweet as sucrose but with only two-thirds the food energy.
Xylitol was first derived from Birch trees in Finland in the 19th century and was first popularized in Europe as a safe sweetener for diabetics that would not impact insulin levels. Today, using maize sources, most world supplies reportedly come from China. Xylitol is widely used in Finland, its "home country". Many Finnish confectioneries employ xylitol, or have a xylitol version available. Virtually all chewing gum sold in Finland is sweetened with xylitol.
Xylitol is a "toothfriendly" sugar. In addition to not encouraging tooth decay (by replacing dietary sugars), xylitol may actively aid in repairing minor cavities caused by dental caries.[citation needed] Early studies from Finland in the 1970s found that a group chewing sucrose gum had 2.92 decayed, missing, or filled (dmf) teeth compared to 1.04 in the group chewing xylitol gums.[7] In another study, researchers had mothers chew xylitol gum 3 months after delivery until their children were 2 years old. The researchers found that the xylitol group had "a 70% reduction in caries (dmf)."[7] Recent research[8] confirms a plaque-reducing effect and suggests that the compound, having some chemical properties similar to sucrose, attracts and then "starves" harmful micro-organisms, allowing the mouth to remineralize damaged teeth with less interruption. (However, this same effect also interferes with yeast micro-organisms and others, so xylitol is inappropriate for making yeast-based bread, for instance.)

Xylitol based products are allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the medical claim that they do not promote dental caries.[9]

A recent study demonstrated that a water additive for animals containing xylitol was effective in reducing plaque and calculus accumulation in cats.[10]

[edit] Diabetes
Possessing approximately 40% less food energy,[11] xylitol is a low-calorie alternative to table sugar. Absorbed more slowly than sugar, it doesn't contribute to high blood sugar levels or the resulting hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin response.

[edit] Osteoporosis
Xylitol also appears to have potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. A group of Finnish researchers has found that dietary xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and actually improves bone density.[12][13]

[edit] Ear and upper respiratory infections
Studies have shown that xylitol chewing gum can help prevent ear infections[14] (acute otitis media); the act of chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and clearing the middle ear, whilst the presence of xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes (auditory tubes or pharyngotympanic tubes) which connect the nose and ear.[15] This action that xylitol has on bacteria in the back of the nose is best explained on the site dealing with the nasal application of xylitol.[16] When bacteria enter the body they hold on to the tissues by hanging on to a variety of sugar complexes. The open nature of xylitol and its ability to form many different sugar-like structures appears to interfere with the ability of many bacteria to adhere.[17] Xylitol can be applied nasally through a saline solution containing xylitol, such as Xlear Nasal Wash.

[edit] Candida yeast
A recent report suggests that consumption of xylitol may help control oral infections of Candida yeast; in contrast, galactose, glucose, and sucrose may increase proliferation.[18]

[edit] Benefits for pregnant or nursing women
Xylitol is not only safe for pregnant and nursing women, but studies show that regular use significantly reduces the probability of transmitting the Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is responsible for tooth decay, from mother to child during the first two years of life by as much as 80%.[19]

Xylitol, like most sugar alcohols, can have a laxative effect (If you eat it a lot), because sugar alcohols are not fully broken down during digestion. It has no known toxicity, and people have consumed as much as 400 grams daily for long periods with no apparent ill effects.

Minna said...

Here are some xylitol sweets:

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I don't turn down pages, I always use bookmarks and if for some strange reason none are handy then I use a bit of paper. I have two bookmarks I won't use, one has my granddaughter's picture on it and the other is one that came with my book from Stacey Kayne, it was just so cool (beaded with a little dragonfly on the end. I am afraid I would lose them.

PJ said...

I'm a shower girl. When I take a bath I turn on the jets and that's not so good for reading.

I definitely snack when I read on the couch in the evenings though and, since I live alone, I have been known to read while eating dinner as well. My snacks of choice vary according to my moods. I make chocolates and keep them in the freezer for reading snacks. Sometimes I'll toss chocolate chips, raisins and cashews into a custard cup for snacking. Last night I had fresh strawberries over vanilla ice cream while reading the latest Kings of California by Maureen Child. I used to have popcorn with my books but it's just too hard to concentrate on the story when two Labs plunk themselves in front of you and start giving you that "show me the love, toss me a kernal" puppy dog look.

I don't turn down the corners, I have oodles of bookmarks and keep them all over the house as well as in the van, and I don't lend a keeper book. I've had too many of them loaned out in pristine condition and returned looking as if they'd taken a dip in the lake.
Since I live on a lake, I'm not so sure they didn't!

Anna Campbell said...

Tawny, not ice cream, but thanks to this absolutely delicious blog, I've got my eye on some lemon crisp biscuits. Sigh. Oh, well, I'm about to a big scene. I need fortification.

Beth said...

Yep, I definitely eat while I read. When I had the house to myself (and more time to read) I'd read during breakfast and lunch and snacks.

If I was seriously into a book in the evening, I'd read it on my walk from the TV room through the basement, up the stairs, through the house to my bathroom, while I brushed my teeth and carry it with me to the bed. I'd have to stop there because the DH would have the light off. Drives him nuts that I can't put a book down ;-)

My favorite snacks are light microwave popcorn or pretzels or Triscuits - I'll all about the Carbs! And I never take a bath without having my reading material beside me. Then I only get out once the water is so cold and I'm all pruny that I can't stand it ;-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jo Mama, I'd like to add one more part to the reading ritual.

IF you've been in the tub long enough for the water to cool, take said pruned toes and kick the hot water on to reheat the tub. Of course this might necessitate the draining of some cool water first, and yes the toe works for this, too. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

P226, I'm chuckling at the leg to sleep scene, as yes, I've done that too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said:(yes, three hours on the throne will absolutely, unquestionably put both legs soundly to sleep)

I can corroborate this. I'm not sayin' HOW I can corroborate, just that I can. *VEG*

As to the cool bookmarks, I do use them to mark books, just not the books I'm reading. They never seem to be AROUND the book i need to mark at the time. :>

Anna Sugden said...

*snork* on P226's face plant!

Oooh you've just hit my hot button - people who don't return books (actually I'm another one who hates dogears too). I don't lend any more, because you just know it's never coming back!

Kate Carlisle said...

Fun post, Tawny! I seriously don't know how to read in the bathtub without getting the book all wet. What's the secret? I've ruined more books this way...

Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth and candy bars were five cents each, I used to stop at the store for a few Three Muskateers bars, then stop at the library for some books. I'd read and munch all the way home...and mom would never know I'd had the candy bars. Hehehe!

Nowadays, I don't usually eat while reading. But I'll have a glass of wine. Of course, y'all know I'll have a glass of wine with anything! ;-)

Nice sneak attack on the chook, Aunty!!

doglady said...

I hear you on the tea, Anna! My AM beverage of choice is hot Earl Gray with milk and sugar. If I don't have at least one cuppa in the AM life at the bakery can get VERY UGLY!! My Mom buys Twinnings Earl Gray at the base by the case as I cannot always get it in the local stores. Same with the Scottish shortbread.

Those lemon biscuits, would they be the kind I ate when I as growing up in Kelsale? HEAVEN!!! The church organist made some to DIE FOR!

Tawny said...

Suz I wish typing used up more calories!! You'd think writing those hot love scenes would be worth at least a tiny bag of M&M's wouldn't you?!

Susan you TALK to your husband ;-) Kidding, I think the no reading at the dinner table is a good rule, actually. We don't allow TV or anything - its forced (sometimes very forced) family time here *g* And I so hear you on not wasting the calories of a decadent snack if the experience is going to be constantly interrupted!!

Wow - Minna, thanks for the info. It sounds similar to Stevia a little?

Dianna, I'm gonna have to tell Stacey how much you love her bookmark :-) I have a few of them and they are prized here, too.

Tawny said...

ROFL PJ - those puppies are definitely hard to resist, huh? Your mix of chips, raisins and nuts sounds so yummy -- and healthy!! Living on the lake must be fabulous, I'd get distracted from reading (and definitely from writing) to watch the view all the time :-(

Beth... I have to ask - do you bump into walls? *G* And hey, light popcorn is GOOD for you! It has to be, right?

Jeanne, thank you for not sharing your corroboration details *g*

Tawny said...

Anna, I've lost SOOOO many books lending them out, too. Its frustrating but I figure I've learned my lesson. I only loan ones I don't need to get back, or in some cases, I buy multiple of the book knowing I'll want more LOL.

Kate - I'm not sure of the secret, but there has to be one. I'm thinking its a towel or something, but Jo's the expert so I'm waiting to hear.

hmmm... a glass of wine is sounding really good right now! I think I'll join you ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

These are a bought biscuit, Pam. They sound a bit bizarre. Very tangy lemon filling, a cumbly pastry a bit like a hard puff pastry and a hint of salt. But the salt makes all the difference! Not sure if they're available in the UK.

Minna said...

Now, I haven't heard of Stevia before. But I always eat a couple of xylitol sweets after I have eaten something. Haven't gotten any holes to my teeth after I started eating those.

jo robertson said...

Ah, yes, Tawny, one hand must stay dry at all times for holding the book. If one is particularly double-jointed with the right thumb (this only works for paperbacks), he/she can hold the book and turn the page with one hand.

For the less opposable-thumbed people -- keep a towel handy.

traveler said...

I prefer tea with crumpets but avoid them when reading. I value my pristine books. So I indulge in jujubes which I love.

Christine Wells said...

Would I be this size if I didn't eat while I read? So sorry to have missed this post Tawny. Like you, reading and eating is one of the great pleasures in life. DOing both at the recipe for a heart attack, unfortunately.

Love chocolate. Chocolate makes me write better. Scorched almonds, mmm.