I’ve just started reading Morton N. Cohen’s edition of Lewis Carroll’s collected letters and the pitter-patter of rain outside seems bent on creating the perfect England-esque backdrop for my rambles into this bizarre British author’s mind. I’ve reached a sort of rut as far as my dissertation writing is concerned, so after rereading what I had written so far, I’m taking a step back this week and trying to focus on gathering as many clues as I can around the creation of the Alice stories. It’s kind of like playing a game of Clue, only you’re the only one playing and the clues appear in pell-mell fashion, willy-nilly and wherever they please. I never imagined that the whirlwind after the World Food Champs would take so long to calm down, but things are mostly settled now and (as odd as it sounds) thankfully I can get back to my research with minimal interruptions during the holiday break. My inner homebody is beyond pleased at this quiet change.
As I sift through Carroll’s letters from Oxford (where he served as a Mathematical Lecturer until 1881), I can’t help but fall in love with the author and his writing all over again. On Saturday, my British friend and I went on a long amble to the beach, where we strolled along the pier listening to live music and padded our way across the sand, far down the shore. I listened, fascinated, as he described his college at Cambridge and the lifelong groundkeepers who maintain the landscape and the ancient architecture that has seen so many developments yet stayed essentially the same since the 1300s. As we rolled up our jeans and waded into the Pacific, I found myself marveling at the fact that a place as many oceans and centuries away as 19th-century England could feel so close at the same time.
And then, of course, the ocean decided to be a rather “naughty” interruption on these reveling reflections and soaked us right through. But life’s a beach and I’m still feeling the inspiration afterglow!
Speaking of inspiration (and probably the worst possible segue imaginable, but I’m spending my brain points today on actual research yay), have I introduced you to these Golden Oreo-Stuffed Snickerdoodle Blondie Cheesecake Bars? Oh, I think you’d remember if I had!
I made these gorgeous bars last week for my students and our final class’s potluck. Talk about an easy potluck dessert with max wow potential! The tangy, creamy cheesecake blends perfectly into the cinnamon-filled, chewy snickerdoodle base. The Golden Oreos are a must in this recipe–they give it that familiar sweet punch of flavor that nobody can resist. Not that you’d even dream of doing so, right?
You can make these in a 9×13-inch baking pan if you’d like, but I made them in a 9×9 and love the thickness that results. Highly recommended if you have a holiday party coming up and just need to show the office who’s a baking boss!
Hope you’re all having an amazing week–happy holidays!