On Word Aversion (Proceed with Caution!)

Language is a beautiful thing…except when it isn’t. Confused? Obviously you aren’t one of the more than three thousand members of the Facebook group “I HATE the word MOIST!” (Yes, this really exists.) While we think that’s a bit of an overreaction, we do understand. As ardent readers, Bas Bleu’s editors know how much power is packed into just a few linked letters. The order in which words are arranged on paper is important, of course. But individual words have flavors of their own, whether piquant, mellow, sweet, or sparkling. They can guide us to laughter, tears, and anxiety, fomenting sensations so acute we feel them physically as our eyes race across the page. So is it any wonder there are words in the English language that can inspire irrational loathing and disgust? Continue reading

Chatting With the Bas Bleu Editors

We’ve all been there—the cocktail party, the business dinner, the boring car trip where conversation grinds to a halt within the first five minutes. That’s why we love the handy Chat Packs that you’ll find on page 21 of the Bas Bleu Summer 2013 issue. They’re packed with fun, interesting questions to get the conversational ball rolling. And who knows? You just may learn something surprising about the relative or coworker you thought you knew everything about!

With that in mind, the Bluestocking Salon invited Bas Bleu editors Christie Hall and Ann Gregory to take a seat and answer a dozen randomly selected questions from Chat Packs: Extremes. (Go big or go home, right?) Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading

Cooking the Books: The Bluestocking’s Crush

Drunken Botanist coverFrom time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

Among the new offerings in Bas Bleu’s Summer 2013 issue is The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Greatest Drinks. Our reviewer praises it as “a deliciously entertaining blend of science, history, and mixology” and “a must-read for curious gardeners, home bartenders, and anyone who enjoys a good cocktail.” Here at the Bluestocking Salon, we count ourselves as all three…but especially as people who enjoy a good cocktail!

So we were honored when author Amy Stewart volunteered to create a special drink just for Bas Bleu. Continue reading