Most writers carry around little notepads to scribble down stuff, and if they're food people too, they'll write while they cook, a sometimes difficult task. Some of us have been known to use the insides of whatever cookbook is handy to write recipes or notes or baking times. That has its drawbacks, quite aside from the scholarly debate (see the Jesuits) about the ethics of marginalia. You forget which book you wrote stuff in. You spill a whole damn vat of veal demi-glace over your copy of Kitchen Confidential. You loan your Larousse out, only to remember that your favorite pie crust recipe is encrypted on the back page.

So some of us were happy to learn of the latest variation of the Moleskine books, Moleskine being the preferred scribble book for many of us, whether or not André Breton and Ernest Hemingway actually wrote in them. (You'd still wear a leather jacket, with or without Steve McQueen, wouldn't you?) They're recipe journals, still in black, still bound with that bit of elastic. You're not going to get any cooler until you lose the frilly apron.

Questions of fashion history aside, the Moleskine company is now making what they call Passions books — no, you don't have to write romance novels in them, although you'd think so, given the title — which come formatted for use as recipe journals. (They also come formatted for wine, books, film, music, and wellness, whatever that is.) Conveniently in time for the holiday season, when we might just go looking for viable information in the chaos of our kitchens.

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