Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday Morning Walkers - August 12, 2006

Hi everyone!

Jan, Barb, Christie, Mary, Jexy and I had a lovely walk on the Creek Path followed by breakfast at the Dushanbe Teahouse - a few of us shopped the Farmer's Market. Jex and I bought these interesting melons called French Charentais - very sweet and juicy.

Books to note:

From Mary - Around the Next Corner by Elizabeth Wrenn, a local Boulder writer

Amazon customer review:
Around the Next Corner is filled with wonderful moments and unforgettable characters. The reader begins to care about the protagonist, Deena, on the very first page. Of course, it's hard not to love a book that involves a really cute "K-9" puppy in training (and that launched at a book signing with the author sitting on the stage surrounded by lots and lots of really cute canine dogs in their little green vests). This is the perfect summer book...funny, heartening, believable, suspenseful and intelligently crafted. My only complaint is that I hope I don't have to wait too long for the next Deena book: I really need to find out what is around that next corner for our heroine.

From Jan - Jan is listening to and audio copy of Upstate by Kalish Buckhanon -

From AudioFileUPSTATE is a rare audio find whose voices linger in the mind long after its final chapter. The novel consists of letters passing between Natasha and Antonio, young lovers separated by distance and later by time and personal growth. When Antonio is sent to an upstate prison for killing his father, he must adjust to a different kind of life, and Natasha must continue hers without her first love. The story is compelling, especially since it's told from such personal points of view. What makes the audiobook particularly outstanding is the way Chadwick Boseman and Heather Simms bring the characters to life. Listeners can hear them grow and change letter by letter, thanks to Buckhanon's words and the narrators' talented voices. L.B.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine--

From Susan - Triangle by Katherine Weber - I first heard about this book on NPR - it is a novel based on actual event in New York City - the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that occurred in 1911 - it is a fascinating piece of history and a wonderful story around it.

From Publishers Weekly:Starred Review. The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 workers, most of them women, and galvanized efforts to reform working conditions in sweatshops. In Esther Gottesfeld, the last remaining survivor of the Triangle fire, Weber (The Little Women) creates a believable and memorable witness to the horrors of that day. Esther managed to escape, but her fiancé, Sam, and her sister, Pauline, both perished in the blaze. In 2001, Esther is living in a New York Jewish retirement home, visited often by her beloved granddaughter Rebecca and Rebecca's longtime partner, George Botkin. Rebecca and George's story and quirky rapport take up half of the book, and descriptions of George's music provide a needed counterpoint to the harrowing accounts of the fire and its aftermath. But Ruth Zion, a humorless but perceptive feminist scholar, sees inconsistencies in Esther's story and determines to ferret them out through repeated interviews with Esther and, after her death, with Rebecca. The novel carefully, and wrenchingly, allows both the reader and Rebecca to discover the secret truth about Esther and the Triangle without spelling it out; it is a truth that brings home the real sufferings of factory life as well as the human capacity to tell the stories we want to hear. (June)
From Jacob Milo Rowland and Jexy - Akimbo and the Elephants by Alexander McCall Smith - Jacob really loves chapter books, particularly the The Magic Treehouse Series. When I asked someone in the Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D. C. for a recommendation of a new series for my 4 year old grandson, this is what she recommended. Jex thought it was a bit heavy for Jacob but he really seemed to like it.

From School Library JournalGrade 2-3–The author of the adult The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mystery series originally published these delightful children's stories in Great Britain in the early 1990s. His short, illustrated chapter-book adventures will transport American readers to the plains of Africa where Akimbo lives with his parents on a Kenyan game reserve. His father works as a park ranger, and, on occasion, Akimbo is allowed to accompany him while he works. In Elephants, the two encounter a dead elephant, killed for its tusks. When the poachers aren't found immediately, Akimbo devises a plan to catch them in the act. After several suspenseful moments, the boy's simple, yet innocent plan works. In Lions, the child accompanies his father and other rangers as they investigate news of lion attacks. The plan is to trap the marauding animal and take it to another area, but by accident, they capture its cub. The African setting, dramatic full-page pencil illustrations, and the animal facts woven into the stories are sure to capture young readers.
From Jacob Milo Rowland and Jexy - The True Story of Nickel: The Baby Buffalo Who Thought He Was A Dog - a story set in Colorado.
Book DescriptionTrue adventures of an orphaned bison calf raised by a park caretaker and his family. Learn how Nickel got his name and why he lost his horns in this hilarious, warm story about the friendly bison. Vivid watercolor illustrations and interactive website with thematic teachers guide make this book perfect for classroom or campfire.

Recipes of the Week - Jex and I have been cooking together all week.

Chicken Marbella is a wonderful dish we made last night when Rae was here for a visit. Janet Fremont has made for our book group - it is a recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook - very festive.

This is a great buffet dish. You can serve this hot or cold. 16 pieces, 10 or more portions 1 head garlic, peeled and finely pureed 1/4 c. dried oregano Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 c. red wine vinegar 1/2 c. olive oil 1 c. pitted prunes 1/2 c. pitted Spanish green olives 1/2 c. capers with a bit of juice 6 bay leaves 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. white wine 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow juice.
With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.
To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over chicken.

We're making a version of this for brunch today - using a large crusty loaf of Whole Foods Farmhouse bread instead of foccacia - will probably add some additional seasonings - I'll let you know how it turns out!

Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Recipe SummaryDifficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 large loaf foccacia bread 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon olive oil, or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil combined with 1 teaspoon lemon juice 3 eggs 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the top off the foccacia and hollow out the bread inside. Tear the top of the foccacia and the inside bread into 1-inch pieces and save for the egg mixture. Brush the inside of the foccacia with the Meyer lemon olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the basil, cheese, salt, pepper, and milk. Whisk lightly. Stir in up to 4 cups of the bread pieces.
Carefully pour the egg mixture into the toasted foccacia bottom. Return to the oven and bake until the eggs have cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Cut the baked foccacia into 6 to 8 pieces and serve immediately.

That's it for now - have a great week! Don't forget to check out my blog with all my past "Cook and Book Digests" posted there!

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