Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Saturday Morning Walkers - June 21, 2006

Here's what I'm reading this week:

The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc by Loraine Despres - actually a recommendation from Linn Green - I'm loving it - a great summer read!
From Library JournalWhile most readers may not immediately recognize the author's name, many will be familiar with her TV work. She's written for Dynasty, The Waltons, Love Boat, and Knots Landing and is probably best known for the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas. Her television background serves her well in this debut novel. Her timing is excellent and the plot twists are both delightful and surprising. Sissy LeBlanc lives by a code she calls "The Southern Belle's Handbook." When a pithy idea pops into her head, she instinctively knows how that code applies to her life. Sissy understands her role as granddaughter of a suffragette, daughter of a newspaper editor, wife of PeeWee, and mother of three, but lately she's been feeling restless. When her high school sweetheart comes back to Gentry, LA, after a 14-year absence, Sissy decides that it is time to make some changes in her life if they cause a little scandal, so be it. Readers may be reminded of the movies Fried Green Tomatoes and Something To Talk About. Despres's heroine has spunk, her villains get their comeuppance, and her ending is psychologically satisfying. Recommended for public libraries with large collections of women's fiction. Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Another strong recommendation from Linn which I haven't read yet:

An Unreasonable Woman by Diane Wilson
From Publishers WeeklyWith the discovery that her "piddlin' little county on the Gulf Coast" led the nation in toxic emissions, shrimper Wilson, a mother of five, found herself embarking on a voyage of discovery and activism that would strain her marriage and stretch her horizons. A David up against big-time chemical Goliaths, Wilson is a gifted storyteller, rendering dialogue and pacing plot turns as a novelist might. Anonymous informants, uncomfortable whistleblowers, unanticipated opposition from civic powers and seductive offers of cash bribes pepper this first-person account of Wilson's attempts to save her hometown. Although there are moments when the trail of meetings, memos and petitions seems drawn out, the tell-everything approach reveals how a woman awed to discover "they can lie on TV news! And it is all right!" can learn to master the media. Wilson's hunger-striking, boat-sinking and pole-climbing—combined with the help of a pro bono lawyer and a Greenpeace activist—ultimately wring a "zero tolerance" agreement out of Formosa Plastics and Dow/Union Carbide. Wilson's book is longer than it needs to be, but her Texas twang is catchy, and often spellbinding, as she goes about her mission, sometimes with a child "by one hand and a handful of documents in the other." (Sept.)
Here's a recipe for Skewered Tortellini - a great easy appetizer - tortellini is best served warm but ok at room temperature - refrigerate dip if not using right away:

Skewered Tortellini with Parmesan Lemon Dip Makes approximately 40 skewers 1 cup Crème Fraiche½ cup grated Parmesan cheeseJuice of 1 lemonGrated zest of 1 lemon3 large cloves Roasted Garlic, peeled and crushed (see directions below)1 ½ pounds tortelliniOlive oilTo Roast Garlic: Wrap #3 large cloves of garlic (unpeeled) in aluminum foil. Roast in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, until soft. Cool. Peel the garlic and crush.Combine the roasted garlic, Crème Fraiche, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice and zest in a small mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.Boil tortellini according to package instructions until just tender. Drain the pasta and sprinkle with some olive oil to prevent sticking.Put 2-3 tortellini (depending on size) on wooden skewers. Serve with the Parmesan Lemon Dip.

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