Sunday, September 24, 2006
Saturday Morning Walkers - September 24, 2006
Mary, Christie and I had a vigorous walk yesterday - one of our oldies but goodies. I had to hustle to keep pace with them! We walked around that neighborhood just east of 36 between Baseline and Table Mesa - Sioux, Mohawk, etc. Lots of "Brady Bunch" style houses. Chris did meet us for coffee but we sure did miss the rest of you.
We had no book discussions yesterday but I did finish Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott on tape. She has such a quirky sense of humor - if you haven't read anything by Anne Lamott, I do think you would enjoy her writing. Some of her other books include:
Hard Laughter, 1980
Joe Jones, 1985
All New People, 1989
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, 1993 (nonfiction)
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, 1994 (nonfiction)
Crooked Little Heart, 1997
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, 1999 (nonfiction)
Blue Shoe, 2002
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, 2005
I just started another book on writing called Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal by Alexandra Johnson.
From Publishers Weekly
Leather-bound five-year diaries were once popular gifts at children's birthday parties, sometimes providing the first taste of a lifelong pleasure. While an estimated 12 million journals are sold annually, Johnson, a teacher of creative nonfiction at Harvard and Wellesley, has found that people also record their lives on dinner napkins, menus, slips of paper and, increasingly, the computer. In her follow-up to The Hidden Writer, for which she won a PEN Award, she proffers advice for journal keepers who want to develop material for later books or who simply enjoy logging life's events. Commiserating on diaries abandoned as "joyless collections of grievances," she offers tips on how to "break the deadlock of introspective obsession." She advises perfectionists on how to silence their censorD"that dark, icy whisper of the confidence thief." Apt remarks by Virginia Woolf, Tobias Wolff, Annie Dillard and others add to her perceptive and often humorous insights on unearthing the interior life, improving observation skills and finding images that reveal significant motivations. The transformation of a factual log into a creative work requires investigating essential patterns: disclosing what has been left out of memory, charting periods of great intensity and connecting the dots between events and influences to develop a true narrative. Because a journal is usually a private affair that offers little opportunity for discussion, people seeking direction on keeping a successful one should welcome this thoughtful guidebook.
Recipes of the Week:
From Giada DeLaurentiis, The Everyday Italian on the Food Network:
Pork Chops with Fennel and Caper Sauce - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_34586,00.html - flavors are wonderful and pork chops stayed very moist - always tricky with boneless pork chops but worked really well.
Ricotta Cappuccino - a rich and elegant dessert - very easy! - A small serving goes a long way! - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_34588,00.html - I used part-skim ricotta - next time I might try the fat-free ricotta but that could be risky!
Tonight I made a quick and easy Roast Chicken that I've made several times before - just butterfly a whole fryer or roaster (depending on how much you need) - separate the skin from the breast and legs/thighs and "smear" pesto (homemade or store-bought) under the skin. Rub skin with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a shallow pan at 425 degrees for an hour or so, depending on size of bird. Very yummy! I served it with rice pilaf and sauteed green beans, toasted pine nuts and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
A reminder about upcoming events:
One Book/One Boulder - lots of activities throughout the next month related to When the Emperor was Divine - films, discussion groups, exhibits, suggestions for other books about the Japanese internment during World War II. http://www.boulder.lib.co.us/onebookoneboulder/
The play Parallel Lives at the Dairy - in case you missed my earlier invitation to join us for the matinee on Sunday, October 1 and you'd still like to go, check out the website about ticket availability. There are no reserved seats so just let me know if you're able to come and we'll save you a seat! http://denver.yourhub.com/BOULDER/Events/Theater/Event~127374.aspx
Once again, I extend an invitation to everyone to share what they've been reading and eating - just send me an email and I'll include it on our emails or visit the blog at http://cookinandbookin.blogspot.com/ and leave a comment.
Ooops! I realized that I never reported on the dinner I made for my book group a couple of weeks ago:
From Giada De Laurentiis - Everyday Italian - Roman Chicken - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_33365,00.html
and Roasted Potatoes and Onions - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_33366,00.html
Both of these recipes come from a show about make-ahead dishes - they're terrific for a large group and really do work out well for cooking a day ahead and then re-heating at the last minute.
Our appetizer was a Late Summer Bruschetta from Michael Chiarello - Easy Entertaining on the Food Network - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_27543,00.html.
I also served Grana Padana cheese with honey, fig preserves, walnuts, and strawberries.
The picture at the top of this post is a really fun centerpiece that I made using wonderful colorful vegetables like eggplant, rutabaga, yellow and red peppers (the small ones), squash, zucchini - you could use whatever you want. This was inspired by a centerpiece that Linn Green made using fresh fruit. I'm going to put a picture of it on my blog.
That's all for now!
See you soon and have a great week!