Sunday, October 22, 2006
Saturday Morning Walkers - October 22, 2006
Before I get started, I want to explain this picture. This is the antipasto platter that Janet created for a party this summer. It features figs wrapped in proscuitto, cantelope, Grana Padana cheese, honey and reduced balsamic vinegar.
Well, it was just Barb and me at Ziggi's Cafe in Longmont Saturday morning - although we left Boulder early in the morning with snow and slush on the ground, by the time we got past Gunbarrel on the Diagonal, there was no snow there and skies were clear. After our coffee, we met up with the volunteers for Angie Paccione (Democratic candidate running against Marilyn Musgrave for Congress), got our assignment and headed out to canvas a neighborhood in Longmont. Although Barb is a pro at this, it was the first time for me. Let's just say we had more "no soliciting" and "beware of dogs" signs than warm welcomes. In spite of that, I'm glad that we did it and we will do it again before the election.
Here are a couple of book reviews:
Susan: I just finished Farewell to Manzanar by James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston - this a classic true story of a family's experience of life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. In contrast to When the Emperor Was Divine (One Book, One Boulder), it gives a much more detailed, rich description of the members of this family and their years during and following their time at Manzanar. Manzanar was the largest of the 10 camps located throughout the country at that time.
"[Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston] describes vividly the life in the camp and the humiliations suffered by the detainees... A sober and moving personal account." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp--with 10,000 other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons and a dance band called the Jive Bombers who would play any popular song except the nation's #1 hit: "Don't Fence Me In."
Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese-American family's attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.
Rae: Rae told me about a book that she's reading and enjoying - Holy Unexpected: My New Life as a Jew by Robin Chotzinoff - Chotzinoff is a local writer from Denver.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The cadence of every conversion narrative is one of lost-and-found, and this edgy memoir by Chotzinoff, a freelance writer and convert to Judaism, does not disappoint. We learn of her rarefied and decidedly secular New York childhood, where music and free-flowing liquor framed intellectual discussions late into the night. This led to a wandering adolescence and young adulthood marked by drugs, sexual promiscuity, depression and binge eating. But Chotzinoff's conversion narrative eschews the traditional sudden epiphany for a gradual, postmodern transformation; when she discovers Judaism at an eclectic Denver synagogue, the change comes across less as a bolt of lightning than a long-desired and tentative homecoming. Her story is also refreshingly devoid of the usual convert's fervor—she considers herself observant, but does not strive to keep every jot and tittle of halakah. As she learns to quilt, make latkes (the low-fat version just won't cut it, she discovers) and keep Shabbat, Chotzinoff uncovers herself anew in the rigors of an ancient faith. Her writing is acerbically funny and generally devoid of sentimentality, which makes the memoir's more powerful moments—such as the haunting beauty of her daughter's bat mitzvah—unexpectedly emotional.
Mae (my mother-in-law) told me about a book that she read recently - Forever Young - My Friendship with John F. Kennedy, Jr. by William Noonan
A uniquely intimate portrait of John F. Kennedy, Jr., from his closest friend
For twenty-five years, William Noonan and John F. Kennedy, Jr., were best friends. Sharing an adolescence in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, the two frequented beach bonfires and the Monday night yacht-club dances, took road trips, shared albums, sneaked cigarettes on the widow’s walk of John’s house, and scored beer together. And as they grew older, John and Billy never lost the connection they forged in the Kennedy compound as two young boys who had both tragically lost their fathers.
A humble and touching memoir, Forever Young uncovers the private John F. Kennedy, Jr., from the matchless vantage point of a longtime childhood friend. Forever Young is packed with never-revealed details of John and Carolyn Bessette’s courtship and wedding, the launch of George, John’s unusually close relationship with his mother Jackie, and the heartbreaking aftermath of the plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard that killed John, Carolyn, and Carolyn’s sister. Noonan also shares the more ribald episodes, including John’s many famous conquests, skirmishes with paparazzi, and his stint as People’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” The definitive story of the son of Camelot, Forever Young is a touching and revelatory tribute to a friendship between two men—and a life cut devastatingly short.
Recipes to Share:
I haven't done a lot of cooking this past week but I did make a wonderful mussel recipe last Sunday - I'm not sure where it is from - I copied it out of a magazine (maybe Martha Steward) but didn't note which one:
Spicy Mussels and Chorizo - Serves 4
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes w/ juice
4 ounces dried, hot chorizo (Portuguese sausage), cut diagonally into 1/4" inch slices - I found it at Cheese Importers in Longmont
2 pounds mussels (I used black mussels but you could use green, as well), scrubbed and debearded
1. Heat oil in large heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add shallots, cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes; cook stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes.
2. Add wine, bring to boil. Add tomatoes and chorizo. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add mussels. Cover and continue to cook, shaking pot occasionally, until mussels open, about 10 minutes. Discard unopened mussels. Add parsley and toss. Serve immediately.
Great with pasta or just good crusty bread.
Tonight I made Giada DeLaurentiis' Short Ribs with Tagliatelle - tagliatelle is a wide noodle. If you can't find it I would substitute fettucine noodles. Its a great cold weather meal and very yummy! It has a unique garnish of shaved bittersweet chocolate - totally optional.
Next week, watch for a report from our trip to Taos!
Do check out the blog at http://cookinandbookin.blogspot.com/ - I'm going to insert the photo of the fabulous antipasto platter that Janet brought to a party this summer - I had a good time "consulting" with her on that.
Have a great week!