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, December 17, 2006

Saturday Morning Walkers - December 17, 2006

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to send love and "mazel tov" to Rae and family (her daughter, Dawn, son-in-law, Michael, Adam and Jeremy) on the arrival home of her new grandaughter (that makes 8 grandchildren!), Maria. Rae and Dawn brought 6 month old Maria home from Guatemala on Friday and they are just thrilled to welcome her into the family.

We had a great turnout yesterday for our walk/hike. Andrea, Laila, Barb, Mary, Christie and I went out in search of the Mesa Trail. We drove up to NCAR and headed out. As soon as the trail looked a bit perilous to me (It doesn't take much!), I opted to head back and Andrea graciously kept me company. Apparently the others had a great hike but never actually made it to the Mesa Trail. Of course, we all re-grouped and headed back down to Caffe Sole where Jan joined us for coffee and such. Mary will let us know where next Saturday's walk/coffee will be.

Everyone is pretty busy with holiday preparations, so not much reading going on. Barb is taking her dad out to see A Christmas Carol to celebrate his 97th!!!! birthday - Happy Birthday, George!!
Laila is taking her granddaughter to see The Velveteen Rabbit at the Boulder Dinner Theatre. The Wadles are excited about all the kids coming "home" this week - Jex and Jacob arrive on Monday evening, Jeff arrives on Thursday morning, Libby, David and new puppy, Violet arrive on Thursday evening and Joe arrives on Christmas Eve. We'll have a full house - eased thankfully by Andrea's generous offer to use her house and refrigerator while she's away.

Jacob is very excited about Hanukah this year and Jex has come up with a great plan to play down the over-stimulation of gift receiving. As you may or may not know, Hanukah lasts for 8 nights and part of the tradition is that you get a gift each night - it gets to be a bit overwhelming especially when Hanukah falls at the same time as Christmas. This year, Jacob got a gift on the first night, on the second night he bought a gift to donate to another child, and tonight they are having friends over to light the Menorah and do a Hanukah craft (no gifts) - they'll repeat the process until Hanukah ends on Friday evening.
Here's a description of the significance of Hanukah:
Hanukah, the festival of lights, commemorates the time in days of yore
when the Maccabees went to rebuild the temple, which had been
destroyed during a war with the Syrians. When they went to light the
lamp in order to begin the process of rebuilding the temple, they
found, much to their dismay, that there was only enough oil to last
for one day. When they lit the lamp however--"nes gadol haya sham"--a
great miracle happened there. On Hanukah, we celebrate this miracle,
and eat potato pancakes called latkes, which are appropriate for
Hanukah because they are cooked in oil. Here is a recipe for
everyone's favorite Hanukah treat.

POTATO LATKES12 potatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
A dash of pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder (use with flour)
1/3 cup sifted flour, matzo meal, or bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten

Grate carrots, onion, and potatoes last, as they discolor quickly.
Drain off darkened liquid, add eggs and sifted dry ingredients. Drop
by tablespoonful into a skillet heated with 1/8-1/4 inch oil. Brown
and turn. Serves 8-10 adults.

Recipe compliments of Pearl Ruth Feder (note: I have not tried this recipe but it looks good!)

Our book group met this past Monday - Chris was our host and her book selection was 3 Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas and Micah Sparks. As usual we were more pre-occupied with her wonderful tapas menu and Prosecco wine to talk much about the book but here's the review from Amazon:

From Publishers Weekly

When bestselling author Sparks (The Notebook; Message in a Bottle; etc.) receives a brochure offering a three-week trip around the world,it's not hard for him to persuade Micah, his older brother, to join him in touring Guatemala's Mayan ruins, Peru's Incan temples, Easter Island, the killing fields in Cambodia, the Taj Mahal and Ethiopian rock cathedrals. His account of the trip is refreshingly honest and perceptive. At each stop, the brothers, both deeply committed to their families, cover the crucial moments in a life full of familial love and tragedy: Nick's role as the middle child always feeling left out; his marriage in 1989; the loss of Nick and Micah's mother two months later after a horseback riding accident; the death of Nick's first baby and the physical problems of his second son; the death of their father in a car accident; and the passing of their younger sister from a brain tumor. As the brothers travel together through these mythical sites and share candid thoughts, they find themselves stunned by fate's turns,realizing that a peaceful moment may be shattered at any time. Weaving in vignettes of tenderness and loss with travelogue-like observations, Sparks's account shows how he and his brother both evolved on this voyage. "Somehow there was a chance we could help each other, and in that way, I began to think of the trip less as a journey around the world than a journey to rediscover who I was and how I'? developed the way I did."

Here's a recipe for one of the dishes that we had:

Seared Shrimp with Pimenton and Sherry from Fine Cooking Magazine

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry
Kosher salt
3 tbls olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon sweet pimenton (or paprika)
Heaping 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tbls thinly sliced chives
3 tablespoons of dry Sherry (I used dry white wine)
Fresh lemon juice

Sprinkle shrimp with 3/4 tsp kosher salt, toss, and let sit for 10 minutes for refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil on high heat. Pat shrimp dry, addto skillet. Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp kosh salt and sear until they're pink and a little golden on one side, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the garlic,pimenton, and red pepper flakes over the shrimp, and saute, stirring,until the shrimp are almost completely pink, about 1 minute. Add the sherry and cook, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan, until theshrimp are pink all over (the sherry will evaporate quickly, but youshould still have some juices in the pan).
Remove from heat. Toss with the lemon zest and chives. Pour the shrimp and juices into a serving dish, squeeze on lemon juice to taste and serve.

Note: Pimenton is a spice - it is smoked paprika
Note about Barb's recipe for Caviar Pie that appeared last week: Be sure to use regular block cream cheese, not whipped or lite.

Just a couple of quick reminders of upcoming events:
Lafayette Oatmeal Festival will be Saturday, January 13 - that's become somewhat of a tradition for us so let's talk about plans to do that together - info at
Tattered Cover Writers Respond To Readers will be Saturday, January 27 - registration is Monday, January 8 and it fills up fast - let me know if you're interested.
Okay, Okay - that's it for now! Have a great week!

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