Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Friday, December 14, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - December 9, 2007

Hi everyone!

Well, we've had a pretty snowy weekend here in Boulder - it didn't stop us from venturing out on Saturday morning for breakfast at Panera's but we didn't walk any further than the new Anthropologie store a few doors down the sidewalk at the 29th Street Mall. What a terrific turnout we had! We were so delighted to see Jackie and Annette along with "regulars", Barb, Jan, Andrea, Christie, Mary, Laila and me. I do have lots to share with you this week. First of all, as you all know, I really promoted online and catalog shopping last week. As a nod to my daughter, Libby and her livelihood, I should also encourage you all to hit the outlet malls for great deals this season, especially from J. Crew's Factory Stores. As some of you may know Libby is an executive vice-president in charge of J. Crew's Factory Stores.

On Saturday night, Jack, Jan and I went to see and hear Naomi Klein, a journalist with Nation Magazine, speak about her latest book, The Shock Doctrine. Jack is currently reading it and strongly recommends this book. He considers some of her ideas pretty revolutionary and important to consider. She was an outstanding speaker - smart, strong and clear. I particularly appreciated the fact that she's not just another "angry" liberal who just screams criticism that really can't be heard. She's clearly done her homework and presents some fascinating ideas to think about. Please check out her website

Book Report:

I'm wondering if any of you ever read Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz. It is coming out shortly as a movie and I'm eager to see it. It was a gread read.
"Explain this to me: One minute there is a boy, a life thrumming with possibilities, and the next there are marked cars and strangers in uniform and the fractured whirling lights. And that, suddenly, is all the world has to offer." This is the voice of Ethan Learner, a college professor who has just watched his 10-year-old son, Josh, die in a hit-and-run accident on a silent Connecticut road.
John Burnham Schwartz's Bicycle Days (1989) received favorable reviews but seemed very much an autobiographical first novel. His second fiction, Reservation Road, however, is a book that resists genres: a tragedy where all the characters are flawed and none are entirely guilty; a thriller where the killer, Dwight, wants to be caught but is too laden with self-loathing to turn himself in; and an experimental novel where the narrative jumps gracefully among three perspectives.

In the opening pages Schwartz establishes strong connections between fathers and sons. Moments before the accident Ethan watches his son standing precariously close to the curb; he sees possibilities in Josh, a shy boy whose musical gifts indicate a sensitivity that is no less present, though more mature, in his father. At the same time, Dwight and his son, Sam (also 10), are rushing home from an extra-innings Red Sox game where Dwight tries to rebuild the fragments of attachment left after a bitter divorce. Schwartz reveals depth in simple gestures--a hand, for example, placed in a hand, only to be self-consciously pulled away. Dwight drives on after hitting Josh, though he slows in a moment of hesitation in which Ethan hears him calling "Sam" or "Sham"--he's not sure which. Out of grief, and with only scattered clues, Ethan begins his quiet pursuit of the killer, a pursuit that fuels the novel to its poetic conclusion. In Reservation Road, John Burnham Schwartz has crafted a lasting work of literature, a page-turner that's also a rich character study. --Patrick O'Kelley

Laila recently read Don't Let's Go the the Dogs Tonight, a wonderful memoir by Alexandra Fuller. This is her story of growing up a white girl in Africa. Our book group read this and just loved it.

From Publishers Weekly
A classic is born in this tender, intensely moving and even delightful journey through a white African girl's childhood. Born in England and now living in Wyoming, Fuller was conceived and bred on African soil during the Rhodesian civil war (1971-1979), a world where children over five "learn[ed] how to load an FN rifle magazine, strip and clean all the guns in the house, and ultimately, shoot-to-kill." With a unique and subtle sensitivity to racial issues, Fuller describes her parents' racism and the wartime relationships between blacks and whites through a child's watchful eyes. Curfews and war, mosquitoes, land mines, ambushes and "an abundance of leopards" are the stuff of this childhood. "Dad has to go out into the bush... and find terrorists and fight them"; Mum saves the family from an Egyptian spitting cobra; they both fight "to keep one country in Africa white-run." The "A" schools ("with the best teachers and facilities") are for white children; "B" schools serve "children who are neither black nor white"; and "C" schools are for black children. Fuller's world is marked by sudden, drastic changes: the farm is taken away for "land redistribution"; one term at school, five white students are "left in the boarding house... among two hundred African students"; three of her four siblings die in infancy; the family constantly sets up house in hostile, desolate environments as they move from Rhodesia to Zambia to Malawi and back to Zambia. But Fuller's remarkable affection for her parents (who are racists) and her homeland (brutal under white and black rule) shines through. This affection, in spite of its subjects' prominent flaws, reveals their humanity and allows the reader direct entry into her world. Fuller's book has the promise of being widely read and remaining of interest for years to come. Photos not seen by PW. (On-sale Dec. 18)Forecast: Like Anne Frank's diary, this work captures the tone of a very young person caught up in her own small world as she witnesses a far larger historical event. It will appeal to those looking for a good story as well as anyone seeking firsthand reportage of white southern Africa. The quirky title and jacket will propel curious shoppers to pick it up.

Jackie has two recommendations, both non-fiction:

Martha Beck's, Finding Your Own North Star - Martha Beck is a life-coach and author who is often featured in O Magazine. Rae and I read her first book, a memoir called Expecting Adam, about the birth of her Down's Syndrome child. I think that Rae did a workshop with her and was very impressed.

From Publishers Weekly
A fixed point in the sky that helps mariners stay on course, the North Star emerges as a symbol for realizing one's true potential in this cheerful and perceptive but too-long book. Though her navigational metaphors lose force with repetition, Beck's voice is light, down-to-earth and refreshing. Having found her way on her own journey from academia (she was a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School) to becoming an author (of Expecting Adam, a warmly received memoir about the birth of her Down's syndrome baby), Beck currently consults with clients on redirecting their lives. She teaches that each individual has a core personality that encompasses one's desires, emotions and preferences, which is sometimes blocked by a social self that responds to external influences and cultivates survival skills. By far the most fascinating material is on how to read warnings from the essential self: low energy, lapses into illness, forgetfulness, addictions, Freudian slips and mood swings. She advises steering toward the correct path by eliminating negative influences and practicing elaborate self-esteem exercises. A section on navigating change weighs the book down while suggestions for dealing with serious emotions like grief and anger are somewhat breezy. In the end, however, the numerous self-quizzes, exercises and chances to laugh will allow many readers to overlook these weaknesses. (Mar.)Forecast: Given the success of Expecting Adam and Beck's freelance contributions to Mademoiselle, Real Simple and Redbook, the author is likely to shine in a constellation of media venues and has a solid shot at capturing the imaginations of self-help seekers.

Mehmet Oz', Healing from the Heart - an early book from Dr. Oz, Oprah's favorite doctor which presents his approach to medicine from both Eastern and Western traditions

From Library Journal
Oz, a noted cardiovascular surgeon and director of the Complementary Care Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, relates his experiences in combining complementary medicine with more traditional treatments. Today, his scientific approach is setting the standard for measuring outcomes and benefits of various complementary healing modalities in pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative cardiac surgery patients. His multidisciplinary team of nurses, energy healers, and various health practitioners continues to integrate and investigate the roles of music therapy, hypnotherapy, nutrition, massage therapy, yoga, and therapeutic touch in allopathic medicine. Not since Norman Cousins's Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient (LJ 9/1/79) has the patient's mind-body healing potential been so eloquently described.

Website of the Week - - Charity Navigator site enables you to check on all of those requests for donations you receive.

Podcast of the Week - - Interview with Naomi Klein of the Shock Doctrine.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - Shock according to Naomi Klein
"A state of shock is, by definition, a moment when there is a gap between fast-moving events and the information that exists to explain them. Yet as soon as we have a new narrative that offers a perspective on the shocking events, we become reoriented and the world begins to make sense again."

Cooking and Dining Report:

Libby had a dinner party this weekend and served a wonderful artichoke recipe from Giada de Laurentiis of the Food Network - Artichoke Gratinata -,1977,FOOD_9936_36675,00.html

I made a recipe for Grilled Flank Steak with Shallot and Red Wine Sauce and Cracked Potatoes from Amy Finley, the most recent winner of the Next Food Network Star contest. I loved it!,1977,FOOD_9936_75395,00.html - Grilled Flank Steak,1977,FOOD_9936_75394,00.html - Cracked Potatoes

Judy sent me a recipe that she liked from Fine Cooking Magazine - Israeli Couscous with Saffron, Toasted Pine Nuts and Currants - you can easily make this dish an hour or two in advance, let it sit at room temperature and gently reheat it before serving (hold off adding the pine nuts until the last minute)
4T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice (1 1/4 cups)
4 scallions, thinkly sliced (white and green parts kept separate)
30 saffron threads (about 1/8 t), lightly toasted and crumbled
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups Israeli couscous
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup currants, soaked in warm water until tender and then drained
3 T chopped fresh fla-leaf parsley

Heat 2 T of the oil in a 10 inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, scallion whites, saffron, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and golden brown, 7 - 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 T oil, the garlic anc cinnamon and continue to cook for 1 minute more. Add the couscous and 1 1/2 t salt and stir constantly until the couscous is lightly toasted (the color will turna light brown), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the water to the pan with the couscous, sitr to combine, cover, and cook at a simmer over medium-low to low heat until the couscous is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 10 minutes.

Add the pine nuts, currants, and parsley and toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt if necessary. Transfer to a platter or distribute among individual plates, sprinkle the scallion greens on top, and serve.

Hope you'll try one of these recipes - enjoy!

Have a good week - take a moment over these next days leading up to the holidays to sit quietly, take a breath, and count your blessings.



Saturday Morning Walkers - December 2, 2007

Hi everyone!

Well it does look like winter has arrived. The Saturday Morning Walkers opted to spend our walking time yesterday staying warm over coffee, etc. at Caffe Sole. We did plan our upcoming month's walks - I'm doing Saturday the 8th, Christie is doing the 15th, Jan is doing the 22nd and Mary is doing the 29th. We did a lot of catching up after the Thanksgving holiday and did talk a bit about getting ready for the upcoming holidays. Chanukah (also known as Hanukkah) begins at sunset on December 4 and lasts for 8 nights until December 12. For a bit of an education about Chanukah check out this site geared to children Of course, we have Christmas and New Year's celebrations coming up as well. Be sure and scroll down for some great suggestions for enjoying the holidays and keeping them simple and low stress.

Oh - almost forgot to mention this - I was contacted and interviewed by Tony Kahn, the host of Morning Stories, a podcast out of Boston's public radio station WGBH that I featured a couple of weeks ago. He happened to see the posting on my blog and was very interested to know about our walking group and the labyrinth. We had a wonderful conversation - I'm not sure how it will be used on their podcast but I will keep you posted. Once again the website is

Book Report:
I finished listening to Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer - I do recommend it although I did get bogged down at different points along the way. It is a fascinating story - it is hard to imagine it as a movie though - guess I'll have to check it out.
I also finally finished reading Jane Hamilton's When Madeline was Young. It was not my favorite of her books and almost quit along the way but I ended up getting pretty engaged with the narrator's character and was glad that I stuck with it.
Check out earlier posts for professional reviews of these two books.

I just started the memoir that Rae recommended last week by Julie Powell, Julie and Julia - I'm already enjoying it so much - it is a great book for all of us "foodies". It actually grew out of a blog that Powell wrote as she worked her way through all of Julia Child's recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Hmmm - quite an inspiration!

Rae and her book group (which is co-ed, by the way) read and highly recommends Ian McEwan's latest book, On Chesil Beach.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Not quite novel or novella, McEwan's masterful 13th work of fiction most resembles a five-part classical drama rendered in prose. It opens on the anxious Dorset Coast wedding suite dinner of Edward Mayhew and the former Florence Ponting, married in the summer of 1963 at 23 and 22 respectively; the looming dramatic crisis is the marriage's impending consummation, or lack of it. Edward is a rough-hewn but sweet student of history, son of an Oxfordshire primary school headmaster and a mother who was brain damaged in an accident when Edward was five. Florence, daughter of a businessman and (a rarity then) a female Oxford philosophy professor, is intense but warm and has founded a string quartet. Their fears about sex and their inability to discuss them form the story's center. At the book's midpoint, McEwan (Atonement, etc.) goes into forensic detail about their naïve and disastrous efforts on the marriage bed, and the final chapter presents the couple's explosive postcoital confrontation on Chesil Beach. Staying very close to this marital trauma and the circumstances surrounding it (particularly class), McEwan's flawless omniscient narration has a curious (and not unpleasantly condescending) fable-like quality, as if an older self were simultaneously disavowing and affirming a younger. The story itself isn't arresting, but the narrator's journey through it is. (June)

Website of the Week - - check out discount coupons for all sorts of products - may help save some money while you're gift shopping.

Podcast of the Week - - WGBH Forum Network Live and Archived Webcasts of Free Public Lectures
in Partnership with Boston's Leading Cultural and Educational Organizations.
Presented by WGBH in association with the Lowell Institute.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - omniscient - from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
New Latin omniscient-, omnisciens, back-formation from Medieval Latin omniscientia
circa 1604
1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight 2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge
— om·ni·scient·ly adverb

Cooking and Dining Report: not a whole lot of cooking going on here this week.

I made this last Sunday - Easy Spaghetti Bolognese from the Williams Sonoma Catalog - it is a recipe that was actually designed for use with the All Clad Slow Cooker which features a ceramic insert that you can brown things in on the stovetop and then put back in the base to finish out slowly. I do not have such a device so I just did it on the stove top and cooked the sauce for about 45 minutes after browning the meat. Jack awarded this a gold start! It was so easy and delicious. Great for a cold winter night!

Tips for the Season: a general suggestion to save on time, energy, fuel costs and wear and tear - shop by catalog or online! On line merchants often eliminate their shipping costs if you order by a certain date and they will sometimes wrap your gifts and send them directly to the recipient.

A great gift idea for that person who has everything - an antique map of the place they live or a special place they love - visit Art Source International on Pearl Street in Boulder or order from their website -

A suggestion from Barb - check out the Wine Merchant Catalog - - great gift ideas here.

Need a gift for a family with kids? Consider a family membership at a local museum, zoo or aquarium.

Have a teenager you have no idea what to give - gift cards and gift certificates are a great solution - especially Itunes gift cards!

Give a donation to an organization in someone's name - a great one is or
How about a membership to audio book site or dvd site

I sure hope you'll send me any other great suggestions for gifts or tips for making the holiday season enjoyable.

Have a great week......


Saturday Morning Walkers - November 25, 2007

Hi everyone,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I want to apologize for the email you may have received last week about a recipe exchange. I am now going to send out this blog email using blind carbon copy so that this kind of thing doesn't continue to happen. I would also ask that if you do want to reply to these emails, and I do love receiving your feedback, that you do not use "reply all". I know that we all receive more emails than we would like and hopefully this will help. Also, if you ever want to be removed from my list, please just let me know - I will not be offended!

We returned from our weekend in Louisville, Kentucky yesterday. Jack and I enjoyed our visit with David and Cora Potter and our newlyweds, David and Libby Potter. We had a wonderful tour of Louisville and Lexington, had some great Kentucky cooking, spent Thanksgiving with several other Potter relatives and got to know other family and friends at a reception for David and Libby at the Potters' beautiful home. We had a great dose of that Southern hospitality. We even visited a labyrinth at the Church of the Epiphany, a Catholic Church in Louisville - David took some great photos which I'll try to include soon. I'll have some other details below in the Cooking and Dining section.

Book Report:

I've been listening to Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer - it has been a great "read" to listen to.
What would possess a gifted young man recently graduated from college to literally walk away from his life? Noted outdoor writer and mountaineer Jon Krakauer tackles that question in his reporting on Chris McCandless, whose emaciated body was found in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992.
Described by friends and relatives as smart, literate, compassionate, and funny, did McCandless simply read too much Thoreau and Jack London and lose sight of the dangers of heading into the wilderness alone? Krakauer, whose own adventures have taken him to the perilous heights of Everest, provides some answers by exploring the pull the outdoors, seductive yet often dangerous, has had on his own life.

Rae read and enjoyed the memoir, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powel.

Book Description

Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, JuliePowell resolved to reclaim her life by cooking, in the span of a singleyear, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering theArt of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respectfor calves' livers and aspic, but a new life--lived with gusto.

Website of the Week: - a great source for audio books that can be downloaded to your Ipod or burned onto a CD -

Podcast of the Week: The New Yorker Out Loud - you can either go to the New Yorker website or do directly to and search for The New Yorker Out Loud

Vocabulary Word of the Week - Querulous - from

querulous \KWER-uh-luhs; -yuh\, adjective:
1. Apt to find fault; habitually complaining.
2. Expressing complaint; fretful; whining.

Querulous Oscar rattles on, never more or less than himself, but never much more than the content of his grumpy rattling.
-- Sven Birkerts, "A Frolic of His Own", New Republic, February 7, 1994

Mam is a tragic figure when transported to New York by her successful sons -- querulous, unable to get a decent cup of tea.
-- Maureen Howard, "McCourt's New World", New York Times, September 19, 1999

Men who feel strong in the justice of their cause, or confident in their powers, do not waste breath in childish boasts of their own superiority and querulous depreciation of their antagonists.
-- James Russell Lowell, "The Pickens-and-Stealin's Rebellion", The Atlantic, June 1861

Querulous comes from Latin querulus, from queri, "to complain."

Cooking and Dining Report - notes from our trip to Louisville:

We arrived in Louisville late Tuesday evening and went directly to our lovely B & B, The Inn at Woodhaven . A delightlful Victorian home just up the road from the Potters.

Breakfast on Wednesday morning at the Inn was excellent. Scrambled eggs and bacon for me and blueberry pancakes for Jack. Cereal, fruit, yogurt, muffins and pastries were out and available as well.

David and Cora graciously gave us a tour of the Lousiville and Lexington countryside, featuring the most elegant and grand horse farms. Of special note were the stone fences built by Irish masons and continue to be maintained by descendants of those Irish families. After a stop at the Woodford Reserve Distillery for a sample of honest-to-goodness Kentucky Bourbon - did you know that only Kentucky is allowed to used the name Bourbon? Tennesee and Virginia call their version Whiskey. The good news is that we got to sample very special bourbon; The bad news is that I really liked it!

Lunch was at a very special place in Shelbyville, KY, called Science Hill Inn, formerly a girls' school building, and now a restaurant and the WakefieldScearce Gallery The menu featured High Country Southern cooking. David and I had shrimp and bacon with grits which was delicious and quite rich. Cora had a grilled eggplant sandwich and Jack had the fried chicken - yum! After lunch, we toured the amazing gallery which featured silver antiques and other gorgeous home accessories, all of which were for sale.

Back to the Inn for relaxation and hot tea for me - I sat in the parlor, sipped tea and read my book - the perfect way to spend the rest of the afternoon.
Libby, David, and Violet arrived on Wednesday evening and we all (Violet stayed home with her "cousins", Lucy the black lab and Charlie, the chocolate lab) headed out for a low country Southern dinner of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, great coleslaw, corn bread that looked like latkes, fried oysters, porkchops - dry county, no alcohol! Fun place - great southern cooking!

Of course, Thursday was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the Potter family - the turkey was delicious!

Friday's reception for Libby and David was catered by O'Callaghans Catering. The food and presentation were outstanding! Some of the features were a cheddar cheese mousse, brie in puff pastry, farfalle pasta salad, and beef tenderloin - all delicious! Cora's friend Bonnie provided a beautiful wedding cake for dessert.

So with all the wedding festivities and Thanksgiving behind us, it is now time to start thinking about the upcoming Chanukah and Christmas holidays. I'd like to feature some of your favorite holiday traditions,gift ideas and shopping websites over the next few weeks, so please share those with me soon.

Have a wonderful week ahead.....


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - November 18, 2007

Hi all,

Mary took Jan, Christie, Andrea, Laila and me on an "oldie but goodie" walk heading east off of Marshall Road; then we headed over to Caffe Sole. Nice way to start the weekend!
Some of us are headed out of town for Thanksgiving and some of us are hosting the big event - check below for some of our recipes and tips to make preparation easier.

Book Report:

I finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and would certainly recommend it - it is a poignant story that is sometimes emotionally tough to read. I was completely engaged with the characters and circus life in the early part of the 20th century. It is also a revealing look at aging in our culture. (see last week's blog for a professional review)

I'm still plodding through Jane Hamilton's When Madeline Was Young - jury's still out on that one. (see last week's blog for a professional review)

Jexy and her book group recently read Atonement by Ian McEwan.

From Publishers Weekly
This haunting novel, which just failed to win the Booker this year, is at once McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, and his most sweeping and expansive. It is in effect two, or even three, books in one, all masterfully crafted. The first part ushers us into a domestic crisis that becomes a crime story centered around an event that changes the lives of half a dozen people in an upper-middle-class country home on a hot English summer's day in 1935. Young Briony Tallis, a hyperimaginative 13-year-old who sees her older sister, Cecilia, mysteriously involved with their neighbor Robbie Turner, a fellow Cambridge student subsidized by the Tallis family, points a finger at Robbie when her young cousin is assaulted in the grounds that night; on her testimony alone, Robbie is jailed. The second part of the book moves forward five years to focus on Robbie, now freed and part of the British Army that was cornered and eventually evacuated by a fleet of small boats at Dunkirk during the early days of WWII. This is an astonishingly imagined fresco that bares the full anguish of what Britain in later years came to see as a kind of victory. In the third part, Briony becomes a nurse amid wonderfully observed scenes of London as the nation mobilizes. No, she doesn't have Robbie as a patient, but she begins to come to terms with what she has done and offers to make amends to him and Cecilia, now together as lovers. In an ironic epilogue that is yet another coup de the tre, McEwan offers Briony as an elderly novelist today, revisiting her past in fact and fancy and contributing a moving windup to the sustained flight of a deeply novelistic imagination. With each book McEwan ranges wider, and his powers have never been more fully in evidence than here. Author tour. (Mar. 19)Forecast: McEwan's work has been building a strong literary readership, and the brilliantly evoked prewar and wartime scenes here should extend that; expect strong results from handselling to the faithful. The cover photo of a stately English home nicely establishes the novel's atmosphere.

Website of the Week: Reading Glasses: The Wine Club for Book Clubs - now this is something I could get excited about! "Women & Wine knows that part of the fun of getting together with your book group is connecting with friends and sharing a glass of wine. That's why Women & Wine created Reading Glasses Wine Club for Book Clubs. For only $12-15 per person (including tax and shipping), you'll receive wine that is paired to suit the setting or theme of the book that your group is discussing. We'll also enclose tasting notes and suggestions of what food or cheese to serve to make the experience complete."

Podcast of the Week: WGBH's Morning Stories

Vocabulary Word of the Week: Akimbo - this word appeared in Water for Elephants and it really appealed to me!
Akimbo is a human body position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward, or bent/bowed in a more general sense [citation needed] (e.g. "the sailor sat with his legs akimbo").
A person with arms akimbo

Cooking and Dining Report:

For those of you who like mussels, here's a great recipe - Jack and I had this the other night: Spaghetti with Mussels, Tomatoes and Oregano

Here are two yummy vegetarian recipes from Terri:

Peruvian Quinoa Stew
½ cup quinoa
1 cup summer squash (I used zucchini)
2 cup onion (I used 1 cup chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 bell pepper (I used red)
28 oz tomato (chopped tomatoes)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 clove garlic
½ tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano

Cook quinoa in one cup water, set aside.
Chop all veggies.
Sauté onion and garlic for five mins, add carrot and celery, cook for another five mins. Add remaining ingredients and cook covered for 15-20 mins until veggies are tender.
Stir in quinoa and serve.
Can be topped off with cheese (cheddar or jack) and fresh cilantro.
4 HUGE servings.

Roquefort Pear Salad
1 head leaf lettuce torn into bite size pieces
3 pears -- peeled, cored and chopped
5 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled (I used feta)
1 avocado -- peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup pecans

1/3 cup olive oil
3 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool and break into pieces.

For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.

In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans and serve.
Are you responsible for an appetizer or side dish on "Turkey Day"? Here are a few suggestions:

Mary's Artichoke Dip
Blend 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1 cup sour cream. Add 1/3 cup finely chopped onion, 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped fine. Mix thoroughly. Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Bake @ 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes until top starts to brown.

Mary's recipe for steamed carrots:
Combine a bag of mini-carrots, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup white wine. Steam over low heat for about 45 minutes in a tightly sealed pan.

Susan's Herbed Summer Squash (you could use yellow squash or zucchini) and Potato Torte With Parmesan from Bon Appetit - - this is great to make ahead and then just zap in the microwave at the last minute.

Susan's Sauteed Mushrooms with Oregano from Romeo Salta - a great old restaurant in NY - this recipe serves 4 but it is easily doubled. The mushrooms do cook down quite a bit so always make more than you think you need - they won't go to waste. This is a must have at all of our holiday dinners.

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (not too large), leave whole
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Wash and dry the mushrooms. Heat the oil in a skillet; mix in the mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano.
2. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

A few Turkey Day tips:
Use kitchen string or folded cheesecloth to create a sling for your turkey before you put it in the oven - makes lifting it out of the pan so much easier.
Use cheesecloth to create a bag for your stuffing - makes removing it from the cavity so much easier.
Consider a brine to turn out a really moist, flavorful turkey -
Try a ricer to make your mashed potatoes -
If you need a place to go for a great meal and good company on Thanksgiving, go to Mary's house!

We're off to Louisville, Kentucky to join Libby and David, Cora and David and their family for Thanksgiving and then a wedding celebration with friends and family in Louisville. We'll be back next Saturday and I'm sure I'll have lots to tell you about the trip.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday - I am so grateful to have all of you in my life.



Saturday Morning Walkers - November 11, 2007

Hi everyone!

What a glorious and warm weekend it has been - we did enjoy a great walk yesterday morning - led by Jan, we walked the beautiful CU campus and had coffee and carrot cake (thanks to Christie!). After coffee, Jan, Laila, Barb and Christie headed to a lecture at CU while Mary and I headed back to our cars. Andrea did meet us for coffee also. I've enjoyed a pretty relaxing weekend - reading, movies, cooking! No events to get ready for!
I am sorry I missed last week's "field trip" to the Chapungu Sculpure Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens .

Here is Jackie's report:
"It was spectacular. The day was warm with a stunningly sunny sky, just right for experiencing the sculpture. They are enormous, emotional, sometimes sad, sometimes funny (especially the leap-frogging children!), and deeply moving. Being the artsy women we are, we cruised, appreciated, chatted, then ATE.
Lunch at the Botanic Gardens was surprisingly good. Our selections included: spicy (as in make your eyeballs fall out on the table) chicken soup, quesadilla with lots of peppers, big chunks of chicken and plentiful cups of sour cream and salsa, turkey wrap, and grilled tortilla with chicken, salsa and sour cream. Everything was yummy. Laila summed it up perfectly: "The food in this little one person stall was very good."
Not ones to cut an outing too short, we stopped at COSTCO on the way back to Boulder to do some party shopping for Barb . More food, of course. Consensus was that retailers change things just to make us see red when we're in a hurry. !#*$&!
Good friends, good sculpture, good food, and a good time was had by all."

Book Report:

Jan is reading/listening to 2 books right now - she's reading an interesting non-fiction book by Oliver Sacks called Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.
From Publishers Weekly
Sacks is an unparalleled chronicler of modern medicine, and fans of his work will find much to enjoy when he turns his prodigious talent for observation to music and its relationship to the brain. The subtitle aptly frames the book as a series of medical case studies-some in-depth, some abruptly short. The tales themselves range from the relatively mundane (a song that gets stuck on a continuing loop in one's mind) through the uncommon (Tourette's or Parkinson's patients whose symptoms are calmed by particular kinds of music) to the outright startling (a man struck by lightning subsequently developed a newfound passion and talent for the concert piano). In this latest collection, Sacks introduces new and fascinating characters, while also touching on the role of music in some of his classic cases (the man who mistook his wife for a hat makes a brief appearance). Though at times the narrative meanders, drawing connections through juxtaposition while leaving broader theories to be inferred by the reader, the result is greater than the sum of its parts. This book leaves one a little more attuned to the remarkable complexity of human beings, and a bit more conscious of the role of music in our lives

Jan is listening to Elie Wiesel's Night - a powerful memoir about his experience as a survivor of the Holocaust.
In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died.

Andrea recently read Alice Sebold's new novel, The Almost Moon. Sebold's last novel was The Lovely Bones - a huge success!

From Publishers Weekly
Sebold's disappointing second novel (after much-lauded The Lovely Bones) opens with the narrator's statement that she has killed her mother. Helen Knightly, herself the mother of two daughters and an art class model old enough to be the mother of the students who sketch her nude figure, is the dutiful but resentful caretaker for her senile 88-year-old mother, Clair. One day, traumatized by the stink of Clair's voided bowels and determined to bathe her, Helen succumbs to a life-long dream and smothers Clair, who had sucked the life out of [Helen] day by day, year by year. After dragging Clair's corpse into the cellar and phoning her ex-husband to confess her crime, Helen has sex with her best friend's 30-year-old blond-god doofus son. Jumping between past and present, Sebold reveals the family's fractured past (insane, agoraphobic mother; tormented father, dead by suicide) and creates a portrait of Clair that resembles Sebold's own mother as portrayed in her memoir, Lucky. While Helen has clearly suffered at her mother's hands, the matricide is woefully contrived, and Helen's handling of the body and her subsequent actions seem almost slapstick. Sebold can write, that's clear, but her sophomore effort is not in line with her talent

Susan is juggling two books right now - I'm listening to an audio book of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and reading When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton. Ususally, when I'm juggling two books, one is fiction and the other is non-fiction. I do have to say that the audio book is winning out over the paperback book. I may have to put that aside until I finish Water for Elephants. Jexy and Rae have both read and recommend this book.

Water for Elephants -

From Publishers Weekly
With its spotlight on elephants, Gruen's romantic page-turner hinges on the human-animal bonds that drove her debut and its sequel (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes)—but without the mass appeal that horses hold. The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. When 23-year-old Jankowski learns that his parents have been killed in a car crash, leaving him penniless, he drops out of Cornell veterinary school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus, where he cares for a menagerie of exotic creatures[...] He also falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers—a romance complicated by Marlena's husband, the unbalanced, sadistic circus boss who beats both his wife and the animals Jankowski cares for. Despite her often clichéd prose and the predictability of the story's ending, Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes and freaks who populate her book

When Madeline Was Young -

From Publishers Weekly
An unusual ménage poses moral questions in this fifth novel (after Disobedience) from Hamilton, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for The Book of Ruth. Aaron and Julia Maciver are living in a 1950s Chicago suburb with their two children—and with Aaron's first wife, Madeline. Aaron has insisted on caring for Madeline after she suffered a brain injury soon after their wedding, leaving her with the mental capacity of a seven-year-old. Refusing to consider this arrangement inconvenient, Julia treats the often-demanding Madeline like a beloved daughter, even letting her snuggle in bed with Aaron and herself when Madeline becomes distraught at night. Decades later, the Macivers' son, Mac, now a middle-aged family practitioner with a wife and teenage daughters, prepares to attend the funeral of his estranged cousin's son, killed in Iraq, and muses about the meaning, and the emotional costs, of the liberal values of his parents. Hamilton brings characteristic empathy to the complex issues at the core of this patiently built novel, but the narrative doesn't take any clear direction. Though Mac suggests there are "gothic possibilities" in his parents' story (partly inspired, Hamilton says, by Elizabeth Spencer's The Light in the Piazza), the Macivers' passions remain tepid and unresolved, and Julia remains an enigma to her son.

Website/Blog of the Week - - Get Rich Slowly....."Personal finance that makes cents"

Podcast of the Week - Agatha Christie Radio Mysteries - go to and do a search for Agatha Christie - fun old-time radio

Vocabulary Word of the Week - xenophobia

From Wikipedia - Xenophobia is a fear or contempt of foreigners or strangers and people .[1] comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "foreigner," "stranger," and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear." The term is typically used to describe fear or dislike of foreigners or in general of people different from one's self.
For more info about xenophobia and how it is distinguished from racism or prejudice, go to

Cooking and Dining Report:

Two great recipes to share:

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara from Emeril Lagasse - this is great because it doesn't use cream or butter but tastes like it does!,1977,FOOD_9936_10210,00.html

Sweet Potato Soup from Sunset Magazine - I made this today to bring to book group tomorrow - had a little taste and it is yummy! The recipe says that it serves 25 as one of several appetizers at an appetizer party. Serve in demitasse size cups. To make it completely vegetarian, substitute chopped chives for the prosciutto chip garnish. You can make both the soup and the prosciutto chips up to 3 days ahead chilled in an airtight container.

1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 large leek (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced, rinsed and drained
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs orange sweet potatoes, (often labeled "yams"), peeled and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces.
About 1 1/2 t coarse kosher salt
About 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
1/4 cup heavy cream
Chopped chives (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Put sweet potatoes in pot, add 3 cups water, 1 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Increase heat to high, bringing to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup until smooth.

2. Prepare the garnish. Spread prosciutto slices on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. (watch carefully, as they can burn quickly) Let prosciutto cool completely on baking sheet (about 1 hour), then crumble into tiny pieces and set aside.

3. Transfer pureed soup to a clean pot set over medium-low heat. Stir in cream and up to 2 cups water (enough to make soup easy to drink out of cups). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup hot, in demitasse cups, garnished with prosciutto or chives, if you like.

That's it for now - have a great week. I do have a request - I'd like to feature some Thanksgiving favorites next week - send me your family favorites and tips for the perfect turkey and I'll include them in next week's blog.


Saturday Morning Walkers - November 6, 2007

Hi everyone!

Sorry to be late with this blog entry but this is the first opportunity I've had to write since returning from Libby and David's wedding in New York. It was an amazing weekend - starting with a lovely dinner on Thursday evening with David's parents at the Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut; Friday night was the "rehearsal" dinner at John's Pizza in the West Village; Saturday night was the wedding at the Blue HIll at Stone Barns in Westchester County, NY. I'll give some food details later on but I must tell you that Libby was a beautiful bride and David a handsome groom and both were amazingly gracious hosts. We all had a wonderful time at this most memorable occasion.

I do have a book to report on - Lib asked me to pick out a good book for her honeymoon in Cabo.

Both Jexy and Rae recommend Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

From Publishers Weekly
With its spotlight on elephants, Gruen's romantic page-turner hinges on the human-animal bonds that drove her debut and its sequel (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes)—but without the mass appeal that horses hold. The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. When 23-year-old Jankowski learns that his parents have been killed in a car crash, leaving him penniless, he drops out of Cornell veterinary school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus, where he cares for a menagerie of exotic creatures[...] He also falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers—a romance complicated by Marlena's husband, the unbalanced, sadistic circus boss who beats both his wife and the animals Jankowski cares for. Despite her often clichéd prose and the predictability of the story's ending, Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes and freaks who populate her book. (May 26)

Website of the Week - - find, price and compare wines

Podcast of the Week - Diane Rehm's interview with Judith Viorst broadcast on Thursday, November 1

Vocabulary Word of the Week - enoteca
Enoteca. A wine store. Also a place to drink wine, often with small snacks.

Cooking and Dining Report - here's a brief review of some of the fine dining experiences we had this weekend in New York/Connecticut - as many of you know, great cooking and fine food is pretty important in our family. Although Libby was pretty particular in her eating habits as a child, she has certainly broadened her horizons and along with David has developed a tremendous appreciation for great food. This was certainly evident in their dining choices for their wedding weekend.

Dinner with Libby, David and David's parents, Cora and David at the Homestead Inn in Greenwich Connecticut - - a very beautiful inn and restaurant in the tradition of southern New England. The decor, menu, service and company were outstanding.

Rehearsal Dinner at Libby and David's favorite pizza place at John's Pizza in the West Village of New York - what a fun, relaxed place to usher in the wedding festivities! Great pizza, calzone, meatballs and topped off with cupcakes from the renowned Magnolia Bakery The evening was capped off by a visit to a private room in a karaoke club, Karaoke One 7. We had a great time!!

Wedding Dinner at Blue HIll at Stone Barns in Pocantico HIlls, New York - -
Blue Hill at Stone Barns combines a working farm, restaurant, and educational center in the spectacular surroundings of Pocantico Hills, New York, revitalizing a collection of barns and creating a space that highlights the abundant resources of the Hudson Valley. The menu was just outstanding - a salad of field greens, fennel, pistachio nuts topped with a soft-boiled egg, cavatelli pasta with woodsy mushrooms, sliced beef, tender and rare and a very unique chocolate bread pudding for dessert. The accompanying wines were perfect!

Jack and I had dinner Sunday night with Jeff at Mario Batali's Otto's Pizzeria and Enoteca in Greenwich Village near NYU - we shared a selection of cheeses - tallegio, gorgonzola and pecorino - along with some proscuitto. Jeff had an arugula salad with tomatoes and we all shared a clam and mozzarella pizza - yum!

Two hotel recommendations if any of you find yourselves traveling to New York City and want to stay in Greenwich Village or Soho. Both of these areas give you an opportunity to discover two of the most interesting neighborhoods in Manhattan and offer a nice departure from the typical tourist spots of mid-town Manhattan. Most of the wedding guests stayed either at 60 Thompson, a small boutique hotel in Soho or the Washington Square Hotel, a small and more affordable hotel right on Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village

Oh - I almost forgot to mention our wonderful brunch on Saturday morning at the famous Katz's Delicatessan on the lower East Side. This is the real deal if you want authentic New York Jewish deli fare - also was the site of that famous scene from When Harry Met Sally. We shared goodies such as kugel (noodle pudding), knishes, pickles, chopped liver, and potato latkes. Jacob and I shared a salami sandwich!

Whooo - that's it for now! Hope you all have a great week ahead!



Saturday Morning Walkers - June 24, 2007

Hi everyone,

I'm actually writing this just before leaving LA - it will be pretty late when we get home tonight so thought I'd get this written now. We've had a great weekend here celebrating Jacob's "graduation" from the Garden School. It has been such a wonderful, warm place for Jacob and the whole family - we will all miss it! Jacob will be moving on to kindergarten in the Fall at the Odyssey Charter School in Altadena. We got to visit his classroom on Friday and it promises to be an enriching and progressive place for him to be. Jexy is pretty excited about getting involved along with several other Garden School families who will be there as well.

Hope our "walkers" had a great morning on Saturday - missed you all!

Book Report -

Susan finished Walking on Eggshells by Jane Isay this week - this was recommended a couple of weeks ago by Jackie - see June 9 post - definitely worth the read whether you are a parent of an adult child or if you are the adult child of an aging parent. Lots of wisdom here - nothing we don't already know but worth being reminded.

Jexy and Jacob are just finishing up Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean - a sequel to J.M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan. They are really enjoying it - I may check it out myself.
Book Description:
In August 2004 the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, who hold the copyright in Peter Pan, launched a worldwide search for a writer to create a sequel to J.M. Barrie's timeless masterpiece. Renowned and multi award-winning English author Geraldine McCaughrean won the honor to write this official sequel, Peter Pan in Scarlet. Illustrated by Scott M. Fischer and set in the 1930s, Peter Pan in Scarlet takes readers flying back to Neverland in an adventure filled with tension, danger, and swashbuckling derring-do! \

Jexy read and recommends - AlternaDad by Neal Pollack - a light-hearted memoir about becoming a parent and family

From Publishers Weekly
His novel Never Mind the Pollacks, a hilarious treat, used a fictional "Neal Pollack" to parody the excesses and idiocy of current pop culture. But his self-awareness becomes more self-indulgent (though still witty) in this straightforward memoir of life with his artist wife, the couple's decision a few years ago to have a baby and the attendant strains that his son, Elijah, wreaks on their hipster lifestyle. Pollack details the kind of problems that can be found in almost every memoir on child-rearing, from how to clean up baby poop to figuring out how best to be a "Dad" while being a friend. But he never really defines what it is that makes his parenting so alternative other than that he wants to be a parent and still get high and stay out late. Nevertheless, Pollack hasn't lost his flair for tongue-in-cheek commentary ("I'd begun exerting cultural control over my son; I was going to shape his mind until he was exactly like me").

Jack is currently reading and really loving The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon (Ayelet Waldman's husband)
From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Jess Walter They are the "frozen Chosen," two million people living, dying and kvetching in Sitka, Alaska, the temporary homeland established for displaced World War II Jews in Chabon's ambitious and entertaining new novel. It is—deep breath now—a murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller, so perhaps it's no surprise that, in the back half of the book, the moving parts become unwieldy; Chabon is juggling narrative chainsaws here.The novel begins—the same way that Philip Roth launched The Plot Against America—with a fascinating historical footnote: what if, as Franklin Roosevelt proposed on the eve of World War II, a temporary Jewish settlement had been established on the Alaska panhandle? Roosevelt's plan went nowhere, but Chabon runs the idea into the present, back-loading his tale with a haunting history. Israel failed to get a foothold in the Middle East, and since the Sitka solution was only temporary, Alaskan Jews are about to lose their cold homeland. The book's timeless refrain: "It's a strange time to be a Jew."Into this world arrives Chabon's Chandler-ready hero, Meyer Landsman, a drunken rogue cop who wakes in a flophouse to find that one of his neighbors has been murdered. With his half-Tlingit, half-Jewish partner and his sexy-tough boss, who happens also to be his ex-wife, Landsman investigates a fascinating underworld of Orthodox black-hat gangs and crime-lord rabbis. Chabon's "Alyeska" is an act of fearless imagination, more evidence of the soaring talent of his previous genre-blender, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.Eventually, however, Chabon's homage to noir feels heavy-handed, with too many scenes of snappy tough-guy banter and too much of the kind of elaborate thriller plotting that requires long explanations and offscreen conspiracies.Chabon can certainly write noir—or whatever else he wants; his recent Sherlock Holmes novel, The Final Solution, was lovely, even if the New York Times Book Review sniffed its surprise that the mystery novel would "appeal to the real writer." Should any other snobs mistake Chabon for anything less than a real writer, this book offers new evidence of his peerless storytelling and style. Characters have skin "as pale as a page of commentary" and rough voices "like an onion rolling in a bucket." It's a solid performance that would have been even better with a little more Yiddish and a little less police.

Website of the Week - featuring Johns Hopkins professor PM Forni with his perspective on behaving with civility in our increasingly "un-civil" world. He is a frequent contributor on The Satellite Sisters radio talk show.

Podcast of the Week
NPR's This I Believe - based on the 1950's series with Edward R. Murrow

Vocabulary Word of the Week - schadenfreude
schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others.

That the report of Sebastian Imhof's grave illness might also have been tinged with Schadenfreude appears not to have crossed Lucas's mind.
-- Steven Ozment, Flesh and Spirit

He died three years after me -- cancer too -- and at that time I was still naive enough to imagine that what the afterlife chiefly provided were unrivalled opportunities for unbeatable gloating, unbelievable schadenfreude.
-- Will Self, How The Dead Live

Somewhere out there, Pi supposed, some UC Berkeley grad students must be shivering with a little Schadenfreude of their own about what had happened to her.
-- Sylvia Brownrigg, The Metaphysical Touch

The historian Peter Gay -- who felt Schadenfreude as a Jewish child in Nazi-era Berlin, watching the Germans lose coveted gold medals in the 1936 Olympics -- has said that it "can be one of the great joys of life."
-- Edward Rothstein, "Missing the Fun of a Minor Sin", New York Times, February 5, 2000

Schadenfreude comes from the German, from Schaden, "damage" + Freude, "joy." It is often capitalized, as it is in German.

Cooking and Food Report - some pretty good food and cooking this week but not much out of my kitchen:

Jexy made dinner on Thursday evenig and made this wonderful recipe from Sunset Magazine -
Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Sage Butter

On Saturday we had a potluck at Jacob's school

Jexy made our family favorite Noodle Pudding (kugel) - this recipe appears in a very early post - you can simply do a search on the blog.

Charlotte's mom, Lori, made the Barefoot Contessa Macaroni and Cheese from the Family Style cookbook - luscious and terrific for a big group! You'll notice that the recipes call for sliced tomatoes on top - Lori didn't do that and I certainly didn't miss them although a nice tomato salad on the side would work well.,1977,FOOD_9936_32868,00.html

Susan made a new appetizer from Giada de Laurentiis - I tried this out earlier in the week and then made them for the potluck - I think they're great and it would be fun to try different toppings. Next time I might try grilling the polenta tartlets before topping them.
Chicken and Polenta Tartlets,1977,FOOD_9936_37043,00.html


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - October 28, 2007

Hi everyone!

We had a short but lovely walk Saturday morning along the Aquarius Trail before heading over to a very special breakfast at the Huckleberry in Louisville. We were delighted to have Terri's friend, Hopeton, join Christie, Barb, Mary, Jan, Andrea and me. I was the "guest of honor" at this particular breakfast celebrating the Grillo Center Labyrinth. You "knocked my socks off" with a gift of a lovingly created collage displaying memorabilia featuring the Grillo Health Information Center, the Labyrinth and most of all our friendship. I wish you all could have been there to celebrate with us.

Book Report:
Terri is reading Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point. I read this several years ago and just found it so fascinating.

From Publishers Weekly
The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened. (Paul Revere, for example, was a Maven and a Connector). Gladwell's applications of his "tipping point" concept to current phenomena--such as the drop in violent crime in New York, the rebirth of Hush Puppies suede shoes as a suburban mall favorite, teenage suicide patterns and the efficiency of small work units--may arouse controversy. For example, many parents may be alarmed at his advice on drugs: since teenagers' experimentation with drugs, including cocaine, seldom leads to hardcore use, he contends, "We have to stop fighting this kind of experimentation. We have to accept it and even embrace it." While it offers a smorgasbord of intriguing snippets summarizing research on topics such as conversational patterns, infants' crib talk, judging other people's character, cheating habits in schoolchildren, memory sharing among families or couples, and the dehumanizing effects of prisons, this volume betrays its roots as a series of articles for the New Yorker, where Gladwell is a staff writer: his trendy material feels bloated and insubstantial in book form.

Andrea read Ann Patchett's new novel, Run. Patchett wrote one of my favorite novels, Bel Canto and a wonderful memoir, Truth and Beauty. I can't wait to read this one!

From Publishers Weekly
SignatureReviewed by Andrew O'HaganNovelists can no longer take it as an insult when people say their novels are like good television, because the finest American television is better written than most novels. Ann Patchett's new one has the texture, the pace and the fairy tale elegance of a half dozen novels she might have read and loved growing up, but the magic and the finesse of Run is really much closer to that of Six Feet Under or ER or The Sopranos, and that is good news for everybody, not least her readers.Bernadette and Bernard Doyle were a Boston couple who wanted to have a big lively family. They had one boy, Sullivan, and then adopted two black kids, Teddy and Tip. Mr. Doyle is a former mayor of Boston and he continues his interest in politics, hoping his boys will shape up one day for elected office, though none of them seems especially keen. Bernadette dies when the adopted kids are just four, and much of the book offers a placid requiem to her memory in particular and to the force of motherhood in lives generally. An old statue from Bernadette's side of the family seems to convey miracles, and there will be more than one before this gracious book is done. One night, during a heavy snowfall, Teddy and Tip accompany their father to a lecture given by Jessie Jackson at the Kennedy Centre. Tip is preoccupied with studying fish, so he feels more than a little coerced by his father. After the lecture they get into an argument and Tip walks backwards in the road. A car appears out of nowhere and so does a woman called Tennessee, who pushes Tip out of the car's path and is herself struck. Thus, a woman is taken to hospital and her daughter, Kenya, is left in the company of the Doyles. Relationships begin both to emerge and unravel, disclosing secrets, hopes, fears. Run is a novel with timeless concerns at its heart—class and belonging, parenthood and love—and if it wears that heart on its sleeve, then it does so with confidence. And so it should: the book is lovely to read and is satisfyingly bold in its attempt to say something patient and true about family. Patchett knows how to wear big human concerns very lightly, and that is a continuing bonus for those who found a great deal to admire in her previous work, especially the ultra-lauded Bel Canto. Yet one should not mistake that lightness for anything cosmetic: Run is a book that sets out inventively to contend with the temper of our times, and by the end we feel we really know the Doyle family in all its intensity and with all its surprises

I read, for the first time, the classic Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. I suspect many of you read this years ago in school. It is definitely worth a re-read. Although this book was written in the 1940's in South Africa, it is certainly relevant today. It really is a moving story about love of country and family.

Book Description
Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much."
The most famous and important novel in South Africa's history, and an immediate worldwide bestseller when it was published in 1948, Alan Paton's impassioned novel about a black man's country under white man's law is a work of searing beauty. The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, "We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad; many novels from poets, almost all thin. In Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony."

Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man

Website of the Week: - share your stories around food and support a worthy cause

Podcast of the Week: - a fun podcast and site all about junk food!

Vocabulary Word of the Week - Maven
From Wikipedia: A maven (also mavin or mayvin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass his or her knowledge on to others.

The word comes from the Yiddish meyvn and Hebrew mevin (מבֿין), with the same meaning, which in turn derives from the Hebrew binah, meaning understanding. It was first recorded in English around 1952, and popularized in the 1960s by a series of commercials for [Vita Herring] created by Martin Solow, featuring "The Beloved Herring Maven." The “Beloved Herring Maven “ ran in radio ads from 1964-1968, and was then brought back in 1983 with Allan Swift, the original voice of the Maven, is preparing for his dramatic return [1]. Many sites credit Vita with popularizing the word Maven. An example of print advertisement including the Maven: 1965 Hadassah News Let. Apr. 30 (advt.) Get Vita at your favorite supermarket, grocery or delicatessen. Tell them the beloved Maven sent you. It won’t save you any money: but you’ll get the best herring.
Since the 1980s it has become more common since William Safire adapted it to describe himself ("the language maven"). The word is mainly confined to American English, but had not yet appeared with the publication of the 1976 edition of Webster's Third New International Dictionary.
In network theory and sociology, a maven is someone who has a disproportionate influence on other members of the network. The role of mavens in propagating knowledge and preferences has been established in various domains, from politics to social trends.
Malcolm Gladwell used it in his book The Tipping Point (Little Brown, 2000) to describe those who are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends. The popularity of the work of Safire and Gladwell has made the word particularly widely used in their particular contexts. Gladwell also suggests that mavens may act most effectively when in collaboration with connectors - i.e.: those people who have wide network of casual acquaintances by whom they are trusted, often a network that crosses many social boundaries and groups. Connectors can thus easily and widely distribute the advice or insight of a maven.
In The Tipping Point, Gladwell described a "maven trap" as a method of obtaining information from mavens. In the book he gave the example of the toll-free telephone number on the back of a bar of Ivory soap, which one could call with questions or comments about the product. Gladwell's opinion is that only those who are passionate or knowledgeable about soap would bother to call and that this is a method by which the company could inexpensively glean valuable information about their market.
In The Human Fabric (Aviri, 2004), Bijoy Goswami uses the term to describe one of three core energies in people, organizations and society.
Some have identified the maven not just as a Jewish word, but as a Jewish concept. One site on Jewish language states, "A maven is an expert, and it's something that every Jew thinks he is on every subject that exists." [1] [unreliable source?] Jewish radio talk show host Barry Farber would often say, "I am the world's foremost expert on my own opinion". This highlights the fact that a maven being self-appointed, following his advice is an act of faith.
In the computerized version of the game Scrabble, the computer player is named Maven.
The term is used heavily in stock market related spam emails.[citation needed]
Cooking and Dining Report:

Not much cooking going on here until today - I made Giada de Laurentiis' Braciole - a stuffed and rolled flank steak - which I've posted before but just in case you missed it......,1977,FOOD_9936_25307,00.html.

I do have a fun Halloween treat which I found in the Daily Camera this week and plan to make with Lauren and Evan, the little girls I take care of in Longmont.

Spider Cookies - makes 6 treats
(12) 3" chocolate cookies
(12) cherry or strawberry licorice twists
1 can chocolate frosting
12 red hot candies

Frost the tops of 6 of the cookies
Split the licorice twists lengthwise and then cut in half, so that you end up with 48 legs. Place 4 legs on each side of each cookie so that they are sticking out when you cover with the remaining cookies.
Frost the top of each cookie sandwich.
Place 2 red hot candies for eyes poking out one end.

A great new specialty food shop has opened in Boulder - it is called Oliv You & Me. It opened just a couple of weeks ago at 2043 Broadway between Pearl and Spruce, next door to Design Within Reach. It is locally owned by two sisters and is getting ready to launch a website called The shop is lovely and welcoming, with a few tables to sit down and enjoy a cup of espresso and a sweet treat. There are olive oils, vinegars, and other wonderful delicacies to try and bring home. The owners are Jody Spence and Patti Scott and along with their families have a created a wonderful addition to Boulder's shopping scene. Do check it out soon. As soon as their website is launched, even those of you from out-of-town will be able to enjoy these treats.

That's all for now - we'll be heading to New York in just a few days for Libby and David's wedding. We're so looking forward to finally meeting Cora and David Potter, David's parents. We get to have a nice quiet dinner with them on Thursday. My post will probably be late next week but should be chocked full of buzz about New York and the wedding..

Have a great week,

Saturday Morning Walkers - October 21, 2007

Hi everyone!

Well it was quite a big weekend here! Rae and Lynn flew in on Friday night to help me celebrate the dedication of the Grillo Center Labyrinth. Rae joined us on our walk Saturday morning out at Walden Ponds - it was a perfect morning and the walk was just delightful. We hooked up with Lynn after breakfast and checked out the labyrinth while the sun was shining and then headed over to the Farmers Market. We had a wonderful day together on Saturday - did a bit of shopping, had a late lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then fixed a wonderful dinner at home that I'll tell you about later. Also, don't miss the Words of Wisdom and poem at the end of this post.

As predicted (for once, the weather forecasters were correct), Sunday was cold and wet! After a morning of indecision, we unhappily did cancel the public dedication. However, once that decision was made, we invited several of our friends and supporters over to our house for a more intimate celebration. We certainly had plenty of food and drinks and it turned out to be a wonderful event. It was a perfect way to celebrate the labyrinth and acknowledge our designers, George and Melanie, and our friends and supporters. For those of you who weren't able to be there, you certainly were in my heart and I thank you all for your enduring love and support.

Book Report:

Barb just finished Cormac McCarthy's new novel, The Road. She does recommend it and found it quite thought provoking.
Best known for his Border Trilogy, hailed in the San Francisco Chronicle as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century," Cormac McCarthy has written ten rich and often brutal novels, including the bestselling No Country for Old Men, and The Road. Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we've read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. Read his glowing review below. --Daphne Durham


Guest Reviewer: Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane, master of the hard-boiled thriller, generated a cult following with his series about private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, wowed readers with the intense and gut-wrenching Mystic River, blew fans all away with the mind-bending Shutter Island, and switches gears with Coronado, his new collection of gritty short stories (and one play).

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith. --Dennis Lehane

Lynn was reading (and I think finished) Ann Packer's new novel, Songs Without Words. It looks like a winner and another triumph for Packer after her first novel, The Dive From Clausen's Pier.

From Publishers Weekly
Packer follows her well-received first novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, with a richly nuanced meditation on the place of friendship in women's lives. Liz and Sarabeth's childhood friendship deepened following Sarabeth's mother's suicide when the girls were 16; now the two women are in their 40s and living in the Bay Area. Responsible mother-of-two Liz has come to see eccentric, bohemian Sarabeth, with her tendency to enter into inappropriate relationships with men, as more like another child than as a sister or mutually supportive friend. When Liz's teenage daughter, Lauren, perpetuates a crisis, Liz doubts her parenting abilities; Sarabeth is plunged into uncomfortable memories; and the hidden fragilities of what seemed a steadfast relationship come to the fore. Packer adroitly navigates Lauren's teen despair, Sarabeth's lonely longings and Liz's feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Although Liz's husband, Brody, and other men in the book are less than compelling, Packer gets deep into the perspectives of Liz, Sarabeth and Lauren, and follows out their conflicts with an unsentimental sympathy

Rae and I picked up two books at Costco yesterday - Rae started Ursula Hegi's new novel, The Worse Thing I've Done and I bought Gail Tsukiyama's new novel, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms. We have both read Ursula Hegi before and I just love Gail Tsukiyama's novels. We'll report on those soon.

Website of the Week - - you may have seen Kris Carr on Oprah today (Monday) - she is living with 4th stage cancer and has produced a documentary film on her experience as a cancer patient - very inspiring and somewhat irreverant!

Podcast of the Week - - Diane Rehm's interview with Andrea Barrett, the novelist who has written The Air We Breathe. It sounds like a fascinating book that deals with the tuberculosis epidemic just before WWI and life in the sanitoriums located in NY's Adirondack Mountains.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - labyrinth
From Wikipedia: for a full description, check out

Cultural meanings
Prehistoric labyrinths are believed to have served as traps for malevolent spirits or as defined paths for ritual dances. In medieval times, the labyrinth symbolized a hard path to God with a clearly defined center (God) and one entrance (birth).

Labyrinths can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence.

Many newly-made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Labyrinths are used by modern mystics to help achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets his mind. The result is a relaxed mental attitude, free of internal dialog. This is a form of meditation. Many people believe that meditation has health benefits as well as spiritual benefits. The Labyrinth Society provides a locator for modern labyrinths in North America.

Cooking and Dining Report: Two recipes to share this week:

Lunch on Sunday was Camden Yard Crabcakes -,1977,FOOD_9936_11929,00.html - an old favorite from Baltimore

Dinner on Saturday was Short Ribs with Tagliatelle from Giada De Laurentiis -,,FOOD_9936_34775,00.html - gets even better as a leftover! Oh, and I couldn't find Tagliatelle, a wide pasta noodle so I substituted papardelle. Any wide noodle would be great! Rae made sauteed spinach with pine nuts and raisins to go with this - delicious and a great accompaniment.

Words of Wisdom - this week we have some personal contributions - when Rae, Lynn and I were driving around Boulder over the weekend, we had a conversation about the GPS system in the car. Jack and I have named the voice of the GPS, Ophelia, and I was pointing out how much I enjoy having Ophelia in the car with me - she is not judgemental, I can curse at her if I don't agree with her directions and best of all, she doesn't get upset if you make a wrong turn. She simply points out that she is "recalculating". Rae declared that we should adopt the term "recalculating" as a mantra that helps us get through the twists, turns and ups and downs of our lives. How many times a day are asked to "recalculate" where we are headed? Certainly, I clearly had that lesson on Sunday when plans for a public labryinth dedication were forced to be changed at the very last minute. We later amended the mantra to be "recalculating with grace". We invite you all to adopt this mantra.

Lynn shared a story about her brother and sister-in-law that is wonderful to share. Her brother was concerned about his appearance, was reassured by Lynn that he looked fine and then his wife declared that he should "proceed with confidence". We should all take those words to heart and proceed though our lives with confidence.

A poem to share with permission from Shirley A. Serviss - I found this poem on the intenet and shared it yesterday at our celebration:
Step by Step
by Shirley A. Serviss

We enter the labyrinth--this sacred space--
not knowing our way, not knowing how the day
will unfold, what the outcome may be.
In the labyrinth we have nothing to fear;
the path will become clear as we take one step
after the other. All we need do is keep on going.
All we need ever do is continue to take
the next step to see where it takes us.

We are each on our own journey,
can take our own time, move at our own pace.
The only race we´re in is the human one.
We are kin to all who walk this way,
searching for guidance in place of uncertainty,
hope in place of despair. Namaste-
our spirits greet each other as we meet on the path.

In the labyrinth, we move in circles, but are not lost.
We find our way through what appears to be a maze,
learning patience as it twists and turns, seemingly
taking too long, taking us further from our goal,
before it doubles back around, finally bringing us
to a place where all becomes clear.

Now we prepare to re-enter: our work, our world,
our lives. We make progress, only to regress--
no straight road to follow. We take comfort in the walking:
the meditative meandering of the labyrinth,
the guidance of the lines, the reassurance
we will find our way through the challenges we face
as we continue to place one foot in front of the other.

Have a terrific week ahead!


Saturday Morning Walkers - October 14, 2007

Hi everyone!

We had a great walk yesterday, starting at the Grillo Center Labyrinth and heading east on the Boulder Creek Path. After heading back for coffee at Vic's, we did our tour of the Farmers Market. I'm getting pretty excited about our upcoming dedication for the labyrinth on Sunday, October 21 from 4 - 6 PM. I hope that many of you are able to join us for the celebration. I'm happy to report that Randy is recovering well from his shoulder surgery.

Book Report:
Christie is reading 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. I read this and may have reported on it a while ago but it is worth mentioning again. It is a fascinating account of 9/11 at the World Trade Center by two journalists who really conducted a thorough investigation of that horrific event.

From Publishers Weekly
Drawn from thousands of radio transcripts, phone messages, e-mails and interviews with eyewitnesses, this 9/11 account comes from the perspective of those inside the World Trade Center from the moment the first plane hit at 8:46 a.m. to the collapse of the north tower at 10:28 a.m. The stories are intensely intimate, and they often stir gut-wrenching emotions. A law firm receptionist quietly eats yogurt at her desk seconds before impact. Injured survivors, sidestepping debris and bodies, struggle down a stairwell. A man trapped on the 88th floor leaves a phone message for his fiancée: "Kris, there's been an explosion.... I want you to know my life has been so much better and richer because you were in it." Dwyer and Flynn, New York Times writers, take rescue agencies to task for rampant communications glitches and argue that the towers' faulty design helped doom those above the affected floors ("Their fate had been sealed nearly four decades earlier, when... fire stairs were eliminated as a wasteful use of valuable space"). In doing so, the authors frequently draw parallels to similar safety oversights aboard the ill-fated Titanic nearly 90 years before. Their reporting skills are exceptional; readers experience the chaos and confusion that unfolded inside, in grim, painstaking detail. B&w photos.

Terri recently read Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. I can't actually report that she recommends it - she was pretty turned off by this amazing dysfunctional family.

From Publishers Weekly
"Bookman gave me attention. We would go for long walks and talk about all sorts of things. Like how awful the nuns were in his Catholic school when he was a kid and how you have to roll your lips over your teeth when you give a blowjob," writes Burroughs (Sellevision) about his affair, at age 13, with the 33-year-old son of his mother's psychiatrist. That his mother sent him to live with her shrink (who felt that the affair was good therapy for Burroughs) shows that this is not just another 1980s coming-of-age story. The son of a poet with a "wild mental imbalance" and a professor with a "pitch-black dark side," Burroughs is sent to live with Dr. Finch when his parents separate and his mother comes out as a lesbian. While life in the Finch household is often overwhelming (the doctor talks about masturbating to photos of Golda Meir while his wife rages about his adulterous behavior), Burroughs learns "your life [is] your own and no adult should be allowed to shape it for you." There are wonderful moments of paradoxical humor Burroughs, who accepts his homosexuality as a teen, rejects the squeaky-clean pop icon Anita Bryant because she was "tacky and classless" as well as some horrifying moments, as when one of Finch's daughters has a semi-breakdown and thinks that her cat has come back from the dead. Beautifully written with a finely tuned sense of style and wit the occasional clich‚ ("Life would be fabric-softener, tuna-salad-on-white, PTA-meeting normal") stands out anomalously this memoir of a nightmarish youth is both compulsively entertaining and tremendously provocative.

Website of the Week - - Chris discovered this stie which enables you to swap books with other members, paying only postage for the books you send out. With each book that you send out, you receive a credit towards a book that you may request.. A great way to pass along books that the used book stores reject!

Podcast of the Week - - Agatha Christie Radio Murder Mysteries

Vocabulary Word of the Week - sojourn:
sojourn \SOH-juhrn; so-JURN\, intransitive verb:
1. To stay as a temporary resident; to dwell for a time.

1. A temporary stay.

Though he has sojourned in Southwold, wandered in Walberswick, dabbled in Dunwich, ambled through Aldeburgh and blundered through Blythburgh, Smallweed has never set foot in Orford.
-- Smallweed, "The trouble with hope", The Guardian, April 14, 2001

Yet he is now an accomplished student and speaker of English, a literary editor and television producer, someone who has sojourned in Paris and attended the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
-- William H. Gass, "Family and Fable in Galilee", New York Times, April 17, 1988

As chance would have it, Degas's five-month sojourn in New Orleans coincided with an extraordinarily contentious period in the stormy political history of the city.
-- Christopher Benfey, Degas in New Orleans

During that long sojourn in Sligo, from 1870 to 1874, he had lessons from a much loved nursemaid, Ellie Connolly; later he received coaching in spelling and dictation from Esther Merrick, a neighbour who lived in the Sexton's house by St John's, and who read him quantities of verse.
-- R. F. Foster, W.B. Yeats: A Life, Vol. 1

Sojourn comes from Old French sojorner, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin subdiurnare, from Latin sub-, "under, a little over" + Late Latin diurnus, "lasting for a day," from Latin dies, "day."

Cooking and Dining Report:

Jack and I had a great dinner last night with Mae at an Italian restaurant in Littleton - Michael's Italian Bistro and Brewery - they had a great menu and we all enjoyed our dinners. Mae and Jack had Chicken Marsala and I had a wonderful steak. Mae had spumoni and Jack and I shared chocolate espresso cake for dessert. Check out this review on the Gabby Gourmet's website -

We had a discussion yesterday about gnocchi and Jack pointed out to me that there are two places in town that serve wonderful gnocchi recipes:

Radda makes Gnocchi Bolognese which is a favorite of Jack's and Bacaro makes Gnocchi di ricotta with choice of Colorado lamb ragu, tomato and basil or porcini mushroom creme.
Some recipes to share this week:

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan -,1977,FOOD_9936_30476,00.html

Seared Diver Scallops with Bacon and Whole Grain Mustard Rub -,,FOOD_9936_20959,00.html

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter from Eating Well Magazine -

That's all for now - have a great week ahead. Once again, I hope to see you at the Grillo Center Labyrinth Dedication on Sunday, October 21 from 4 - 6 PM - there will be light refreshments and music to enjoy. I'm not sure if I'll get this weekly email out next Sunday but I'll get it out as soon as I can.



Saturday Morning Walkers - October 7, 2007

Hi everyone!

We're back from the Literary Sojourn in Steamboat Springs. Barb was there with members of her book group and I was there with my book group. The event was fantastic - each of the participating writers was outstanding. We were disappointed that Chris wasn't able to come at the last minute but she and Randy really needed to have the weekend to prepare for his upcoming shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Lots of love to both of you and strong healing wishes to Randy. Susan d', Rita, Judy, Janet, and I want to thank Kelly so much for being such a gracious and generous hostess at her family's home just outside of Steamboat. Of course, we also missed our pals Cynthia and Terrie who weren't able to join us.

Book Report:

If you'd like to check out the authors and books we heard about this weekend go to
In addition to these, I'd like to share some of these writers' book recommendations:

Larry Doyle's I Love You, Beth Cooper

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin

Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie

Power by Linda Hogan

Jack's mom, Mae recently read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer - here are some of her comments: "I was completely wrapped up in the story about a young man, Chris Macandless, 24 yrs. old from a wealthy family; He he had ideas of climbing, especially to reach MT. Mc KINLEY in ALASKA. He was not a person to take any kind of orders or suggestions from either parent; there were problems. He had a very good relationship with his sister. Not being prepared, he took off on his own with not enough equipment or food, only a 25 lb. bag of rice. You get caught up into his story; a determined (Boy) (MAN) who had a dream; very well educated, a graduate of Yale, good grades, well liked, well spoken and friendly. His journal was profound, he wrote everyday. You may think that this is a man's book; but being a mother, you can relate. The movie is scheduled to open this October."

Website of the Week: - 10 Reasons to Support Public Libraries

Podcast of the Week: - Michael Feldman's Whadya Know radio show from Public Radio International

Vocabulary Word of the Week: lexicographerLexicographer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A lexicographer is a person devoted to the study of lexicography, especially an author of a dictionary.

Samuel Johnson, himself a lexicographer, defined a lexicographer as "a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words". However Jonathon Green, in Chasing the Sun: Dictionary-Makers and the Dictionaries They Made (1996) suggests that this was a piece of eighteenth century politeness, and that a clearer indication of Johnson's view is given a little later in the same text where he says "Though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that Babel cleft the world into, yet if he had not . . . studied the lexicons, yet he were nothing so much to be esteemed a learned man as any yeoman competently wise in his mother dialect only".

Words of Wisdom from Luis Alberto Urrea - "Libraries and librarians take you to places you cannot physically get to."

Cooking and Dining Report:

A few tidbits from our weekend:

Judy's Whopper Cookies from Foster's Market in North Carolina (we've posted this before but this definitely deserves another mention - the best cookie ever!

Susan d' Autremont's Scrambled Eggs prepared by Janet - very simple but yummy - scramble eggs, when ready top with fresh basil and grated Asiago cheese. You could use any fresh herbs you have on hand.

Dinner on Saturday night was at Cafe Diva in Steamboat Springs - a lovely, intimate space and outstanding food. We all shared an amazing spring roll appetizer. Kelly, Judy and Susan enjoyed the Crab and Tomato Bisque and the Autumn Salad. Rita had the sea bass and Janet and I both had the Bouillabaise - very rich and delicious!

For any of you driving up from Boulder/Denver to Steamboat, a great place to stop for lunch and a break is the Sunshine Cafe in Silverthorne - 250 Summit Place Shopping Center 970-468-6663. It is just about halfway between Boulder and Steamboat.

That's it for this week - don't forget to check out past posts on my blogsite - a growing collection of book recommendations, recipes, restaurant reviews and so much more. I also welcome any contributions you might have to offer.

Have a wonderful week ahead!