Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Monday, January 15, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - January 14, 2007

Hi everyone!

Snow again!! Freezing cold!! Good time to hunker down with the books and some cooking. I hope we all remember how to walk when all of this thaws out! Unfortunately, they had no choice but to cancel the 5k portion of the Oatmeal Festival yesterday. Chris and Mary did brave the icy cold for what sounds like a wonderful, warming breakfast at the Huckleberry Cafe in downtown Lousiville (formerly the home of Karen's). Sounds like they covered the restaurant history of Louisville - Mary's worked in many of them as did Chris' kids.

I don't know what everyone else is reading but I'll give you my current status.

Earlier this week, I finished Thunderstruck by Erik Larsen (see last week's blog for an official review). It was slow-going and a bit tedious at first but as these two seemingly unrelated stories evolved and were woven together, I was hooked and by the end, couldn't put it down. Larsen really is a master storyteller and so gifted at tying these two true events together.

I'm now well into a novel, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman. She is one of the writers that will be at the upcoming Tattered Cover Event (Saturday, Jan 27) and interestingly to me, is married to Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, among others). Chabon grew up around the time that my kids did in Columbia, Maryland. We didn't know him but its always pretty neat when someone from your hometown gets to be famous. We also claim actor, Edward Norton as one of our hometown kids. His family actually lived on our street and the kids went to the same elementary school. His grandfather was James Rouse, the developer of the new town of Columbia. It was a pretty unique community and a very special place to raise a family. Here's a description from Wikipedia,_Maryland. By the way, Rae still lives there and is an active participant in the community!

Back to the book - I can't wait to get back to it - she's kind of quirky but its also a very touching, story about grief and loss.

From Publishers WeeklyHow a five-year-old manages to make the adults in his life hew to the love he holds for them is the sweet treat in this honest, brutal, bitterly funny slice of life. When Emelia's day-old daughter, Isabel, succumbs to SIDS, her own life stalls. She can't work; she can't sleep; Central Park, once her personal secret garden, now is a minefield of happy mother-child dyads. Since Isabel's death, husband Jack's only solace for the guilt of breaking up his sexless marriage with Carolyn for Emelia's (now-absent) passion and love is joint custody of William, now five. What Emelia cannot bear most are Wednesdays, when she must cross the park to collect William at the 92nd Street Y preschool and take another shot at stepmotherhood. Carolyn, William's furious mother and a renowned Upper East Side OB/GYN, lives to nab Emelia for mistakes in handling him. Carolyn's indicting phone calls raise the already sky-high tension in Jack and Emelia's home, but they don't compare with Carolyn's announcement that, at age 42, she is pregnant. The news pushes Emelia to confess to Jack two things she shouldn't. William is charmingly realized, and Waldman (Daughter's Keeper) has upper bourgeois New York down cold. The result is a terrific adult story

I am going to read at least one of the other writers who will be at the Tattered Cover event - I have several books that I took out of the library - you can check out the website for more info on the writers. By the way, if you weren't able to get tickets for the event last Monday, it wouldn't hurt to call and see if there's a waitlist for cancellations. I know someone who got a ticket at the last minute that way. You could also post a request on Craigslist.,

A writer that I've recently heard about on NPR is Calvin Trillin. Actually, I've heard of him before but am not familiar with his work. He's written many books and writes for the New Yorker and Nation Magazine. He's also known as a food writer - my favorite combination - books about food! He's actually a good friend of Ruth Reichl (Tender at the Bone) He's "on the circuit" right now for a book he's written about his late wife, Alice - its called About Alice (duh!). He sounds terrific and they seemed to have had a wonderful relationship. I've put this most recent book and some of his other books high on my list of must reads.

From Publishers WeeklyTrillin (A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme), a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1963, has often written about the members of his family, notably his wife, Alice, whom he married in 1965. A graduate of Wellesley and Yale, she was a writer and educator who survived a 1976 battle with lung cancer. In 1981, she founded a TV production company, Learning Designs, producing PBS's Behind the Scenes to teach children creative thinking; her book Dear Bruno (1996) was intended to reassure children who had cancer. A weakened heart due to radiation treatments led to her death on September 11, 2001, at age 63. Avoiding expressions of grief, Trillin unveils a straightforward, honest portrait of their marriage and family life in this slim volume, opening with the suggestion that he had previously mischaracterized Alice when he wrote her into "stories that were essentially sitcoms." Looking back on their first encounter, he then focuses on her humor, her beauty, her "child's sense of wonderment," her relationship with her daughters and her concern for others. Trillin's 12-page "Alice, Off the Page" was published earlier this year in the New Yorker, and his expansion of his original essay into this touching tribute is certain to stir emotions.

Cooking and Food:
A few highlights this week:

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara from Emeril Lagasse - talk about a comfort food for a cold winter night - yum! Although certainly not a low-fat dish, this particular recipe does not call for either cream or butter. Eggs and lots of parmesan cheese make it rich enough! I served it with a simple arugula and shaved parmesan salad with lemon juice and olive oil. Check it out:,1977,FOOD_9936_10210,00.html

Beef Bourgiugnon from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa - I had suggested this to Libby for a dinner she was making for friends this weekend and it inspired me to make it today. I made this before for book group and it was a big hit. Libby called this afternoon to report that her's was a huge success. She served hers with a salad - I may serve mine with some sauteed green beans.,,FOOD_9936_25938,00.html?rsrc=search

Libby also made Ina Garten's Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies - however, she didn't use white chocolate, she used dark chocolate for the chunks - they turned out great - better than Toll House!
Hmmm - I may have to try those today.,,FOOD_9936_26051,00.html?rsrc=search

Chicken with Artichokes from Everyday Food on PBS - fairly light and easy. I replaced the couscous with rice pilaf.

Hope everyone stays safe and warm this week!
Happy reading and eating!

No comments: