Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - January 21, 2007

Hi everyone!

I'm pleased to say that we actually managed to have a walk yesterday. Andrea, Laila, Jan and I started out with a warm-up of coffee and "treats" at the Boulder Bookstore's Bookend Cafe on the Pearl Street Mall. We then bundled up and walked the "Mall" and window shopped. We did talk about a few books - here goes:

Jan - is enjoying listening to the most current book of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Breath of Snow and Ashes. She definitely recommends listening to it and also that you should start at the beginning of the series, The Outlander.

From AudioFile
The sixth book of the adventures of Claire and Jamie Fraser, set in North Carolina from 1772 through 1777, provides glimpses of the beginnings of the American Revolutionary War and reacquaints us with the extended Fraser clan and friends. Geraldine James enchants the listener with her varied accents, from British and Scots to twentieth-century American and an occasional Irish brogue. Using foreknowledge and their usual survival skills, Claire doctors the hurts and Jamie avenges the wrongs. James's performance brings out the adventurer in the listener. Some pops and skips are audible throughout, adding charm to the narration and the ever complicated plots. This story vibrates with the energy of an America seeking its freedom and the battles that ensue, philosophically and physically, throughout this tumultuous period. M.B.K. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Laila - is reading a book by one of the writers who will be presenting at the Tattered Cover's Writers Respond to Readers event next Saturday. It is The Evidence Against Her by Robb Forman Drew. She's finding it kind of slow-going. The review below sounds promising.

From Publishers Weekly
Appearing after a decade-long hiatus, Dew's latest novel proves well worth the wait. In her vibrant new work, Dew (Dale Loves Sophie to Death) once again demonstrates her mastery of the nuances of family life; her slow, painstaking accretion of detail, like the cross-hatching on a Drer etching, produces a rich and resonant landscape fully representative of its time and place. The setting here is Washburn, Ohio, a small town made prosperous by the Scofield engine manufacturer. Lily Scofield, her cousin Warren, and Robert Butler, son of the pastor of the Methodist church, are born on the same day in 1888, and their lives are intimately intertwined. Headstrong, clever Lily is their leader, first in their childhood and later as they mature. When she marries Robert, townspeople gossip that Warren is heartbroken, but the truth lies elsewhere; Warren carries a secret burden that he cannot acknowledge. His marriage to the much younger Agnes Claytor, eldest child in a dysfunctional family, disrupts the threesome's dynamic. World War I ends; the flu epidemic claims several victims. Another generation of children is born and become inseparable. And an accidental death occurs. Under the surface of these events Dew records minute changes in the emotional atmosphere, epiphanic moments that interrupt quotidian routines and small events, such as an argument over a riding habit, that signal domestic crises with lasting repercussions. A marvel of lyrical understatement, the narrative flows like a river smooth, with surprising depths, some turbulence and the inexorability of time's passing. Does character conspire with fate, or against it? Does love solve problems, or cause them? Both ambiguous and satisfying, the ending is laden with portent, suggesting another novel to come. Meanwhile, the subtlety and complexity of Dew's absorbing story is a signal achievement.

Susan - I am also reading a one of Robb Forman Drew's books, Fortunate Lives. Even though it turns out to be a sequel to an earlier book, I've gotten caught up rather quickly and I'm pretty engaged in the story. I'll probably finish it today - another snowy day! Good day to curl up on the couch with a good read!

From Library Journal
Dew continues the story of the New England Howell family in this sequel to the prize-winning Dale Loves Sophie to Death ( LJ 5/15/81). The story centers around a summer six years after the death of the oldest son, Toby, when his surviving brother David is readying himself for Harvard. Parents Martin and Dinah are thus forced to come to grips with the death of one son and the departure (another sort of family "death") of the other. Ordinary People is at times suggested, but here it is Martin who must overcome his guilt and anger. During this one summer both he and Dinah learn that life goes on and that it is good. This is the kind of novel one doesn't find much anymore--featuring a sophisticated, Cheever-like town and people centered around a college and its subculture (Martin is a professor and editor of a literary magazine), where nothing much happens but the reader has a certain satisfaction in savoring the prose itself. A nice haven in the midst of the usual best-seller dreck

Also from Susan - I'm also very excited about a cookbook that I picked up at the library yesterday - it is called Starting With Ingredients by Aliza Green - I must say that it first attracted my attention by the incredible size of the book. After "hoisting" this huge volume off the shelf (over 1000 pages), I knew I had to take it home with me. It is an encyclopedia-like reference book filled with wonderful recipes.

Book DescriptionThe revolutionary approach of Starting with Ingredients will transform the way we shop, prepare, cook, and even think about food.
Each chapter focuses on a single ingredient. The accompanying recipes in Chef Aliza Green’s culinary tour de force demonstrate the broad range of possibilities for each ingredient, utilizing a variety of cooking methods, flavors, and ethnic inspirations.

This innovative work is the product of Green’s ceaseless culinary curiosity and in-depth knowledge of ingredients. With these tools, she has created hundreds of clear and imaginative recipes that will enable experienced and fledgling home chefs to recognize how foods should look and behave, their fragrance and feel, their seasonal changes, how they are transformed by different cooking methods, and their flavor affinities. Extensive sidebars satisfy

Andrea - also recommending a cookbook called Serves One by Toni Lydecker - Andrea is making an effort to do more cooking for herself and is enjoying the recipes in this book
Anyone facing an occasional dinner for one, making solo brown-bag lunches, or living alone will find Toni Lydecker's Serves One invaluable. She shows you how to make tabbouleh and ratatouille in modest amounts so you don't have to eat them for days. She even gives a recipe for pizza dough you can turn into perfect, single-size pies. Who needs soggy take-out when you can make your own potato and pesto pizza, or luxuriate on Sunday with a creamy Smoked Salmon Pizza? (You bake the dough, then add the topping; it's much better than a bagel!)
Lydecker tells how to make Mini Meatloaf and Oven-Barbecued Pork Ribs, just the right amount of Chicken Fingers, even your very own Shellfish Steamer, a kind of clambake. Many recipes cook in 5 to 20 minutes. When stews and soups take longer, they don't need tending. If any cookbook will ever wean you off frozen entrees and instant mixes so you eat as well on your own as with family or friends, Serves One can do it.

Chris - reported picking up Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen's latest book, You: On a Diet - The Owner's Manual for Waist Management. They are both highly regarded physicians featured on Oprah and the Discovery Channel. Book Description
For the first time in our history, scientists are uncovering astounding medical evidence about dieting--and why so many of us struggle with our weight and the size of our waists. Now researchers are unraveling biological secrets about such things as why you crave chocolate or gorge at buffets or store so much fat.

Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, America's most trusted doctor team and authors of the bestselling YOU series, are now translating this cutting-edge information to help you shave inches off your waist. They're going to do it by giving you the best weapon against fat: knowledge. By understanding how your body's fat-storing and fat-burning systems work, you're going to learn how to crack the code on true and lifelong waist management.

Food and Cooking Report:

Just one recipe this week and this would not be a part of Dr. Oz' plan!

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs by Giada De Laurentiis - the very essence of comfort food although I must say that I used low fat milk instead of the whole milk called for in the recipe and it was just great!,1977,FOOD_9936_32174,00.html

Restaurant Report:

Jack and I tried the new restaurant in Laudisio's former location, Mista Italian Kitchen. It was opened by our friends from Antica Roma (on the Pearl Street Mall) and the now defunct Pane e Vino and Accqua Pazza - these guys just keep on trying!) They offer a huge menu with a heavily southern Italian slant. It was just ok - the Caesar Salad was a bit too saturated with dressing and the pasta dishes were drowning in sauce. The flavors were good - the calamari was tender. Jack did like the polenta appetizer. The prices are pretty reasonable and the decor is simple and unobtrusive. I would definitely try it again, maybe for lunch next time - any takers?

Jan has been to L'Atelier on Pearl Street (east of the Mall) and thought that it was outstanding - better than Frasca! Sounds like a great place for a celebration meal!

"Theatrical" review:
Janet, Christie, Annette and I went to the "reading" of the play, Jacks, by local playwright, Lys Anzia. It was a very moving and creative portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy during the first several days following President Kennedy's assassination. It also cleverly inserted glimpses into Jacqueline's childhood and family.

From a review of its performance at the Fremont Centre Theater in South Pasadena, California : "JACKS" is the chilling story of Jacqueline Kennedy as she witnessed the events following the murder of her husband.

Dramatist Lys Anzia, of Boulder, Colorado, spent 10 years researching and writing the play which has never been performed before. "I have always been intrigued by Jacqueline Kennedy," Anzia said, "It was astonishing for me to realize when Jacqueline's husband was killed she was only 34 years old., There is much the public does not know about the story. Much that needs to be told."

Random Bits: have you ever been frustrated by the inability to get melted wax out of your glass votive candleholders? Well, Janet and I had a discussion about that yesterday and after considerable research have come up with not one but two solutions to this most irritating problem. The first solution naturally comes from Martha Stewart and that is to place the glass holders in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes and the wax should then come out easily. The other solution is actually more of a preventive measure - put about 1/4" of water in the glass holder before placing the candle. I must confess that we have not yet tested these solutions.

Have a warm and cozy Sunday watching the snow fall. Next week I will have a full report on the Tattered Cover event!



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