Monday, March 19, 2007
Saturday Morning Walkers - March 17, 2007
Jack and I are thrilled to announce that Libby and David are engaged to be married! We're very happy for them and excited about planning for their wedding - no date or details yet! Check out the blog for a picture of the happy couple - http://cookinandbookin.blogspot.com
We had a great walk on Saturday morning out at the Teller Farm trail off of Arapahoe. Christie, Barb, Mary, Laila and I were happy to welcome a new walking friend, Nora Barth and her sweet little puppy, Khammi (sp?). Nora recently moved here from Ohio and is living near Laila in Superior. Please note her e-mail address and add this to your group list - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some great news from Mary - she has a contract on her house and will close by the end of April. Of course, now she has to find a place to live! Congratulations, Mary!!
We ended up at the Deli Zone in Lafayette (Southeast corner of 95th and Arapahoe) for a great breakfast - wonderful breakfast sandwiches and reasonable prices - http://delizone.net/index2.html
Susan - I am reading a wonderful book called Like Never Before by Ehud Havazelet - it is a collection of inter-related short stories tying together 3 generations of a Jewish family. It really is about the struggle to reconcile long-standing traditions and assimilating to present culture that impacts families of all backgrounds.
Amazon.comThe 10 interrelated stories that make up Ehud Havazelet's Like Never Before revolve around one big, if not invariably happy, family. The author introduces us to the Birnbaum clan--Max and Ruth, and their children, David and Rachel--as well as an assortment of the people they love and hate and date and marry and divorce. Yet the central focus in this sprawl of relationships is that between father and son. Theirs is also the most troubled connection. Max is an immigrant, a true if sometimes desperate believer, while David, even as a youth, is "aggrieved, put upon, a boy who carries anger like a stone in his pocket to caress." Growing up in Queens in the 1960s, the rapidly assimilating David rebels against the heritage Max has transported so carefully from the Old World. Yet David's defiance brings him little joy. "David," Rachel says, "was a boy constantly on the edge, of laughter, of panic, of some unaccountable act of friendship or some meanness that would leave you stunned."
David is unsparingly drawn and quite miraculously lovable. However, all of the central figures are just as deeply realized--and Havazelet's frequently entertaining, frequently agonizing skill at presenting each as an alarming composite of beauty and ugliness gives this intensely realistic work what Annie Dillard once called a "broad and sanctifying vision." Near the end of her life, Ruth Birnbaum muses unhappily that "despite everyone's good intentions ... love hurts more than it heals." Havazelet's gift is to let us feel both how right and how wrong she is. --Daniel Hintzsche
Barb - is reading Barack Obama's latest memoir called The Audacity of Hope for her book group. We've reported on this before but its probably worth mentioning twice. Barb is finding it very moving. I'm anxious to read it now that I've finished the first book.
Nora - shared a favorite mystery novelist, James Lee Burke. It looks like his most recent is Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel. Nora does recommending starting with the first in the series (actually his sixth novel), The Neon Rain. Nora particularly enjoys the way the Burke creates atmosphere in his writing. His next book, The Tin Roof Blowdown deals with Hurricane Katrina and is due out in July.
From Publishers WeeklyBurke's sixth novel pits New Orleans homicide detective Dave Robichaux against the mob, the contras, the Feds and just about all the other cops. The trouble starts when Robichaux insists on investigating the murder of a young prostitute and discovers that it isn't only the crooks who don't want the truth to come out: the police don't want it revealed, either. The underworld and the authorities combine to cobble up a frame against Robichaux, and suddenly he's on the run. Burke's maverick detective and his gritty, realistic dialogue and convoluted plotting are reminiscent of Elmore Leonardwhose latest novel, Bandits, has a contra angle, too. The matter of subterranean government policy running amok suits the world of suspense fiction well, serving it in the 1980s the way Cold War themes fed the genre in earlier decades. With its fine local color and driving action, this novel is both chilling and first-rate entertainment.
A new addition - Podcast Report - as some of you may know, I received an Ipod for Christmas from my daughters. They now know that they have turned their mom into an Ipod addict! I know that most people use their Ipods to listen to music or books but I have discovered the world of podcasts and I would like to share one of these with you each week. All of these can also be listened to from your computer so you don't have to have an Ipod. The downside for me is that I'm realizing that podcast listening is cutting into my reading time! Here's Wikipedia's definition of podcast:
A podcast is a media file which is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Like 'radio', it can mean both the content and the method of syndication. The latter may also be termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. The term "podcast" is a portmanteau of the name of Apple's portable music player, the iPod, and broadcast; a pod refers to a container of some sort and the idea of broadcasting to a container or pod correctly describes the process of podcasting. More about the name itself can be found in the History of podcasting article.
Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital audio formats by its ability to be downloaded automatically, using software capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.
This week's podcast recommendation is Satellite Sisters - this is a radio broadcast (I receive it on XM Satellite radio) featuring the 5 Dolan sisters talking about countless topics and hosting great guests - they are so entertaining and make you feel like you're hanging out and chatting with your girlfriends. You can access it directly from their website www.satellitesisters.com (click on podelite) or go to www.Itunes.com to download it to your portable media player.
Food and Dining Report:
One morning last week, Janet and I took our morning walk and ended up at Trattoria Radda (next to Ideal Market) for breakfast - we had been there for dinner a few weeks ago and I complained about the noise level but loved the food. This was a much quieter experience. The menu is very simple and I have two strong recommendations. The brioche and in-house made sausage patties were fantastic!
Two recipes to share this week:
Flatiron Steak with Red Wine Sauce from Giada De Laurentiis - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_28065,00.html - I actually used tri-tip steaks - very yummy!
Slow cooked Broccoli with Pancetta and Garlic from Fine Cooking's Side Dish Magazine - http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/broccoli_garlic_pancetta.aspx - This is delicious and is great to serve either warm or at room temperature.
Lemon-Almond Buttermilk Loaf with Balsamic Strawberries - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/101367 - great combination of flavors - if you've never tried strawberries with balsamic vinegar (many ways to do it), you're in for a treat. We've done strawberries, with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar over ice cream. Try reducing simple balsamic vinegar into a thick, sweet syrup and serve it with Parmesan Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese, walnuts and ciabatta bread.
This week's random tips! - Looking for a job, a service, have something to sell or buy? Don't forget about Craigslist - www.craigslist.org and Backpages - www.backpages.com - they're free and I've had good luck finding nanny jobs and baby equipment on them. Another list that Nora told us about is Angieslist - www.angieslist.com - this seems to be strictly for finding service providers and requires membership.
Have a great week!