Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hi Everyone!

So glad I was here for our walk yesterday - thanks to Andrea we discovered a "walk" that most of us (Barb, Mary, Jan, Andrea, Laila and me) hadn't been on before - with all that training we did for the 3-Day, I thought we had covered every square mile of Boulder! This was the Twin Lakes Trail in Gunbarrel (off of Nautilus Drive). It was a lovely trail and beautiful views. We followed our walk with coffee and such at the Page Two Cafe in the Gunbarrel Shopping Center. In addition to being a very comfortable cafe, it also has a very nice gift shop.

Book Report:

Barb is reading Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. Although it seems to have gotten high praise from the reviewers, Barb isn't so sure about it.
"In October, near the end of the month, Cacciato left the war."
In Tim O'Brien's novel Going After Cacciato the theater of war becomes the theater of the absurd as a private deserts his post in Vietnam, intent on walking 8,000 miles to Paris for the peace talks. The remaining members of his squad are sent after him, but what happens then is anybody's guess: "The facts were simple: They went after Cacciato, they chased him into the mountains, they tried hard. They cornered him on a small grassy hill. They surrounded the hill. They waited through the night. And at dawn they shot the sky full of flares and then they moved in.... That was the end of it. The last known fact. What remained were possibilities."
It is these possibilities that make O'Brien's National Book Award-winning novel so extraordinary. Told from the perspective of squad member Paul Berlin, the search for Cacciato soon enters the realm of the surreal as the men find themselves following an elusive trail of chocolate M&M's through the jungles of Indochina, across India, Iran, Greece, and Yugoslavia to the streets of Paris. The details of this hallucinatory journey alternate with feverish memories of the war--men maimed by landmines, killed in tunnels, engaged in casual acts of brutality that would be unthinkable anywhere else. Reminiscent of Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Going After Cacciato dishes up a brilliant mix of ferocious comedy and bleak horror that serves to illuminate both the complex psychology of men in battle and the overarching insanity of war. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Review"Simply put, the best novel written about the war. I do not know . . . any writer, journalist, or novelist who does not concede that position to O'Brien's Going After Cacciato."--Miami Herald"A novel of great beauty and importance."--Boston Globe"Stark . . . rhapsodic. . . . It is a canvas painted vividly, hauntingly, disturbingly by Tim O'Brien."--Los Angeles Times

I'm getting started reading writers who will be featured at this year's Literary Sojourn in Steamboat Springs. Best known is Jane Hamilton (Book of Ruth and Map of the World). I'm now reading Disobedience. Check out for details about the event. Our book group has been going for the last several years and enjoy it so much.

Websites of the Week - - cut down on junk mail, save a tree! - wonderful mail order food site - great for gifts for friends and family - Don't forget about Mother's Day!

Podcast of the Week - - Chris has been enjoying this one.

Food and Cooking: Lots of great recipes to share this week!

From Fine Cooking Magazine - Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Bacon, Onions & Peas - a take-off on Carbonara

From Giada DiLaurentiis - Berry Strata -,1977,FOOD_9936_36602,00.html - kind of like a berry filled bread pudding - yum!

From Viola Capodici (Mandy's friend Connie's mom) - "Gravy and Meatballs" - this is the real deal - perfect on Soprano Sundays!


1 lb ground round
1 lb ground pork
28-oz. can whole peeled Italian tomatoes (blended on “puree” for a couple of seconds)
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
6-oz. tomato paste plus one can of water
Shredded pecorino Romano cheese
Breadcrumbs w/Italian seasoning
4 eggs
Olive oil
Spices: dried basil, parsley, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper

Cover bottom of fry pan with olive oil, let sit. Sprinkle about ½ t. salt in the bottom of a mixing bowl; add a sprinkle of ground pepper. Add beef and pork; salt and pepper the meat again and add a generous sprinkling of garlic powder, along with the basil and parsley flakes (4-6 healthy shakes of each). Add 2 handfuls of the shredded romano. (Mrs. C says, “Don’t be stingy with the cheese—that’s the flavor.”) Add about ½ c of the breadcrumbs and 3 eggs. Mix well with your hands. If it’s too dry, add a fourth egg; if too moist, add a bit more crumbs. (For 2 lbs of meat you will most likely need 4 eggs.) Using water to moisten your hands, form meatballs just shy of baseball-size. Roll them until they hold together and put them on a platter. When the meatballs are ready, place them all in your cold pan w/oil. Turn heat to medium-high to cook, turning gently but frequently til they’re browned on all sides but not cooked through (and not crusty brown!)

When the meatballs are done, place them back on the platter and begin making the gravy. Scrape the fry pan’s drippings and brown bits into your stockpot. Add the tomato paste and can of water. Blend the pot’s contents and then add the whole tomatoes (pureed) and crushed tomatoes. Lightly sprinkle surface with garlic powder and about 2T each of basil and parsley flakes. Add a few turns of ground pepper. (No salt!) Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, to taste. Mix well. Gently place the meatballs back into the stockpot, along with the juices that have accumulated on the platter. Put over medium high heat, covered, until gravy comes to a boil. Then, immediately uncover and lower heat to a simmer. (“If you leave the cover on, you’ll have soup!”) Cook at least an hour, if not 1-1/2 hours. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, only.

(Note: Mrs. C also uses these meatballs, crumbled, in place of ground beef in her baked ziti.)

"Editorial comment: These are the best meatballs and gravy I’ve ever had—they got me through 4 years of college! –Mandy"

I'll be in New York this coming weekend with Libby and David - I'm so excited to be going wedding dress shopping with Lib!

Have a great week!


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