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, August 26, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - August 25, 2007

Hi everyone!

Saturday morning Mary, Laila, Barb, Jan and I met at the labyrinth and then headed out to Eben Fine Park and then back along the creek to Vic's for coffee. It was a gorgeous morning and we ended it together at the Farmers Market, shopping for Colorado corn, tomatoes, peaches, beets and garlic.

Book Report:

Susan is reading a book that Lynn recommended recently - The Tricky Part by Martin Moran. It is a memoir dealing with the sexual abuse suffered by Moran as a young Catholic boy growing up in Denver. The story is certainly disturbing but he is an outstanding writer.

From Publishers Weekly
To everyone else in the Denver neighborhood where he grew up in the '70s, Moran was a studious Catholic boy. No one knew he carried a secret that would fester for 30 years and lead to extreme anxiety, sexual compulsion and suicide attempts. At age 12 he met Bob, a church camp counselor in his 30s who, for several years, took Moran hiking and camping, and had sex with him. Moran painfully recounts the inner workings of a lonely, insecure adolescent who, out of a desperate need for friendship and acceptance, continued a sexual relationship with a man 20 years his senior. Feeling guilty and shameful regarding the affair and his homosexuality, Moran lived a life in which the erotic and the illicit fused, and compulsive sex became a means of self-punishment. Over the years, Moran, now a writer and actor, managed to glean bits of guidance and self-acceptance from his aunt, a contemplative nun; a New Age music teacher; friends; and eventually, recovery groups and therapy. Moran's Catholic-American gothic differs from other abuse/recovery/coming-out memoirs in that it examines a uniquely gay mind/body split as it subtly reflects on a gay man's spiritual quest for self-determination and love.

Cass recommends The Omnivore's Dilemna by Michael Pollan. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago - Sounds like a revealing look at the food we eat.

From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Pamela KaufmanPollan (The Botany of Desire) examines what he calls "our national eating disorder" (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) in this remarkably clearheaded book. It's a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You'll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again.Pollan approaches his mission not as an activist but as a naturalist: "The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world." All food, he points out, originates with plants, animals and fungi. "[E]ven the deathless Twinkie is constructed out of... well, precisely what I don't know offhand, but ultimately some sort of formerly living creature, i.e., a species. We haven't yet begun to synthesize our foods from petroleum, at least not directly."Pollan's narrative strategy is simple: he traces four meals back to their ur-species. He starts with a McDonald's lunch, which he and his family gobble up in their car. Surprise: the origin of this meal is a cornfield in Iowa. Corn feeds the steer that turns into the burgers, becomes the oil that cooks the fries and the syrup that sweetens the shakes and the sodas, and makes up 13 of the 38 ingredients (yikes) in the Chicken McNuggets.Indeed, one of the many eye-openers in the book is the prevalence of corn in the American diet; of the 45,000 items in a supermarket, more than a quarter contain corn. Pollan meditates on the freakishly protean nature of the corn plant and looks at how the food industry has exploited it, to the detriment of everyone from farmers to fat-and-getting-fatter Americans. Besides Stephen King, few other writers have made a corn field seem so sinister.Later, Pollan prepares a dinner with items from Whole Foods, investigating the flaws in the world of "big organic"; cooks a meal with ingredients from a small, utopian Virginia farm; and assembles a feast from things he's foraged and hunted.This may sound earnest, but Pollan isn't preachy: he's too thoughtful a writer, and too dogged a researcher, to let ideology take over. He's also funny and adventurous. He bounces around on an old International Harvester tractor, gets down on his belly to examine a pasture from a cow's-eye view, shoots a wild pig and otherwise throws himself into the making of his meals. I'm not convinced I'd want to go hunting with Pollan, but I'm sure I'd enjoy having dinner with him. Just as long as we could eat at a table, not in a Toyota. (Apr.)Pamela Kaufman is executive editor at Food & Wine magazine.

Website of the Week: - reduce your junk mail and have trees planted on your behalf.

Podcast of the Week: - quick and dirty tips for better writing.

Vocabulary Word of the Week: laconic
laconic \luh-KON-ik\, adjective:
Using or marked by the use of a minimum of words; brief and pithy; brusque.
Readers' reports range from the laconic to the verbose.
-- Bernard Stamler, "A Brooklyncentric View of Life", New York Times, February 28, 1999

In the laconic language of the sheriff department's report,there was "no visible sign of life."
-- David Wise, Cassidy's Run

There was one tiny photograph of him at a YMCA camp plus a few laconic and uninformative entries in a soldier's log from the war year, 1917-18.
-- Edward W. Said, Out of Place: A Memoir

Laconic comes, via Latin, from Greek Lakonikos, "of or relating to a Laconian or Spartan," hence "terse," in the manner of the Laconians.

Quote of the Week: The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” from Thich Nhat Hanh - Vietnamese Buddhist Monk

Cooking and Food Report:

From The 150 Best American Recipes Cookbook:

Spaghetti with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan Cheese from The Tomato Festival Cookbook - Serves 4
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more (about 1/4 cup) for roasting
1 large white onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
18 fresh basil leaves, plus 1/4 cup cut into thin ribbons
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 heaping pints ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups loosely packed arugula
1/2 cup finely grated Pamesan cheese for serving

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the whole basil leaves and red pepper flakes and stir well.
Toss the tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the sugar and place in a roasting pan. The pan should be large enough to hold them in a single layer. Spoon the onion mixture over the tomatoes. Add enough oil to come halfway up the tomatoes. Roast until the tomatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 3 hours. Stir once, gently, during the roasting. You can roast the tomatoes up to 6 hours ahead of serving.

Bring a large pot of water with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Add the spaghetti and stir constantly until the water returns to a boil. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the tomatoes and onion in a large saucepan over low heat. When the pasta is done, drain and transfer to the saucepan with the tomatoes. Add the arugula. Toss well. Add the basil ribbons and toss again.
Serve immediately in warm shallow bowls with Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

From Lucinda and The Silver Palate Cookbook - Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Brie -

From Susan and Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa - Breakfast Bread Pudding -,1977,FOOD_9936_36124,00.html - next time, I might slice the bread a bit thinner than the recommended 1".

That's all for now - have a great week!



No comments: