Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - January 13, 2008

Hi everyone,

It has been a busy week here - Jexy and Jacob came in for a short visit. I loved having them here but Jacob was disappointed that we didn't have any significant snow. We didn't make it to the Oatmeal Festival yesterday - had a nice lazy morning here before they headed to the airport. Some of our walkers did get together for a walk on the Aquarius Trail - sorry I missed you all. Next week, with any luck, we can meet for a walk at the labyrinth before our Saturday walk - I'll keep you posted.

Book Report:
I'm in the middle of two books at the moment - I'm listening to a novel by one of the upcoming presenters at the Tattered Cover Writers Respond to Readers event. It is The Uses of Enchantment by Heidi Julavits. I'm definitely hooked by the "mystery" story, not sure how I feel about the main character, Mary.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. On November 7, 1985, Mary Veal, 16, a not especially distinguished upper-middle-class girl, disappears from New England's Semmering Academy. A month later she reappears at Semmering, claiming amnesia, but hinting at abduction and ravishment. The events in Believer editor Julavits's third, beautifully executed novel take place on three levels: one, dedicated to "what might have happened," is the story of the supposedly blank interval; another is dedicated to the inevitable therapeutic aftermath, as Mary's therapist, Dr. Hammer, tries to discover whether Mary is lying, either about the abduction or the amnesia; and the present of the novel, which revolves around the funeral of Mary's mother, Paula, in 1999. There, Mary feels not only the hostility of her sisters, Regina (an unsuccessful poet) and Gaby (a disheveled lesbian) but Paula's posthumous hostility. Or is that an illusion? This structure delicately balances between gothic and comic, allowing Julavits to play variations on Mary's life and on the '80s moral panic of repressed memory syndromes and wild fears of child abuse. While Julavits (The Effect of Living Backwards) sometimes lets an overheated style distract from her central story, as its various layers coalesce, the mystery of what did happen to Mary Veal will enthrall the reader to the very last page

The other book was recommended to me by Jen. It is a lovely coming of age story with a focus on a young boy who is immersed in the world of the sea and sea life. I've just gotten started with it but I am enjoying it already. It is The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel, Lynch's first. As a precocious, undersized 13-year-old living on the shore of Puget Sound, in Washington State, Miles O'Malley has developed a consuming passion for the abundant life of the tidal flats. His simple pleasure in observing is tested and complicated over the course of a remarkable summer, when he finds a giant squid, a discovery that brings him the unwelcome attention of scientists, TV reporters and a local cult. Meanwhile, Miles's remote parents are considering a divorce; his best friend, Florence, an elderly retired psychic, is dying of a degenerative disease; his sex-obsessed buddy, Phelps, mocks his science-geek knowledge; and his desperate crush on Angie Stegner, the troubled girl next door, both inspires and humiliates him. Events build toward the date of a record high tide, and Miles slowly sorts out his place in the adult world. While occasionally Lynch packs too much into a small story, this moving, unusual take on the summers of childhood conveys a contagious sense of wonder at the variety and mystery of the natural world.

Website of the Week - - interesting site that I heard about that assists you in planning just the right trip for your personality. I haven't used it yet but you might want to check it out.

Podcast of the Week - - do check out this interview that Diane Rehm has with Pulitzer Prize winning author, Geraldine Brooks. Brooks has a new novel just out called People of the Book. It sounds like a fascinating story of the survival of the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the earliest Jewish volumes to be illuminated with images. I can't wait to read it! You can either listen to the interview streaming it from your computer or subscribe to the podcast. As I told you before, Diane Rehm is one of my favorite interviewers.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - Haggadah
The Haggadah (IPA: [həˈgɑdə]) (Hebrew: הגדה) contains the order of the Passover Seder. Haggadah, meaning "telling," is a fulfillment of the scriptural commandment to each Jew to "tell your son" about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus in the Torah.

Cooking and Dining Report -

Best meal around here this week was Spaghetti and Meatballs - that was Jexy's request for her belated birthday dinner - I did a combination of Ina Garten's recipe and Giada de Laurentiis recipe. Basically I used Ina's sauce with Giada's turkey meatballs. Check out the recipes - they're both terrific. Whole wheat spaghetti works just fine with these hearty sauces. I particulary like the Bio Nature brand.,1977,FOOD_9936_34023,00.html - Ina's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti,,FOOD_9936_22338,00.html - Giada's Penne with Turkey Meatballs

Dinner tonight was an old favorite - Beef Tenderloin Quesadilla - Jack and I had this years ago at the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe and it is definitely a popular one in our house. We've even done it with chicken and shrimp. The recipe calls for mango salsa but I've mostly used regular tomato salsa and that works well.

Beef Tenderloin Quesadilla - Serves 6 - steak can be prepared and grilled hours ahead.

Spice Mix:
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T paprika
1 T sugar
1 T ground coriander
1 T kosher salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper

1 pound beef tenderloin
2 T spice mix
6 flour tortillas
2 cups Asadero or Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup Mango salsa

1. Mix all spice ingredients together in a small bowl. Then, slice beef into 6 equal size pieces and coat in spice mix. Saute or grill until rare. Let cool and cut into thin strips and set aside.
2. Heat each tortilla lightly and lay flat on table. Sprinkle grated cheese on half of the tortilla.
3. Divide sliced meat evenly on top of grated cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon salsa over beef. Sprinkle remaining cheese over beef and salsa.
4. Fold other half of tortilla over to form half-moon shape. Lightly grill over low heat, 2 minutes on each side until contents are heated and cheese inside is melted.
5. Cut into 4 triangles and serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.


Well, that's all for now. Have a great week!


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