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, January 06, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - January 6, 2008

Hi everyone!

Well, I'm pleased to say that the "walkers" got back on track yesterday! Barb gathered us - Jan, Laila, Mary, Jackie and me - at Caffe Sole and then we took a walk on one of our old familiar routes around Viele Lake - it turned out to be quite challenging due to the high winds but we managed to get back to Caffe Sole in one piece and enjoyed catching up after all the holiday festivities. We set up our schedule for January walks - Barb will lead on the 12th, Susan on the 19th and Jan on the 26th.

Forgot to remind you all last week so I apologize for how last minute this is - The Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver is hosting their annual Writers Respond to Readers event on January 26 and tomorrow (Monday, January 7) is the DAY to call for reservations. Here's the message I received with instructions on how to get reservations

Writers Respond to Readers 2008

Heidi Julavits, Tahmima Anam, Min Jin Lee, and Samantha Hunt will be our guest authors at this annual event designed for members of book clubs. Tattered Cover Book Store Historic LoDo Saturday, January 26, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Tickets are $50 per person.

Reservations will be accepted by PHONE ONLY on Monday, January 7, 2008, beginning at 9:00 am (not before, please). Please call 303-322-1965, ext. 2739 and leave a message with your name and telephone number. We wi l l conf i rm your reservation by phone and request payment in full by credit card. Space is limited and we can accept no more than two reservations per phone call

I do want to acknowledge Mary for her "chutzpah", determination and fortitude as she participated in the Polar Plunge at the Boulder Reservoir on New Year's Day! Mary joined Jan's daughter, Jill, and some of her friends - Jan did record this amazing feat and I hope to have a picture soon that I will post on the blog site. The Polar Plunge is a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association of Colorado.

Do check out my review of The Cornbread Gospels Cookbook from Workman Publishing - it appears below in the Cooking and Dining Section of the blog.

Book Report:

Mary enthusiastically recommends The Deed of Paksenarrion, a science fiction/fantasy trilogy in one volume, by Elizabeth Moon.

From Powell Books..
Never in our experience has a new author burst upon the sf/fantasy field to such immediate enthusiastic recognition as Elizabeth Moon with her fantasy trilogy, Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold. Now at last we are able to offer all six hundred thousand words of The Deed of Paksenarrion in a single trade edition. Note that because of its size the complete Deed of Paksenarrion will probably never be offered in a mass market edition.

Jan listened to the audiotape of Steve Martin's new memoir, Born Standing Up. I have heard a couple of interviews with him about the book and it does sound wonderful.

Amazon Book Description
At age 10, Steve Martin got a job selling guidebooks at the newly opened Disneyland. In the decade that followed, he worked in Disney's magic shop, print shop, and theater, and developed his own magic/comedy act. By age 20, studying poetry and philosophy on the side, he was performing a dozen times a week, most often at the Disney rival, Knott's Berry Farm. Obsession is a substitute for talent, he has said, and Steve Martin's focus and daring--his sheer tenacity--are truly stunning. He writes about making the very tough decision to sacrifice everything not original in his act, and about lucking into a job writing for The Smothers Brothers Show. He writes about mentors, girlfriends, his complex relationship with his parents and sister, and about some of his great peers in comedy--Dan Ackroyd, Lorne Michaels, Carl Reiner, Johnny Carson. He writes about fear, anxiety and loneliness. And he writes about how he figured out what worked on stage.
This book is a memoir, but it is also an illuminating guidebook to stand-up from one of our two or three greatest comedians. Though Martin is reticent about his personal life, he is also stunningly deft, and manages to give readers a feeling of intimacy and candor. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs collected by Martin, this book is instantly compelling visually and a spectacularly good read.

Rae and her book group read Small Island by Andrea Levy. Rae said she would never have selected this for herself but she loved it and really encouraged me to read it and so I will!

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. After winning the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Levy's captivating fourth novel sweeps into a U.S. edition with much-deserved literary fanfare. Set mainly in the British Empire of 1948, this story of emigration, loss and love follows four characters—two Jamaicans and two Britons—as they struggle to find peace in postwar England. After serving in the RAF, Jamaican Gilbert Joseph finds life in his native country has become too small for him. But in order to return to England, he must marry Hortense Roberts—she's got enough money for his passage—and then set up house for them in London. The pair move in with Queenie Bligh, whose husband, Bernard, hasn't returned from his wartime post in India. But when does Bernard turn up, he is not pleased to find black immigrants living in his house. This deceptively simple plot poises the characters over a yawning abyss of colonialism, racism, war and the everyday pain that people inflict on one another. Levy allows readers to see events from each of the four character's' point of view, lightly demonstrating both the subjectivity of truth and the rationalizing lies that people tell themselves when they are doing wrong. None of the characters is perfectly sympathetic, but all are achingly human. When Gilbert realizes that his pride in the British Empire is not reciprocated, he wonders, "How come England did not know me?" His question haunts the story as it moves back and forth in time and space to show how the people of two small islands become inextricably bound together. Agent, David Grossman. (Apr.)

I finished listening to the audio version of Ann Patchett's new book, Run. Andrea recommended it several weeks ago. Patchett is a gifted storyteller who creates characters that are so engaging. It was definitely one of those books I just didn't want to come to an end. If you want to read the review again go to

Barb received a book recommendation from her friend Pamela and the author is someone that they both went to school with! Here's Barb's mesage to me:

"This comes from a very dear friend who lives in MA. I went all through school (starting in kindergarten) with Hank Kisor. He was also, for many years, the book editor and literary columnist for the Chicago Sun Times. He has written 3 (?) mystery novels and Pamela just finished reading the latest, Cache of Corpses".
Here's Pamela's review:I read Hank Kisor's book -- splendid -- loved the imagery, language, plot(s), history, characters, dialogue, prepositional phrases ... glad I had already taken a course on GPS. I read each night -- going slowly -- didn't want it to end, but today, I wanted to know how it was going to come out. I read 3 hours till I finished it;

Website of the Week - for those of you working mom's (at home or at the office!) and for those of you wanting to support the young mom's in your life, this is a great site to share - Very hip and entertaining as well as informative.

Podcast of the Week - Tony Kahn's radio production called Blacklisted which tells the story of his experience as a young boy enduring the McCarthy era of blacklisting that affected his father and entire family. It is a fascinating story portrayed by some first-rate actors like Ron Liebman and Stockard Channing -

Vocabulary Work of the Week - from Hank Kisor's book - fulminate

From the Free Dictionary Online:

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun 1. fulminate - a salt or ester of fulminic acid
fulminate of mercury, fulminating mercury, mercury fulminate - a fulminate that when dry explodes violently if struck or heated; used in detonators and blasting caps and percussion caps
salt - a compound formed by replacing hydrogen in an acid by a metal (or a radical that acts like a metal)
Verb 1. fulminate - criticize severely; "He fulminated against the Republicans' plan to cut Medicare"; "She railed against the bad social policies"
denounce - speak out against; "He denounced the Nazis"
2. fulminate - come on suddenly and intensely; "the disease fulminated"
come along, appear - come into being or existence, or appear on the scene; "Then the computer came along and changed our lives"; "Homo sapiens appeared millions of years ago"
3. fulminate - cause to explode violently and with loud noise
blow up, detonate, explode, set off - cause to burst with a violent release of energy; "We exploded the nuclear bomb"

Cooking and Dining Report:

Cookbook Review: I was asked to review a new cookbook published by Workman Publishing - The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon. I haven't done a lot of cornmeal cooking or baking myself but I sure do enjoy eating it and was certainly inspired to try some of the recipes in this delightful book. I find that some of my favorite cookbooks are the ones that have a very personal tone. This collection of recipes from family and friends is really a celebration of this very American staple. I was inspired to go out and get a cast-iron skillet which seems to be a requirement for making really wonderful cornbread. So far, I have made the Dairy Hollow House Skillet-Sizzled Cornbread, Simple Corn Muffins and the Lentil Soup with Garlic and Greens (yes, there are "go-with" recipes, as well). The soup was perfect for a cold winter night, chocked full of lentils, carrots and spinach. It went so well with the cornbread. I did have some assistance with the corn muffins - my young friends, Lauren and Evan, helped me make these mini-muffins - they turned out great and were great fun for the kids to make. I plan to continue working my through the book and will keep you posted on the recipes - I'm especially eager to try some of the more international recipes.
Here's the recipe for the Dairy Hollow House Skillet-Sizzled Cornbread can order the cookbook from Amazon.

New Year's Eve - Jack and I celebrated with an early dinner at Frasca here in Boulder - Even at 5:45, they had a full house. The food was amazing but it was a pretty pricey fixed price menu. The food on Frasca's menu is based on the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area of Italy. We started off the evening with a Salumi course of Prosciutto San Daniele, Speck and Mani Salme Toscano. For the Antipasti, Jack had the Shaved Beef Salad with Roasted Romaine Lettuce and I had Escolar (a mild white fish) "Conserva" with Fingerling Potato and Pickled Green Tomato Juice. For the Primi course, Jack had the Gnocchi with Poached Maine Lobster and Montasio "Crema" and I had Butternut Agnolotti with Baby Spinach and Brown Butter. For the Secondi course, I had the Brioche-Crusted Roasted Colorado Lamb Saddle and Jack had the Grilled Maine Scallops. Dessert was a Valencia Orange and Fangipane Tart with Frozen Yogurt Gelato and just in case, we were still hungry, some hand-made Chocolates. Ho-hum - just another dinner out - not!!! So much for resolution to lose weight in 2008!

Some other recipes to share:

Two winners from Cook's Illustrated's The Best Make-Ahead Recipe - with Baked Chicken Fennel, Tomatoes, and Olives and Onion-Braised Beef Brisket - both were delicious! Here's the link to the Brisket - I can't find the chicken recipe on-line - if you'd like it, let me know and I'll get you a copy in word once I enter it into my computer.

I tried something today that has been intriguing me for some time - an Apple Crostata. The recipe is from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa -,1977,FOOD_9936_21686,00.html. It is a very rustic, free form apple "creation" and my version is quite rustic and free-form and tastes great! The crust is tender and flaky, similar to my rugelach dough.

I do enjoy these winter weekends of cooking. We're getting ready for a visit from Jexy and Jacob. They arrive tomorrow. Jexy is celebrating her birthday today and we will continue the celebration once she gets here. We'll probably go to Trattoria Radda tomorrow night but she has requested meatballs and spaghetti for her birthday dinner which we'll have on Tuesday. I have other dinner plans in the works and will report on those next week.

Last but not least - I'm pretty pleased and excited about the results of the Iowa Caucus - if you missed Barack Obama's speech that night, you should definitely check it out on YouTube -

Have a great week!



1 comment:

Henry Kisor said...

Who's Pamela? Who's Barb? If they knew me as "Hank" we indeed were thick when we were youngsters. I'd love to reconnect with them. If they're interested, I keep a blog at