Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Monday, May 26, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - May 26, 2008

Happy Rainy Monday from Boulder!

Well, true to form, it always rains at some point during our Boulder Creek Festival but this is the first time in a while that we've had a "full-out" cold and rainy day. I'm guessing that the Bolder Boulder 10k participants were happy to have cool weather but we decided not to sit out at the Grillo Center Labyrinth today. We did have two spectacular days on Saturday and Sunday - good crowds and great enthusiasm for the labyrinth. Jan and I got to a great concert at the Bandshell yesterday afternoon. The group is called Ron Ivory's One-On-One and they do Motown music. They were terrific and drew quite a crowd. I checked their website and saw that they are appearing at Nissi's in Lafayette on Friday evening, June 13th - anyone interested? I'm guessing they sell out quickly but I"ll check tomorrow.
Hope all of you had a relaxing and fun weekend.

Book Report:

We had our first A New Earth study group this past Thursday. I'm very excited about the work we're going to do together based on this book by Eckhard Tolle. It is not too late to join us if you'd like - we're meeting every other Thursday morning (next on June 5th) at Barnes and Noble Cafe next to Whole Foods in Boulder. We'll be working on Chapter 2.

Chris' daughter-in-law, Stevie recommended a book that she is enjoying - Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen - sounds like a good summer read.

From Publishers Weekly
Two gifted sisters draw on their talents to belatedly forge a bond and find their ways in life in Allen's easygoing debut novel. Thirty-four-year-old Claire Waverley manifests her talent in cooking; using edible flowers, Claire creates dishes that affect the eater in curious ways. But not all Waverley women embrace their gifts; some, including Claire's mother, escape the family's eccentric reputation by running away. She abandoned Claire and her sister when they were young. Consequently, Claire has remained close to home, unwilling to open up to new people or experiences. Claire's younger sister, Sydney, however, followed in their mother's footsteps 10 years ago and left for New York, and after a string of abusive, roustabout boyfriends, returns to Bascom, N.C., with her five-year-old daughter, Bay. As Sydney reacquaints herself with old friends and rivals, she discovers her own Waverley magic. Claire, in turn, begins to open up to her sister and in the process learns how to welcome other possibilities. Though Allen's prose can lean toward the pedestrian and the romance subplots feel perfunctory, the blending of horticultural folklore, the supernatural and a big dollop of Southern flavor should find favor with a wide swath of readers

Website of the Week - - this is an online journal for women in the "third third" of their lives - I heard about this on Satellite Sisters and it looks pretty good - check it out and see what you think.

Podcast of the Week-,page-1.html - I would really love to create and produce my own podcast possibly related to the blog content - not quite sure but I'll keep you posted.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - supercilious supercilious From Wiktionary

From Latin supercilium (“‘eyebrow, loftiness in demeanour’”).

(RP) IPA: /ˌsuːpəˈsɪliəs/ or /ˌsjuːpəˈsɪliəs/
(US) IPA: /ˌsuːpɚˈsɪliəs/
Audio (US)help, file
Rhymes: -ɪliəs

supercilious (comparative more supercilious, superlative most supercilious)

more supercilious
most supercilious

Arrogantly superior; showing contemptuous indifference; haughty.
"Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner." --F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1

Dutch: hooghartig nl(nl), denigrerend nl(nl)
Italian: altezzoso

Cooking and Dining Report:

Meals were pretty simple around here this week - burgers, ravioli (frozen), leftovers, pizza - lots of other stuff going on leading up to the Creek Festival.

We did have one lovely dinner from the May issue of Gourmet Magazine - it actually was adapted from The Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, N.Y.Chicken Breast Provencal and Parsleyed Potatoes with Saffron (I didn't have saffron and used turmeric instead - worked pretty well and a lot less expensive!)

Barb made a wonderful soup this week - I'm hoping she'll share the recipe - hint, hint, hint!

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


Saturday Morning Walkers - May 18, 2008

Hi everyone!

What spectacular weekend we have had here Boulder! Warm and sunny at last. Jan, Barb, Christie and I had a lovely downtown walk yesterday morning and enjoyed coffee at Spruce Confections on the West end of Pearl Street. Later in the morning, I joined Chris, Judy, Janet and Kelly for the Kitchens on Fire Tour. This is a fundraising project for The Dairy Center for the Arts and a great opportunity to take a peek at some of the best kitchen remodels in town.

A reminder for those of you who are going to be in town for Memorial Day Weekend - I will be at my usual "post" at the Grillo Center Labyrinth during the Boulder Creek Festival - its not too late to volunteer to staff the event. Do come for a visit while you're at the festival. A parking tip for those of you who decide to brave the crowds - there is free parking in the underground garage at the St. Julian Hotel - I think it is still a well-kept secret.

Another reminder that we are starting our A New Earth by Eckhard Tolle study group this coming Thursday, May 22. We will be meeting every other Thursday for 10 sessions. I'd love for any of you to join us for this endeavor. We'll start with Chapter 1 and work our way through the rest of the book together. I've made a change in location - we'll meet from 9 AM - 11 AM at the Barnes and Noble Cafe (next to Whole Foods in Boulder).

Book Report:

Barb's book group and my book group are both reading one of the books from the upcoming Literary Sojourn in Steamboat Springs, CO. The book is Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. Early reports are pretty positive. This is a non-fiction work and tells the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower unlike anything we learned in school.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this remarkable effort, National Book Award–winner Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea) examines the history of Plymouth Colony. In the early 17th century, a small group of devout English Christians fled their villages to escape persecution, going first to Holland, then making the now infamous 10-week voyage to the New World. Rather than arriving in the summer months as planned, they landed in November, low on supplies. Luckily, they were met by the Wampanoag Indians and their wizened chief, Massasoit. In economical, well-paced prose, Philbrick masterfully recounts the desperate circumstances of both the settlers and their would-be hosts, and how the Wampanoags saved the colony from certain destruction. Indeed, there was a first Thanksgiving, the author notes, and for over 50 years the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims lived in peace, becoming increasingly interdependent. But in 1675, 56 years after the colonists' landing, Massasoit's heir, Philip, launched a confusing war on the English that, over 14 horrifying months, claimed 5,000 lives, a huge percentage of the colonies' population. Impeccably researched and expertly rendered, Philbrick's account brings the Plymouth Colony and its leaders, including William Bradford, Benjamin Church and the bellicose, dwarfish Miles Standish, vividly to life. More importantly, he brings into focus a gruesome period in early American history. For Philbrick, this is yet another award-worthy story of survival.

Christie read and loved Marley and Me by John Grogan - this sounds like the perfect book for all the dog lovers out there!

From Publishers Weekly
Labrador retrievers are generally considered even-tempered, calm and reliable;and then there's Marley, the subject of this delightful tribute to one Lab who doesn't fit the mold. Grogan, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and his wife, Jenny, were newly married and living in West Palm Beach when they decided that owning a dog would give them a foretaste of the parenthood they anticipated. Marley was a sweet, affectionate puppy who grew into a lovably naughty, hyperactive dog. With a light touch, the author details how Marley was kicked out of obedience school after humiliating his instructor (whom Grogan calls Miss Dominatrix) and swallowed an 18-karat solid gold necklace (Grogan describes his gross but hilarious "recovery operation"). With the arrival of children in the family, Marley became so incorrigible that Jenny, stressed out by a new baby, ordered her husband to get rid of him; she eventually recovered her equilibrium and relented. Grogan's chronicle of the adventures parents and children (eventually three) enjoyed with the overly energetic but endearing dog is delivered with great humor. Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine.

Jan listened to Passing by Nella Larsen. This book deals with a two black women who "pass" as white and the racist world they inhabit.
The heroine of Passing takes an elevator from the infernal August Chicago streets to the breezy rooftop of the heavenly Drayton Hotel, "wafted upward on a magic carpet to another world, pleasant, quiet, and strangely remote from the sizzling one that she had left below." Irene is black, but like her author, the Danish-African American Nella Larsen (a star of the 1920s to mid-1930s Harlem Renaissance and the first black woman to win a Guggenheim creative-writing award), she can "pass" in white society. Yet one woman in the tea room, "fair and golden, like a sunlit day," keeps staring at her, and eventually introduces herself as Irene's childhood friend Clare, who left their hometown 12 years before when her father died. Clare's father had been born "on the left hand"--he was the product of a legal marriage between a white man and a black woman and therefore cut off from his inheritance. So she was raised penniless by white racist relatives, and now she passes as white. Even Clare's violent white husband is in the dark about her past, though he teases her about her tan and affectionately calls her "Nig." He laughingly explains: "When we were first married, she was white as--as--well as white as a lily. But I declare she's getting darker and darker." As Larsen makes clear, Passing can also mean dying, and Clare is in peril of losing her identity and her life.

Janet is listening to Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires, the third in a trilogy of food memoirs by the former food critic of the New York Times and the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine. It is a great read for food lovers.
Fans of Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples know that Ruth Reichl is a wonderful memoirist--a funny, poignant, and candid storyteller whose books contain a happy mix of memories, recipes, and personal revelations. Interview
We chewed the fat with Ruth. Read our interview.

What they might not fully appreciate is that Reichl is an absolute marvel when it comes to writing about food--she can describe a dish in such satisfying detail that it becomes unnecessary for readers to eat. In her third memoir, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, Reichl focuses on her life as a food critic, dishing up a feast of fabulous meals enjoyed during her tenure at The New York Times. As a critic, Reichl was determined to review the "true" nature of each restaurant she visited, so she often dined incognito--each chapter of her book highlights a new disguise, a different restaurant (including the original reviews from the Times), and a fresh culinary adventure. Garlic and Sapphires is another delicious and delightful book, sure to satisfy Reichl's foodie fans and leave admirerers looking forward to her next book, hopefully about her life with Gourmet.

Judy recommends a novel - The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowthers

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Crowther's debut novel paints a vivid double portrait of a spirited mother-daughter pair, first- and second-generation immigrants to England from Iran whose relationship grows turbulent when shadows from the mother's past begin to overwhelm her. This beautifully produced reading starts with the bright voice of Ariana Fraval as Sara, the daughter, but it is soon overtaken by the darker, melodically accented tones of Mehr Mansuri as Maryam, Sara's mother. Maryam returns to the tiny village where she grew up to come to terms with her past, especially with the ghost of her father and with her first love, Ali, who has been waiting for her return. As Maryam journeys through Iran and back into her memories, and then induces Sara to come too, Mansuri's voice takes on myriad emotional shades, from wonder and delight to sharp regret and painful uncertainty. Intervals of Persian-inflected music helps set an exotic yet contemplative mood. Fraval and Mansuri's authentic pronunciation of the occasional foreign words allows listeners to be swept up by Crowther's lovely, haunting story even more easily than when reading it for themselves.

Movie Recommendation from Jan - Young at Heart - a documentary about a senior citizen's chorus in New England - it has gotten rave reviews!

Website of the Week - Liz Pulliam Weston is a financial expert featured on MSN. I have heard her on one of my podcasts - Satellite Sisters and Terri recently shared an article by her on charitable giving.

Podcast of the Week - Diane Rehm interviewed Lynne Rossetto Kasper of public radio's The Splendid Table - Lynn is promoting her new book, How To Eat Supper.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - umbrage

um·brage Audio Help /ˈʌmbrɪdʒ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uhm-brij] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. offense; annoyance; displeasure: to feel umbrage at a social snub; to give umbrage to someone; to take umbrage at someone's rudeness.
2. the slightest indication or vaguest feeling of suspicion, doubt, hostility, or the like.
3. leaves that afford shade, as the foliage of trees.
4. shade or shadows, as cast by trees.
5. a shadowy appearance or semblance of something.


[Origin: 1400–50; late ME < OF; see umbra, -age]

—Synonyms 1. pique, grudge, resentment. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006

Cooking and Dining Report - lots to cover here!

For those of you who may visit Cleveland, Ohio, I'm including a review from my niece, Mandy about a hot and trendy restaurant there -

"Well, we finally got to Lola for dinner. Lola is the brainchild of Michael Symon, the newest Iron Chef. It's the most hyped restaurant in Cleveland. (Stop laughing -- there's actually a decent food scene here, helped perhaps by our awesome West Side Market!) I was worried that high expectations would mar the experience, but everything was phenomenal!

We started with appetizers and drinks (a classic Manhattan for Rob and a signature "Pomegranate & Figs" martini served over sparking wine for me). Rob had the beet salad with goat cheese and I ordered the Beef Cheek Pierogie. Both were delicious, but I think I won that round. For our main course, Rob enjoyed the Black Bass with mussels and clams, fennel and potatoes, all in a citrus broth. I had the Rainbow Trout in almond brown butter with haricots vert and a sweet butternut squash puree. Delicious!!

We forced ourselves to have dessert, since we had heard about the chef's signature "6am Special" -- maple-bacon ice cream over 2 small pieces of brioche French toast with a drizzle of maple syrup. The bacon wasn't weird at all and the dish was fabulous. We also tried the Exotic Fruit Sundae, a layered parfait with pineapple, coconut crumble, a thick whipped cream and mango sorbet. The sorbet was outstanding, but the dessert itself didn't hold a candle to the 6am Special! All in all, I'm happy to report that Lola lived up to the hype."

Here are some related links:

and here's a segment from "No Reservations" when Bourdain visited Lola:

And here's a link to the West Side Market. (The Cafe has a terrific breakfast!)

Some good cooking going on here this past week:

Slashed Chicken with Herb Butter from Williams Sonoma -

Seared Flank Steak with Shallot and Mustard Sauce from Fine Cooking

Bucatini in a Spiced Tomato Sauce with Crisped Pancetta from Fine Cooking - I found the Bucatini at Cheese Importers in Longmont - great source for gourmet foods -

Light Meat and Cheese Lasagna from Cooks Illustrated

Whew - that's it for now - lots of catching up here!

Have a delightful week and I hope to see you at the Creek Festival this weekend!


Saturday Morning Walkers - May 11, 2008

We're back!

Jack and I got back to Boulder last night after a wonderful trip to our old college town of Boston and then a few days in Camden, Maine. It should come as no surprise to any of you that our entire trip was focused on the fabulous food all along the way. We did also enjoying see old friends and great sights. Here are some of the highlights:

Our first night in Boston, we made a beeline for the North End - the great Italian neighborhood we knew and loved - it is still great but quite transformed from 40 years ago!
Dinner was at the Terramia - a tiny little place with wonderful food -
I had the Ravioli Carciofi - House made artichoke and Fontina ravioli, pulled duck confit, exotic mushrooms, asparagus Truffle purée
Jack had the Risotto Con Aragosta Ed Granchio - Carnaroli rice, saffron, fresh Maine lobster and crab meat, charcoal roasted peppers

Sunday morning, we visited a small art museum - The Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum - a remarkable private collection set in a building designed to evoke a 15th-century Venetian palace. The building and the central courtyard gardens alone are worth the trip.

Sunday afternoon, we had a special visit with an old friend of my mom's, Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen and my mom were childhood friends and stayed close until my mother's death. Helen is in her 90's now and is quite remarkable. She certainly doesn't get around like she used to but she's as sharp as ever - I think her memory is better than mine! She lives in Brookline, Mass, just outside the city.
I used to live not far from there and Jack and I went to see if our favorite neighborhood pizza place, Pinos, was still there - it sure was and it was just as we remembered it. There was even a banner outside, proclaiming that it had been there for 45 years. The pizza was and is still as good as ever.

Sunday evening, we had another reunion with my friend Joyce and her husband Lloyd. Joyce and I went to both high school and college together at Boston University. Jack had been at Northeastern and Lloyd went to Brandeis. We actually fixed them up! It was wonderful to catch up and we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Davio's, a Northern Italian steakhouse in downtown Boston. Jack had a delicious steak and I had huge, succulent sauteed shrimp.

On Monday after a nice breakfast on Newbury Street in the Back Bay section of Boston - The Trident Booksellers Cafe -, we headed up to the North Shore and out to Cape Ann. This was always a favorite area for us. We had lunch in Rockport at My Place By the Sea - a lovely restaurant situated at Bear Skin Neck in Rockport. I loved it because they are right on the water and had great New England Clam Chowder.
We took a leisurely drive back to Boston, going through charming towns like, Gloucester, Magnolia, Beverly, Prides Crossing, Swampscott and Lynn. This trip to the North Shore is a nice alternative to Cape Cod.
Dinner on Monday night was at the Turner Fisheries in the Westin Hotel at Copley Square. We had dinner there when Libby graduated from Boston College. A fairly upscale seafood restaurant, Jack and I shared more clam chowder, followed by Boston Schrod for me and Baked Stuffed Shrimp for Jack.

On Tuesday, Joyce and I spent the afternoon together - we did a nostalgic tour of the Boston University campus and after much effort, gained access to our old dorm - yikes - that building hasn't held up too well!
We had lunch together in Kenmore Square at a place called Eastern Standard.
By dinnertime that evening, Jack and were feeling "fine dining" fatigue so we just went to a neighborhood pizza place - not the best so I wouldn't recommend it.

On Wednesday, we ate a hearty breakfast at the Paramount in the neighborhood of Beacon HIll - - their specialty is blueberry pancakes and Jack thought they were terrific.
Then we hit the road for our next few days in Camden, Maine.

In the interest of space and time, I will give you a quick run-through of our favorite places and meals along the coast of Maine.

In Wiscasset, two must stops:
The Seabasket - lobster stew and lobster roll
Red's Eats - lobster roll - all time best!

In Camden, we stayed at the gracious Hartstone Inn. The chef/owner,Michael Salmon and his wife, Mary Jo were warm and welcoming hosts. They prepared very elegant breakfasts and our dinner there on Friday night was phenomenal. Do check out the website for an overview of the inn and sample menus and recipes.

A couple of other very good casual restaurants in town were Cappy's for fish and chowder and the Camden Deli for a good lunch.

Down the road in Rockport, Maine, we went to the very unique Prism Gallery and Cafe. In addition to a very nice menu, they also had some spectacular artistic glass on display in the gallery.

Other highlights of our time in Maine were:
A visit to the Swan Island Blankets - - they make magnificent hand-woven wool blankets.
A visit to Windsor Chairmakers -
A visit to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse -

I'm going to save our usual "departments" for next week - its good to be home and will remember this vacation fondly.

I hope that all of you moms had a very Happy Mother's Day.

Have a great week ahead!


Saturday Morning Walkers - April 27, 2008

Hi everyone!

Our wonderful Saturday morning walkers had a mini-reunion yesterday. Jan, Andrea, Laila, Mary, and Christie joined me for a lovely walk around old town Longmont ending up at Lucile's for breakfast. We were delighted to be joined there by Terri and Linn! It was great to be with all of you but missed those of you who couldn't be with us - Barb, Cass, Annette, Kris and Jackie. Breakfast was amazing, especially those naughty beignets!

Some good news to share!
Linn is about to embark on a big adventure - she has taken a job as executive chef at a fishing lodge in Alaska! She will be working for a 4 month season at the Alaska Rainbow Lodge - check out the website - - this is a great opportunity for LInn and we wish her a safe and successful journey. By the way, Linn needs to find a home for her 4 year old Golden Retriever mix - she loves to be with other dogs and have space to run around - if you know anyone who might want to give Lily a home, let me know.

Congratulations to Chris and Randy and welcome to new grandson, Callen William. Callan joins his big sister, Kinsale and mom and dad, Tara and Tim.

Congratulations to Penny and Manny and welcome to new granddaughter - Katherine Grace. Katherine joins his big brother, Thomas and mom and dad, Barbara and Alex.

Book Report:

Rae has a book to recommend this week - The Other Side of You by Sally Vickers

From Publishers Weekly
In this hypnotic chronicle of quiet desperation, 45-year-old English psychoanalyst David McBride has an intense and personally illuminating session with a suicidal patient that unlocks his own past. His 40-something married-with-children patient, Elizabeth Cruikshank, is silently tormented by her past love for Thomas Carrington, whom, she slowly tells David, she lost track of before her marriage, but met again in Rome as he pursued his passion for Caravaggio. David is not in love with his wife, Olivia, but doesn't much mind: he's emotionally crippled by guilt at the death of his brother in a street-crossing accident (he was five, his brother six). When he hears all of Elizabeth's story, however, something awakens. Vickers (Instances of the Number 3), a psychologist by training, portrays the therapeutic process in all of its messy glory—its imperfections, conflicts and possibilities—and she delivers wrenching conflicts of love within and outside of marriage. Caravaggio's work, in its own right and as symbolic of the role of art, becomes a lovely third theme, though not as richly plumbed as those of love and therapy. (Mar.)

Terri reminded me of a book that she and I have both read - it is a wonderful memoir - The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride - do check it out!
Order this book ... and please don't be put off by its pallid subtitle, A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which doesn't begin to do justice to the utterly unique and moving story contained within. The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. Jordan met and married a black man, making her isolation even more profound. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In telling her story--along with her son's--The Color of Water addresses racial identity with compassion, insight, and realism. It is, in a word, inspiring, and you will finish it with unalloyed admiration for a flawed but remarkable individual. And, perhaps, a little more faith in us all.

Another DVD recommendation from Jan - Lake of Fire, a provocative documentary on abortion from filmmaker Tony Kaye.

Product Description
Filmmaker Tony Kaye best known for "American History X" has been working on LAKE OF FIRE for the past fifteen years and has made a film that is unquestionably the definitive work on the subject of abortion. Shot in luminous black and white which is in fact an endless palette of grays the film has the perfect aesthetic for a subject where there can be no absolutes no 'right' or 'wrong.' He gives equal time to both sides covering arguments from either extremes of the spectrum as well as those at the center who acknowledge that in the end everyone is 'right' - or 'wrong.' Featuring: Pat BuchananNoam ChomskyAlan M. Dershowitz Director:Tony KayeSpecial Features:Theatrical TrailerTrailer GallerySystem Requirements:Running Time: Approx. 152 minutes Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/POLITICS UPC: 821575553353 Manufacturer No: TF-55335

Website of the Week - a great site enabling kids to make a difference in the world -

Podcast of the Week - a series of podcasts from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. -

Vocabulary Word of the Week - obfuscate



\ˈäb-fə-ˌskāt; äb-ˈfəs-ˌkāt, əb-\



Inflected Form(s):

ob·fus·cat·ed; ob·fus·cat·ing


Late Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare, from Latin ob- in the way + fuscus dark brown — more at ob-, dusk



transitive verb1 a: darken b: to make obscure 2: confuse intransitive verb: to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

— ob·fus·ca·tion \ˌäb-(ˌ)fəs-ˈkā-shən\ noun

— ob·fus·ca·to·ry \äb-ˈfəs-kə-ˌtȯr-ē, əb-\ adjective

Cooking and Dining Report:

Jack and I had brunch/lunch with friends yesterday at Brasserie TenTen - it is one of our favorite places in town. They actually have a brunch menu on the weekends but there is a good selection of lunch choices. One of their specialties is beignets but I make it a rule to only have one serving of beignets a day. They sure looked wonderful!

For those of you who don't know, we have a new market in Boulder - The Sunflower Farmers Market opened a couple of weeks ago in the Village Shopping Center on Arapahoe - just south and east of McGuckins. I stopped in briefly yesterday afternoon and I have to say, I wasn't too impressed. However, I do think I should give it a few more tries before making a final judgement. They are new and getting the kinks out. It was packed and felt a bit chaotic but of course, all of us were trying to find our way around. Right now, I don't think that Whole Foods has anything to worry about. I'll keep you posted as I try it again. If any of you have a different impression, please share it with all of us.

Lauren, Evan and I tried a recipe originally from Cooking Light this week for Warm Berry Compote - the actual full recipe is Warm Berry Compote with Polenta - the girls and I made the compote but not the polenta. It was pretty yummy over vanilla yogurt.

I made the compote this morning for our breakfast - Jack had it over pancakes and I had it with the polenta - it was a big hit!

Three other great recipes from a wonderful cookbook that I borrowed from the library - Two Meatballs in the Kitchen by Pino Luongo and Mark Strausman (they are the two meatballs - one is Italian, the other is Jewish - pretty good combination, if you ask me!

Baked Penne with Raddichio and Sausage - - a really interesting combination of flavor and texture - I used whole wheat penne and you could certainly use Italian turkey sausage.

Chicken Scarpariello - - described by the chefs as similar to Chicken Cacciatore but with a bolder flavor.

Both of the above recipes are on the same webpage along with a great review of the cookbook

I made this one today to have later in the week - I did sneak a taste as I was slicing and it is pretty good!

Tuscan Pot Roast -

Wishing you all a terrific two weeks ahead - Jack and I are leaving on Saturday for a week long trip to Boston and Maine. I don't think I'll get a blog out before I get back but I should have lots to report on when I return.



Saturday Morning Walkers - April 20, 2008

Hi everyone,

I am starting this blog entry sitting at the Burbank Airport waiting for my delayed flight to board. We've had a wonderful week here with Jexy, Joe and Jacob - Jack joined me here on Thursday. Other than reading my assigned Chapter 8 in A New Earth, I was too distracted to do much reading this week.

Book Report:

Libby does have a book recommendation for us - The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta

From Publishers Weekly
SignatureReviewed by Jennifer Gilmore Tom Perrotta knows his suburbia, and in The Abstinence Teacher he carves out an even larger chunk of his distinct terrain. Set in the northeastern suburb of Stonewood Heights, Perrotta's sixth book takes on the war between the liberals and the evangelists. When single mother Ruth Ramsay, the sex ed teacher at the local high school, tells her class that oral sex can be enjoyable, the Tabernacle of the Gospel Truth church begins its crusade. Believable or not, the school agrees to an abstinence curriculum and in marches JoAnn Marlowe with her blonde hair and pumps to instill in Ruth the tenets of the new program. Gone are the days of rolling a condom over a cucumber; now Ruth is required to promote restraint, which she does wearily and halfheartedly. These are heady days, when students rat out their teachers and the local soccer coach—Ruth's daughter is on his team—is a divorced ex-druggie and active Tabernacle member. When Tim leads the team in prayer, Ruth wrenches her daughter from the circle and the hostility between the opposing camps grows. Who is bad and who is good? Ruth's youthful promiscuity rises slowly to the surface, while Tim's struggle to stay sober makes him constantly confront his past. He's lost his wife and daughter—also on the soccer team—to his addictions, but now he's clean and married to a Tabernacle girl. His Jesus-loving ways, however, are in direct conflict with his desires, rendering him the most complex and likable character. When he loses his own battle with abstinence at a poker party, the finest scene in the novel culminates with his keying Jesus across the hood of an SUV parked in the drive. Ruth would gladly have sex if it would only come her way, and she also drinks on school nights. A less well-drawn complement to Tim, Ruth is a tolerant liberal with a newly toned body who plays therapist to her gay friends, but who can't accept that her children are interested in Jesus.The lesson is that everybody must give up something. Even Ruth's ex-lover, once a pudgy trumpet player, no longer eats to maintain his abs of steel. So what is lost when we cannot succumb to our desires? Who then do we become? The book is rife with Perrotta's subtle and satiric humor (the Tabernacle is seen as a place of diversity, while the punks, Deadheads and headbangers of Tim's past are all predictably the same), but these questions get lost as the plot winds down. Issues of sex and religion that have shaken the town become, in the end, the story of what Ruth and Tim's newly forged relationship will soon become. (Oct.)Jennifer Gilmore is the author of the novel Golden Country, which will be out in paperback in September.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

I would like to share a poem with you that Jacob wrote in school - I will present it first in his inimitable spelling style. Apparently, the teaching technique used in his kindergarten writers workshop is one that encourages the kids to sound out their words and not worry about spelling at this point - I will follow it up with a translation:


i hav iscream - I have ice cream
i lic iscream - I lick ice cream
i wont iscream - I want ice cream
i lov iscream - I love ice cream
i am iscream - I am ice cream

I spent quite a bit of time at the Little Flower Candy Shop during the week while Jexy was at work and Jacob was at school. Christine makes the most amazing almond croissants - check out this review by Jonathan Gold in the LA Weekly - Although I did indulge, I also got some good exercise in - a couple of workouts at the Rose Bowl weight room and a couple of mega walks around Pasadena.

On Tuesday, Joe's mom, Barbara and I had lunch together at a lovely restaurant in Eagle Rock - Camilos - Barbara had the Greek Salad and I had a melted brie sandwich - yum! Before heading home, we stopped for at the Little Flower for a sweet treat - almond cake for Barbara and a delicious chocolate chip cookie for me.

Wednesday, April 16 was Jacob Milo Rowland's 6th birthday - I was lucky enough to deliver the non-edible treats for the whole class at the end of the day at Odyssey Charter School. Dinner that night was Jacob's request for Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs (see recipe below - actually adapted from Giada's Penne with Turkey Meatballs) followed by a trip out to Coldstone Creamery for iscream.

I had a great day on Thursday - had a pretty extensive walk around Pasadena in the morning and ended up at The Little Flower for lunch with Jexy - I know it looks like I'm going after some kind of record. That evening before Jack arrived, Jacob and I went to the South Pasadena Farmers Market with Carrie, Frank, Tyler and Jesse. Jex was at her class (she's in the process of getting her administrative credentials) and Joe was at the Shambhala Center in Pasadena where he saw a Pema Chodron video.

On Friday morning, I had to take Jack (along with Jex and Joe) to try one of Christine's almond croissants - I acually had something different this time - a bran muffin like no other I've ever tasted!
Friday night, we returned to a favorite barbecue place, Zekes, in Montrose. Terrific ribs and chicken! It was such a beautiful evening, we got to enjoy eating outside.

Saturday was a full day - we celebrated Jacob's birthday with 4 of his friends (boys only!) at Build-A-Bear Workshop in Glendale. They had a great time - pizza and ice cream for all!
Jexy and I spent the afternoon preparing food for the Passover seder, led by "Rebbe" Joe. We were joined by Jacob's other grandparents, Barbara and Morrie. I loved using Jexy's seder plate for the symbolic foods that are part of the seder - it had been a wedding gift from my sister, Marjorie. See the menu and recipes below.

Website of the Week: - real people, real reviews about just about anything you might be interested in your area.

Podcast of the Week: a specific Nextbook podcast - Before the Exodus - - in honor of Passover

Vocabulary Word of the Week - macerate - from Wikipedia
Maceration is a word that derives from the Latin maceratus ("to soften"; past participle of macerare). It may refer to:

Maceration, in chemistry and herbalism, the preparation of an extract by soaking material (such as animal skins or parts of fibrous plants) in water, vegetable oil or some organic solvent. The word may also refer to the same process when used to produce perfume stock.
Maceration (wine), in viticulture, the steeping of grape skins and solids in must, where alcohol later acts as a solvent to extract colour, tannin and aroma from the skins during the wine fermentation process.
A macerator, in sewage treatment, a machine that reduces solids to small pieces in order to deal with rags and other solid waste.
Maceration (bone), a method of separating of bone from soft body tissue by controlled putrefaction.
A macerator, in chicken farming, a high-speed grinder used to slaughter unwanted male chicks in large numbers.
Maceration, in biology, is the mechanical grinding or kneading of semi-solid food in the stomach into chyme.
Maceration, in dermatology, is the softening and whitening of skin kept constantly wet, leaving it more vulnerable to infection or damage by tearing.

Cooking and Dining Report:

Most of the dining has already been reported - you may notice that food is always the main event when we travel. Here are some of the recipes and websites:

Jacob's Birthday Dinner - Penne with Turkey Meatballs from Giada DeLaurentiis, The Everyday Italian - we used spaghetti.,,FOOD_9936_22338,00.html

Here's the menu for the Passover Seder:

Gefilte Fish (not homemade!) with horseradish
Matzoh Ball Soup - homemade by Jexy - forgot to get the recipe from Jex!
Crispy Roast Chicken - recipe from a recent Cooks Illustrated - I have shared that with you so you can search the blog site to get it again -
Brown Butter Green Beans with Pine Nuts - from Fine Cooking -
Baked Garnet Yams (Jex did these on her barbecue - yum!)
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Macerated Srawberries -,0,6879410.story

Libby made a roast chicken tonight - she used an old family favorite recipe - pretty simple - a clove studded onion and garlic in the cavity and a flour, ginger, clarified butter rub on the skin.
She served it with Spinach and Parmesan Gratin from Fine Cooking -

That's it for now - we arrived home a bit later than we had planned but we're here safe and sound.

Have a great week - for those of you in the Boulder area, take advantage of the milder weather and enjoy a walk on the Grillo Center Labyrinth -


Saturday Morning Walkers - April 13, 2008

Hi everyone from here in hot and sunny Los Angeles!

I arrived yesterday - thanks to Jan for taking me to the airport! I'm happy to report that my trip was uneventful - fortunately United was flying working airplanes that actually left and arrived on time - what a concept!

Jexy and I have had a full day starting with a workout at the weight room at the Rose Bowl pool, then we went over to the amazingly huge Rose Bowl Flea Market - neither Jex or I are the most avid shoppers so we both lost our enthusiasm pretty quickly.

I went with Jexy to her book group at the Little Flower Candy Shop. I've written about this shop before - it is owned by a friend of Jexy's from Jacob's Garden School (his former preschool) - Christine is a very talented cook and candy maker. In addition to her famous marshmallows and other sweet treats, she is now serving wonderful lunch fare.
It was fun for me to be with all of Jexy's friends - their selection for this month was Daniel Tammet's memoir, Born on a Blue Day. I read this several months ago and mentioned it on the blog earlier. Tammet was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as well as being an autistic savant. His story provides a unique perspective on his experience as a child dealing with this condition. Here's the link to the review on Amazon -

Book Report: I'm ready to start our book group's selection for May - Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Here's the link to Jexy's book group blog - You can see what they have already read and will be reading over the next several months.

I am also continuing to read, chapter by chapter, Eckhard Tolle's A New Earth and listen to the web seminar hosted by Tolle and Oprah. It is really quite powerful and I highly recommend the book. It is also not too late to join in on the seminar - you can listen to it live on Monday evenings - just go to and you can download all of them and listen at your leisure on your computer.

Website of the Week: Women on the Web -

Podcast of the Week: I'd like to recommend a specific podcast from Public Radio International's To the Best of our Knowledge - it is called A Good Death and deals with life's final chapter in three very moving segments.

Vocabulary Word of the Week: Prosody - this word was used in the "Leonardo's Brain" lecture given by Leonard Shlain, MD at the CU Conference on World Affairs

\ˈprä-sə-dē, -zə-\
Inflected Form(s):
plural pros·o·dies
Middle English, from Latin prosodia accent of a syllable, from Greek prosōidia song sung to instrumental music, accent, from pros in addition to + ōidē song — more at pros-, ode
15th century
1: the study of versification; especially : the systematic study of metrical structure2: a particular system, theory, or style of versification3: the rhythmic and intonational aspect of language
— pros·o·dist \-dist\ noun

Cooking and Dining Report:
Two great recipes to share this week:

Spaghetti alla Carbonara from Fine Cooking - - I particularly liked that this recipe has no butter or cream with no sacrifice in texture or taste.

Sear-Roasted Haddock or Cod with Horseradish Aioli and Lemon-Zest Breadcrumbs from Fine Cooking - it was quite delicious with cod - I would use a lot less of the parsley "salad" as the topping. -

I'm here in LA for the rest of the week, returning next Sunday - I may not get next week's post out on time next week but it will have a full report of all our "adventures" here in LA. Right now, we are getting ready for Jacob's 6th birthday celebration - his request for a birthday dinner is meatballs and spaghetti.

Just a reminder! You can always check out past blog posts you may have missed at

Have a great week!