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 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!


No comments: