Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - August 18, 2008

Hi everyone!

It has been a whirlwind week for us - Jexy and Jacob arrived on Tuesday and are leaving tomorrow. You all know how much I will miss them but the good news is that we will be heading out to visit Jeff in Alaska this Tuesday. Looks like we're in for cool, rainy days - oh well!! Of course, we've just had a couple of rainy days here in Colorado - our Saturday morning walk was rained out but we still had a great turnout for coffee at the Page 2 Cafe in Gunbarrel - Andrea, Laila, Barb, Mary, Cass, Jan, me and Jexy.

Book Report:

Jexy is reading a book she is enjoying - The God of War by Marisa Silver.
From Publishers Weekly
An elegantly observed coming-of-age story steeped in poverty and violence, this novel by the author of No Direction Home offers a poignant and often heartbreaking account of Ares Ramirez. The year is 1978, and 12-year-old Ares has outgrown the cramped trailer in the California desert that he shares with his mother, Laurel, and six-year-old brother, Malcolm. Malcolm has profound developmental disabilities, but Laurel, out of a free-spirited and self-righteous view of motherhood, has only recently (and very reluctantly) allowed Malcolm to get treatment. A horrific childhood accident and encroaching adolescence, meanwhile, fill Ares with a potent and inarticulate anger. In the absence of any outlet for his preoccupation with violence, Ares falls into an uneasy friendship with Kevin, the troubled foster child of Malcolm's new speech therapist. Conflict with Laurel, her on-again-off-again boyfriend and a small community that will not accept Malcolm, drive Ares into Kevin's manipulative sway, and Ares will have to choose between protecting his family or embracing the violence building inside him. The characters are painted with compassion and unflinching honesty, and the climax is pithy and consequential. (Apr.)

Mandy A. listed a book on her Facebook bookshelf page which sounds good to me - More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss.

From Publishers Weekly
The third novel from the author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy is an often satiric page-turner that tracks a Long Island family crisis. Josh Goldin is a happily married TV airtime salesman with an eight-month-old son. When baby Zack is treated twice for mysterious and life-threatening symptoms, the head of a pediatric ICU, Dr. Darlene Stokes, tells Child Protective Services that she thinks Josh's wife, Dori, suffers from Munchausen syndrome, whereby the afflicted injure their children deliberately to draw attention to themselves. The Goldins' ensuing battle to keep Zack provides grist for public debate about issues ranging from parents' rights to race (Dr. Stokes is black, the Goldins Jewish). Strauss takes delight in skewering a world in which everything (news coverage, legal representation, hospital beds) is for sale, sometimes digressively, always amusingly. The stereotypes are intentionally heavy-handed: Josh's perceptions almost always register through race and class-related fear and disgust. But the heart of the story—the unraveling of Josh's life and the steady erosion of his faith that ignorance can be a virtue and happiness a choice—is riveting.

I started reading Ann Packer's newest novel, Song Without Words and I am disappointed to say that I have put it down and will not finish it - I loved her book, Dive From Clausen's Pier but this one just doesn't measure up for me.

Website of the Week: - "We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

Podcast of the Week: radio -

Vocabulary Word of the Week - Nonplussed - this was contributed by Barbara Rowland and is accompanied by this opinion column from the Los Angeles Times,0,4695540.column

Cooking and Dining Report:

Janet made this wonderful corn chowder from Ina Garten on The Food Network

Jexy prepared dinner on Friday night and we loved these Calzone Rolls with Sausage, Basil and Tomatoes from Rachael Ray of the Food Network

We made this Heavenly Hazelnut Pound Cake, also from Rachael Ray - so easy and "heavenly" - how can you miss with Nutella and whipped cream?! And the pound cake is store bought.

I decided to try Julia Child's Roast Chicken recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My intention was to follow it to the letter but after I defrosted my chicken, I realized that I had had it "butterflied" at the store, so right off the bat, I had to make modifications to Julia's technique. The result was a delicious chicken with a fantastic pan sauce to flavor it but the skin was not as crisp as it should have been. I will try it again with an intact whole chicken.

This recipe for Prosciutto and Cheese Stuffed Lamb Tenderloin from my friend, Giada de Laurentiis was terrific but do note that I actually made it with Pork Tenderloin. Jack is not a lover of lamb. We loved it! I think it would also work well with beef tenderloin but that would certainly be much pricier. The pork is definitely more economical and was moist and flavorful.

Whew - I'm not cooking until we get back from Alaska!

Quote of the Week - from Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron - "The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new"


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