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, February 01, 2009

SAturday Morning Walkers - November 2, 2008

Hi everyone!

I arrived home from New York yesterday and already miss my sweet Sylvie. She and her mom and dad are doing well - oh and of course, Violet (the dog) is adjusting nicely.
I had a very special treat on Thursday - I went on a NY Food Tour of the Chelsea Market (home of Food Network) and the neighboring Meatpacking District (very hip, trendy neighborhood that is home to some very fine restaurants and stores). I had the most wonderful time and got to sample fabulous food from the merchants in Chelsea Market - cookies, biscuits, clam chowder, Italian antipasto, cheese, chocolate milk, tea -
On Friday, my dear friend Sue and her daughter Amanda came to visit us and meet Sylvie. It was great to see them both.

Book Report:

I am almost finished with The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff - this novel was recommended by Libby and I have chosen it for our December book group. I can't put it down! It is a combination of historical fiction and murder mystery set in Mormon Utah - kind of a blend of Law and Order and Big Love.

From The New Yorker
This ambitious third novel tells two parallel stories of polygamy. The first recounts Brigham Young's expulsion of one of his wives, Ann Eliza, from the Mormon Church; the second is a modern-day murder mystery set in a polygamous compound in Utah. Unfolding through an impressive variety of narrative forms—Wikipedia entries, academic research papers, newspaper opinion pieces—the stories include fascinating historical details. We are told, for instance, of Brigham Young's ban on dramas that romanticized monogamous love at his community theatre; as one of Young's followers says, "I ain't sitting through no play where a man makes such a cussed fuss over one woman." Ebershoff demonstrates abundant virtuosity, as he convincingly inhabits the voices of both a nineteenth-century Mormon wife and a contemporary gay youth excommunicated from the church, while also managing to say something about the mysterious power of faith.

Judy really enjoyed Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life

From Publishers Weekly
Perhaps the leading choreographer of her generation, Tharp offers a thesis on creativity that is more complex than its self-help title suggests. To be sure, an array of prescriptions and exercises should do much to help those who feel some pent-up inventiveness to find a system for turning idea into product, whether that be a story, a painting or a song. This free-wheeling interest across various creative forms is one of the main points that sets this book apart and leads to its success. The approach may have been born of the need to reach an audience greater than choreographer hopefuls, and the diversity of examples (from Maurice Sendak to Beethoven on one page) frees the student to develop his or her own patterns and habits, rather than imposing some regimen that works for Tharp. The greatest number of illustrations, however, come from her experiences. As a result, this deeply personal book, while not a memoir, reveals much about her own struggles, goals and achievements. Finally, the book is also a rumination on the nature of creativity itself, exploring themes of process versus product, the influences of inspiration and rigorous study, and much more. It deserves a wide audience among general readers and should not be relegated to the self-help section of bookstores.

Amanda A. mentioned a book to me that I've certainly known about but just haven't gotten around to reading. It is Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. The book is one of the best she's ever read and it has certainly impacted her life. She really piqued my interest and will move that up on my list of must reads.

From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Pamela KaufmanPollan (The Botany of Desire) examines what he calls "our national eating disorder" (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) in this remarkably clearheaded book. It's a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You'll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again.Pollan approaches his mission not as an activist but as a naturalist: "The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world." All food, he points out, originates with plants, animals and fungi. "[E]ven the deathless Twinkie is constructed out of... well, precisely what I don't know offhand, but ultimately some sort of formerly living creature, i.e., a species. We haven't yet begun to synthesize our foods from petroleum, at least not directly."Pollan's narrative strategy is simple: he traces four meals back to their ur-species. He starts with a McDonald's lunch, which he and his family gobble up in their car. Surprise: the origin of this meal is a cornfield in Iowa. Corn feeds the steer that turns into the burgers, becomes the oil that cooks the fries and the syrup that sweetens the shakes and the sodas, and makes up 13 of the 38 ingredients (yikes) in the Chicken McNuggets.Indeed, one of the many eye-openers in the book is the prevalence of corn in the American diet; of the 45,000 items in a supermarket, more than a quarter contain corn. Pollan meditates on the freakishly protean nature of the corn plant and looks at how the food industry has exploited it, to the detriment of everyone from farmers to fat-and-getting-fatter Americans. Besides Stephen King, few other writers have made a corn field seem so sinister.Later, Pollan prepares a dinner with items from Whole Foods, investigating the flaws in the world of "big organic"; cooks a meal with ingredients from a small, utopian Virginia farm; and assembles a feast from things he's foraged and hunted.This may sound earnest, but Pollan isn't preachy: he's too thoughtful a writer, and too dogged a researcher, to let ideology take over. He's also funny and adventurous. He bounces around on an old International Harvester tractor, gets down on his belly to examine a pasture from a cow's-eye view, shoots a wild pig and otherwise throws himself into the making of his meals. I'm not convinced I'd want to go hunting with Pollan, but I'm sure I'd enjoy having dinner with him. Just as long as we could eat at a table, not in a Toyota. (Apr.)Pamela Kaufman is executive editor at Food & Wine magazine.

Website of the Week - - take a peek at all the shops and events going on at New York's Chelsea Market - keep this in mind for any trips you may have planned to New York

Podcast of the Week - after Amanda told me about Michael Pollan's book, I remembered that I have a podcast on my Iphone from the 92nd Street Y, featuring Michael Pollan and Dan Barber (one of the owners and director of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Stone Barn Agricultural Center in Pocantico, NY - this is where Libby and David were married one year ago). I listened to it this morning and strongly recommend it. Hedonistic, Healthy and Green: Can We Have It All? with Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Joan Dye Gussow
January 8, 2008
Just go to and either download to your Ipod or listen on your computer.
Also, check out the website for Blue HIll at Stone Barns -

Vocabulary Word of the Week - sustainability
From Wikipedia:
Sustainability, in a general sense, is the capacity to maintain a certain process or state indefinitely. In recent years the concept has been applied more specifically to living organisms and systems. As applied to the human community, sustainability has been expressed as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.[1] Given the present level of human numbers, this may be difficult to achieve.[2][3]
The term has its roots in ecology as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future.[4] To be sustainable, nature’s resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally. There is now clear scientific evidence from environmental science that humanity is living unsustainably, and that an unprecedented collective effort is needed to keep human use of natural resources within sustainable limits.[5][6]

Sustainability has become a controversial and complex term that is applied in many different ways: to different levels of biological organization (e.g. wetlands, prairies, forests), human organization (e.g. ecovillages, eco-municipalities, sustainable cities) and human activities and disciplines (e.g. sustainable agriculture, sustainable architecture).

Cooking and Dining Report:

I did a bit of cooking for Libby and David this week - here are the recipes:

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. -

Veal Milanese from Trattoria di Lupo in The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas

1 pound veal scallopine, pounded thin (could substitute turkey cutlets)
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
6 ounces (1 large) vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 ounce parmigiano-reggiano shaved
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1.5 ounces creme fraiche
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup bread crumbs, untoasted
2 ounces olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Season the veal with salt and pepper and lightly coat them with creme fraiche.
Then dredge the veal in the breadcrumbs. Pan or ddep fry the veal until golden brown, then season lightly with salt and rest on a paper towel to absorb the residual oil.
Mix the diced tomatoes with 1 ounce of the olive oil, the parsley, a few drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Mix the arugula, fennel, orange juice and remaining ounce of olive oil together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the veal on a platter or individual plates and divide the marinated tomatoes over the cutlets. Top each with the salad mixture and then garnish with the parmigiano-reggiano. Veal should be warm or room temperature.

Chicken Thighs Baked with Lemon, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Catalan Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins (I left out the raisins 'cause Libby doesn't like them)

Quote of the Week -
"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you've worked on your own corner." Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop

Have a wonderful week ahead - PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO HELP GET OUT THE VOTE!!!!!!!


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