Sunday, February 19, 2017


to all non-gardeners--


Hint: often sold in cans, where it is slimy and gross.

hint: Despite the fact that they're the easiest vegetable to grow and they're crunchy and only the slightest bit peppery, you almost never see them in restaurants.  People are stupid.

And last,
name that sprout:

Hint: they hate hot weather so much, it's foolish for me to even attempt them.  The British are enamored of them...on their cold, dank Island.

Spinach, radishes, peas
(I might have some lettuce up, finally, but it would jinx it to boast so soon)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A book for the want list!

Vegetable Literacy
by Deborah Madison

Great book in all respects.  All you ever wanted to know about pretty near all vegetables in North America, including how to prepare them, save them and cook them.  Even grains were included.  There were probably some glaring admissions of foods you can only find in an Asian market, like galangal or lemongrass, but I didn't notice the admission while I was reading it.

I didn't read through every recipe but I liked the way they were written, with plenty of advice.  For example telling you whether or not to peel the kohlrabi and giving hints on the best way to cut it into fine julienne.

I'd like of like to have a copy of this one, and since I'm trying to cut way down on the books I buy, that's high praise.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Not a favorite but other people loved it

Alice, Let's Eat
by Calvin Trillin

I thought this was going to be hilariously gut-busting, so I suffered the disappointment of overblown anticipation.  There ought to be a word for that--that feeling you get when your expectations for something are all out of proportion to the realities of it.  That doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't humorous and maybe even funny at times.  Just not enough.

As a collection of short essays in a newspaper--and I think that's where this came from--I'd definitely read them every time. Here's an example--instead of eating the tired, drab airplane meal that everyone suffers because it's free food, he decides to prepare one for himself. He just goes...a little...overboard. The reactions from the lady sitting beside him make you wish you were there.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Not a rave fave

Converting Kate
by Beckie Weinheimer

The title is misleading--it should have been, How To Live With A Religious Fanatic...and stay somehwat sane.    You pretty much know from the first pages that she's given up on her mother's religion.  There's no 'converting'.  She's just learning how to find a place for herself in a world where there are no predefined lines.  There are no church schedules, church friends, or church code of conduct. It's all up to her.

It's an interesting book but I wouldn't exactly call it a favorite. Even though the topic was deep, some of the characters were sadly shallow.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Slowdown time

The woman who walked in sunshine
by Alexander McCall Smith

It took a horribly long time to get interested in this. The spoken book had a pace much slower than I'd have given it in my head, and that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  The slow pace gave me time to savor the timing of their lives; the cadence of their conversation; the respectful deference the people showed to one another. I got the feeling that conversations were conducted like Tai Chi moves, with space between to pause and deliberate movements flowing into one another. It was a brain bender for my Twitter lifestyle.

Once my brain synced with the pace and I got into it, I was hooked. And even though the detective maybe didn't solve the case she'd been pulled into, she solved other cases you didn't even know were on the table. Was Mma Makutsi a business-stealing turncoat, or had she been bullied into giving up on the case and turning it to Mr. Polopetzi? Was Mr. Polopetsi a co-conspirator or simply out of his depth?  And what was the evil Violet Sephotho doing by opening a secretarial school with a name derivative of the Number One Ladies business name?

Very enjoyable and I'd like to listen to another one someday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Not for me but definitely for others

Magic, loads of magic. A villain--well, no--a whole forest of villains with a reason for their blind hate of all creatures. A tough-minded heroine with heart and an enigmatic wizard of indeterminate age but considerable hotness.

What's not to love?

I guess it was me. While I liked this immensely, I didn't love it. It deserved to be loved and I hope everyone else who reads it enjoys it as fully as I didn't. With one exception: I absolutely adored the way the wizard's and the witch's magic were totally different in nature yet equally powerful in effect. His magicks didn't work for her, and hers were often unintelligible to him. Cool concept.  Ms. Novik might have taken that even further but it would have dragged down the story. She's a show, don't tell, author, in the best way.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Food experiments, the good and the bad

Rice, spinach and eggs are heavenly. But...while rice and spinach topped with a poached egg and soy sauce is about as good a breakfast as you'll ever hope to eat, the same cannot be said for buckwheat and collards. Buckwheat has a rotten nut whang and collards need to be tamed with a little acid, like cider vinegar.  One more day to go on this week of nasty breakfasts.

On a lighter note, I ate my home-made polenta today!  It's not as hard to make as people say and I found it tasty, even without any fat and just a sprinkle of salt.  I wonder what it would taste like with a trickle of pure maple syrup?

Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee

Very enjoyable reading and a lot of good recipes.  There weren't many that I wanted to save but that was just the mood I was in.  I suspect they're all pretty tasty.