Monthly Archives:: July 2010

Saturday Farmer's Market

July 31, 2010 Saturday Farmer's Market 9

Saturday Farmer’s Market is a feature I started to showcase, well, gardens!  This summer especially, I have really come to enjoy everyone’s garden posts and I selfishly want to see them all, every week!  And as you all know, I’m all about the sustainable living!  So give me your garden photos, your gardening books you’re reading, even give me pictures of your Farmer’s Market loot!  I want it ALL.

I finally got to go to the Farmer’s Market again today!  I haven’t been in three weeks, because of our beach vacation, so I was looooong overdue.  Look at the beautiful stuff I got!

I totally love my new apron.  The lady, Josie, who sold it to me was so sweet. She told me she made it with love, she packaged it with love, and then she gave me a big ole hug when she handed it to me.  Honestly, she was so sweet, my eyes teared up a little bit!  I love my farmer’s market, not only for the delicious, healthy, locally grown food, but for the people as well! Everyone is so nice there.

See that bread?  It. Is. The. Best. Bread. EVER.  I wish I knew how to make it.

See the blueberries??? I am making Blueberry Lime Jam today!  Thank God the hot weather broke.

Guess what else I did.  I had 10 pounds of tomatoes out of my garden last night, so I thought I would make tomato sauce and can it.  What to see?

Yep. 2 half pints of tomato sauce. 10 pounds = 1 pint. Wow!  But, it will taste yummy!

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To Kill a Mockingbird — The End

July 30, 2010 Books 5

To say To Kill a Mockingbird changed my life might be putting it mildly.  I’ve always been a reader, ever since I could hold up a book.  But up until the point I had to read To Kill a Mockingbird  in high school, most of my reading life had consisted of perfect size six blonde twins who only worried who their next boyfriend was and the messed up world of Christopher Pike.  To Kill a Mockingbird introduced a whole new world of literature to me.  Through Harper Lee I met Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor.  I moved on into the worlds of D’Artagnan, Cosette, and Quasimodo.  I learned that books could be deep, dark, powerful and empowering.

I learned to care about my fellow man, to respect them and show them kindness.  I learned that you are never too old for imagination.  And I expect Atticus set my expectations of men a *little* high.  :)

It has been a joy and privileged, as well as so much fun reading To Kill a Mockingbird with you guys this month.  I hope you will come around tonight, 8:30 EST, to watch the movie with Dawn of Too Fond of Books and I.  We’ll be watching the movie and discussing the hotness of Gregory Peck amazing job they did transforming this unforgettable book into a movie that is just as unforgettable.  Be sure you are following me @CapriciousReadr and @TooFondofBooks and follow #tkam and join in the party!

If you wrote a review or wrap up post for To Kill a Mockingbird or any other relevant books or posts you wrote this month you can link to them here.  And I hope you will consider joining Amanda from The Zen Leaf and I later this year (we’re aiming for September) to read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

July 26, 2010 Books 3

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event to list the books  finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of  Books.!

Books Completed Last Week

Rumors: A Luxe Novel book 2 by Anna Godbersen

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, read by Catherine McCormick (rereading to be ready for Mockingjay!)

Books Reading This Week

Planning to start Lit by Mary Karr and Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

Books to be Completed This Week

Finishing up Q’s Legacy by Helene Hanff.  Honestly, it has taken me way too long to read this very short book.

Room by Emma Donoghue.  Started it at the beach and read over 2/3 of it on the way home.  It. Is. Excellent.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, read by Catherine McCormick (I am SO READY for Mockingjay!)

Also need to finish up To Kill a Mockingbird and Scout, Atticus and Boo! for the read-a-long.

What are you reading this week?

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Weekend Cooking: Pesto!

July 25, 2010 Weekend Cooking 6

I have been meaning to make pesto for weeks.  There was a specific one I wanted to try, but I had to harvest my oregano before I could get it made.  Well, when I came back from the beach, all that oregano I had annihilated had resurrected itself!  See!

It did all that in one week!  I love my oregano plant.  I’m so sad this is it’s last year. :(

But glad I can make this pesto now! I’m trying this recipe from Delicious Living Magazine, which I found online.  I used my Lemon Basil, Minette Basil and I only have curly leaf parsley.  I also used just a tiny big more olive oil, to make up for the extra 1/2 cup of leaves.  At first, I was afraid it wasn’t enough olive oil.  I’ve seen recipes that call for 1/4 – 1/2 cup and they looked too oily, so this is perfect.  It looks yummy and I think we’ll be having pizza with pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes for supper tomorrow.  I wish I could get Beth Fish Reads’s tried and true pizza dough recipe… (hint, hint).

Doesn’t that look yummy?  If it is, you can bet I’ll be making more to freeze.  I have a TON of basil to use up!

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Oregano Pesto from Delicious Living Magazine

Oregano pesto is wonderful spread on pasta, in soups or over baked chicken.

1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1/4 cup pistachio nuts
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Whirl the basil, garlic, nuts, and Parmesan and salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) in a food processor until well mixed. Then add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until a smooth paste is formed. Pack into glass jars and cover the sauce with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent it from discoloring.

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weekendcookingWeekend Cooking hosted by BethFishReads every weekend.  It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

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Saturday Farmer's Market

July 24, 2010 Saturday Farmer's Market 11

Saturday Farmer’s Market is a new feature I’m starting to showcase, well, gardens!  This summer especially, I have really come to enjoy everyone’s garden posts and I selfishly want to see them all, every week!  And as you all know, I’m all about the sustainable living!  So give me your garden photos, your gardening books you’re reading, even give me pictures of your Farmer’s Market loot!  I want it ALL.

I tell you what.  Leave your garden for a week to go to the beach, in the middle of July… you won’t believe what will be waiting for your when you get back.  Huge okra.  Monster tomatoes.  Beautiful, ripe corn.  Oregano back from the dead.  I am amazed at what was waiting for me this morning when I walked outside to see what was going on back there.  Take a look!

Do you see that monster tomato?  Take a closer look.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking BLTs!

And look who has been hanging around my tomatoes, making sure nothing nibbles on them!

My okra is probably way too big to eat, but I’m going to freeze it anyway. Might be good in soups this winter!

One last picture, of a beautiful okra flower. I had no idea that the okra flower was so pretty!  I’m so glad I gave this plant a try this year.

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Book Review: Cleaving; A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession

July 22, 2010 Book Reviews, Books 9

Just an FYI, this review is going to somewhat assume you’ve read Julie Powell’s first book, Julie and Julia.  Cleaving is rather like a sequel, and really, they should be read in order for Cleaving to make sense.

To say I loved Julie Powell’s book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously would be an understatement.

To say I didn’t love Julie Powell’s book Cleaving: Marriage, Meat and  would ALSO be an understatement.

Here is a little bit of what I say about Julie and Julia back in, oh wow, June of 2007:

“I found Julie’s writing to be refreshingly honest and candid.  Her humor is infectious.  She holds nothing back as she describes the various recipes she cooks (and how gross some sounded!) and how her crazy scheme affected her life, family and marriage.  I’ve heard some say they are wary of books by bloggers.  I’m sure you’ve heard, some people think bloggers can’t really write.  This book is not just for foodies, or bloggers, but anyone who has struggled to find her (or his) place in life and just want to be given the chance to be happy with their life.  Highly recommended.”

Now, I still find Julie’s writing to be “refreshingly honest and candid.”  I also think she may be slightly insane.  Lemme ‘splain.

In Julie and Julia, one of my favorite parts, besides all the cooking, was Julie’s relationship with her husband Eric, which has almost disintegrated in Cleaving.  And it’s all Julie’s fault for embarking on an insane love affair that by all appearances is based solely on their sexual attraction.  The way she strings both me on was repulsive to me.   So she does what any insane, careless woman would do; she skips town and takes up butchery. So now she can break down a pig into the prettiest pork chops you’ve ever seen and French a rack of ribs like nobodies business – all in an effort to distract herself thoughts of afternoon trysts.

Some interest review bites:

“Julie Powell’s follow-up to Julie & Julia paints a visceral, compulsively readable picture of what it looks like when you fully indulge with a fantasy object who isn’t your spouse…. Powell has honed her writing chops along with her culinary skills, and her extended metaphor is dead on: how we can systematically hack each other apart without ever getting to the heart of our desires.” (Elle Miranda Purves )

and…

“Got a hobby you consider therapy? You’ll eat up this second memoir by the author of Julie and Julia. In it, Powell tries to end an adulterous affair by immersing herself in an apprenticeship at a butcher shop–and embarks on a world tour of meat. How she finds her way home is the marrow of this tell-all travelogue/love story. Well done!” (Self Elisabeth Egan )

also…

“From the title to the last page, former blogger Julie Powell’s startling second memoir, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, is smart and compelling…. Powell’s steadfast femininity and confident voice are refreshing.” (The San Francisco Chronicle Laura Impellizzeri )

I give you these quotes to show you what the reviewers thought.  I suppose it took guts to bare her soul this way, and I do somewhat admire her for that, but at the end of the day I found myself disappointed and with a strong wish that I hadn’t read it.  I honestly think part of my view was obscured by my deep love for the movie and Amy Adams’s portrayal of Julie.  I had Amy in my mind when I pictured Julie and, even though I don’t know either woman, Amy seems much sweeter than Julie! Recommended to those who like stories of infidelity in marriage, butchery, and insane women taking up both.  The way Eric puts up with all of this only added fuel to my fire.

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession
By Julie Powell
Category:
Nonfiction/Foodie Memoir
Published by Little, Brown and Company
Format: Hardback
Pages:
320
On Sale:
December 1, 2009
ISBN: 978-0316003360
I checked this out of the library – thank goodness.

Purchase from

Book DepositoryIndieBoundPowell’s Books

Other reviews by:

Desperado PenguinA Bookworm’s World | A Worn Path | Bookin’ With Bingo | A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook

I am a Book Depository and Indie Bound Affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links.

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Wordless Wednesday

July 21, 2010 Photos 8

Why does he look so old?  He is not that old. He will NOT be 3 in September. I refuse to believe it!  He is still my baby!

More Wordless Wednesday fun here.


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The Artsy Shelf

July 20, 2010 Books, Guest Posts, Lists 8

Many many huge thanks to Kay from The Neverending Shelf, for her fantastic guest post!

When Heather asked for volunteers to animate her blog while she was away on vacation, I immediately thought that an Artsy Shelf feature on a summer theme would be fun. For the Artsy Shelf, I usually group six covers that have a similarity in theme or color, and at this time of the year, it sounds perfect to look at some amazing covers featuring the beach!

It’s often difficult to pick a favorite, especially when all of these covers so beautifully present the beach and the sea. But, I do have some that I like more than the others : Apologize, apologize is one of my favorite covers, and I’ve been meaning to read the book since I first saw it. I love the colors, and dogs always look like they have so much fun playing in the water!
My second favorite is The Summer of Skinny Dipping - which I haven’t read either. What does the trick in this one, for me, is the lighting. It just feels so summery!

Now I would love to hear your thoughts! Do beach book covers make you want to read a book? Which one would catch your attention at first sight?

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To Kill a Mockingbird — Week Three

July 19, 2010 Books 4

Since I’m on vacation this week, and therefore behind in my reading because I was getting ready to leave, I thought I’d do favorite quotes this week.  To Kill a Mockingbird is so quotable, thanks to the beautiful text, and the faithful screenplay for the movie.  I have so many favorite quotes from this book!  Here are a few:

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.

When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles ‘em.

Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

The witnesses for the state have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption – the evil assumption – that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber. Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson’s skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men cannot be trusted around women, black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men.

And that’s just a few.  What are your favorite quotes? 

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