Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Reading: This weekend I consumed Sea Glass by Anita Shreve. My mom insisted that I read this because her "bookclub" (consisting of her co-worker and her co-worker's 16-year-old daughter) had read it and given it 2 thumbs up (the daughter apparently was indifferent in that way only teenage girls can be). I often share my books with my mom and she with me. Sometimes we agree and sometimes a book that I have raved about gets a "not so much" from Mom. This one she has been talking about for months and I have previously read The Weight of Water and liked that, so I finally read Sea Glass. I enjoyed it greatly. At first, I was confused by all the characters because they each had their own chapters and I couldn't see yet how they came together for one story. When they did, the story flew and beautifully so. The image of the sea glass that Honora collects on the beach is woven throughout the story, symbolic of many things including Honora herself and her new marriage. The characters are as vivid and unique as each piece of sea glass and the story was captivating. I learned a lot about mill work in the 1920's, about life right after the stock market crash and how people survived (interesting food ideas), about unions. I would definitely recommend this and will now seek out other Shreve novels (I really should read The Pilot's Wife one of these days).

Eating: I did not cook last night. But I highly recommend brie with fresh baguette. Tonight will be a repeat of a new recipe we tried a couple of weeks ago: Beefy Hashbrown Bake. This is another one from the cookbook I got through Thrivent Financial. Recipe to follow tomorrow (can't think of it off the top of my head).

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Reading: Last week, I finished reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and thought it was very interesting. I knew nothing about Botswana and thought the author did an excellent job blending a mystery (though really more of a series of small cases thoughtfully solved by the very likeable Precious Ramotswe) with a historical and cultural portrayal of Botswana. I would recommend this and look forward to reading more in the series.

Eating: Last night's dinner was 2 new recipes, both of which we enjoyed. The recipes are in a cook book I got FREE through Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (formerly Lutheran Brotherhood and Aid Association for Lutherans). It is no longer available but if you are a Thrivent Financial member, check out the other FREE things you can order. Chicken with Creamy Gravy was good and simple. We made it low-fat but couldn't taste a difference. To prepare, brown both sides of 4 chicken breasts (I always use boneless, skinless) for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together 1 can of cream of chicken and broccoli soup (I used reduced fat crm of chicken), 1/4 C. milk, 2 T. lemon juice and some pepper ("don't measure pepper", I told my husband last night). Pour the sauce over chicken, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until juices run clear. The Lemony Linguine (say that 5 times fast!) was very tasty too (don't tell anybody but we used spaghetti instead of linguine). The sauce was easy to make: 3 T. butter, 1 T. lemon juice, 1 1/2 t. dried basil, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. lemon-pepper seasoning--cook together until butter melts, then pour over 8 oz. linguine, cooked. That is it! Both recipes were so simple I remembered them without looking! Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 28, 2003

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