Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Reading: I am in the middle of at least 3 books right now, all very different. On the bus I am reading The Power of a Praying Wife. It was a wedding shower gift over 3 years ago now but I just picked it up. I've never felt I was very good at praying and it is really challenging to pray for someone else. It has some really interesting ideas to think about and even if the power of prayer isn't enough, the thinking that I am doing about my husband, our relationship and myself is helpful in itself. The book is not for everyone (I wasn't sure it was for me which is why I have just now picked it up) but if you are in a relationship, even if you think it is the best relationship in the world, I think there is always at least one aspect of life your husband would appreciate a prayer for.

At lunch time, I am reading Life of Pi--very interesting so far. I enjoyed the argument in favor of zoos (not a commonly heard viewpoint) and in learning how he became a Hindu that also practices Christianity and Islam. I really wish I could remember more of what I learned about Hinduism and Islam in college. I don't have the books anymore either because I had borrowed them and had to return them after the class. I remember we read the Bhagavad-Gita and parts of the Koran and that I decided that of all the "world religions" that we learned about, I most wanted to be a Hindu. I don't now remember why.

At bedtime, I am reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (no relation to Wild Oscar, my cat). This is another bookclub book that I did not finish.

I also have in my stack of books I have started but not finished: Pride and Prejudice, Galileo's Daughter and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.

Eating: Dinner last night was a repeat recipe but one I have not yet written about: Ham and Cheese Mashed Potatoes. It was a perfect after-Easter recipe and used up the leftover ham. This time, I had some diced ham in the freezer and that made the preparation quite easy. Would be even easier if I had leftover mashed potatoes... Mix together 2 C. mashed potatoes and 1 tsp garlic salt and spread in the bottom of 1.5 quart casserole. Sprinkle 1 C. diced ham over the potatoes. Whip 1/2 C. whipping cream, fold in 1 C. shredded cheddar and spoon the mixture over ham. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Very tasty, easy and filling. My opinions on mashed potatoes--Yukon Gold make the tastiest mashed potatoes and a ricer is the preferred method of mashing (results in fluffier, non-lumpy, non-starchy potatoes). I don't care for potatoes whipped with an electric mixer because it releases too much starch and makes the potatoes less flavorful. With a traditional masher, there are too many lumps left and you might as well just serve boiled potatoes and let everyone smush his own. It seems like a stupid thing to have such strong opinions on but I do. And it is my blog. So there.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Reading: Last night when I couldn't sleep, I finished a book I have had hanging around for a good 6 months. It was a bookclub selection in October maybe? and I hadn't finished it in time for bookclub because I hadn't been reading much that month. And then when I didn't finish it in time for the discussion, other things got in the way. The book, Wild Life by Molly Gloss, was interesting. It is a story of Charlotte Bridger Drummond, a feminist, single mother of 5, a writer and an adventure seeker at the turn of the last century. I enjoyed her musings on the writing process and some of her observations on marriage, family and men (though do not agree with them necessarily) but the story really picked up when she got lost. She had joined some rough lumberjacks in the search for a little girl and then she herself got lost in the woods. Starving nearly to death, cold, alone and without shoes, she is taken in by a group of Saskwatches (Bigfoot, not people from Saskatchewan). Among them, she reflects on wilderness and the "civilized" life of man. It is part feminist writings, part ecology commentary, part fairy tale. All very interesting and I am glad I finally finished it.

Eating: This was not a very adventurous eating/cooking weekend. I was kind of tired and lazy. We had take-out Chinese on Friday, leftovers on Saturday, frozen pizza Saturday night (too lazy to even make homemade pizza!) and then on Saturday, went out with my mom for lunch (Don Pablo's--I enjoyed the spinach enchilada but like Chevy's tacos better) and then to the in-laws for dinner.

I am thinking of adding a gardening section to this blog. We will see what I have to write about that.
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