Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eating:  I hope I like ratatouille.  I am at this moment baking a big casserole full of it.  We got a large eggplant in our CSA last week and the only thing I could think of to do with it was ratatouille.  I have not been a fan of the eggplant dishes I have eaten in the past.  Ratatouille seems like a good way to use up a bunch of veggies at once, if nothing else, and I have read that I can freeze it.  Freezing a few smaller portions sounds appealing to me, since E will not eat it and I might have rata-overload if I eat the entire 3 qts. myself. 
When I mention to Chef Kevin at our favorite restaurant that I was thinking of trying to make this, his helpful suggestion was to rent the movie "Ratatouille" and do exactly what the mouse told me to do.  He may have been a little tipsy when offering this advice...

Reading: Sunday bookclub is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle this month.  We are almost done with our year of classics.  So far I have enjoyed all we have read.  We started with The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, which I had never read.  I would read it again - it reminded me in some ways to Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag.  When the next person picked To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, she said it seemed like we were on a roll with classics.  Informally we decided that would be kind of fun.  We unanimously loved Mockingbird - how can you not love Scout? Next up was Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, which I enjoyed more now than I had when I read it when younger.  The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was lovely read for spring and made me want to get out in the garden.  When it was time for Beth to pick, she had been deciding between horse books (The Red Pony or Black Beauty) but settled instead on the unsettling Lord of the Flies by William Golding - so many levels to read that one on and discuss. We then read another unsettling choice: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, which provided another opportunity for great discussion.  The next book was one I had never read but had been on my "list": My Antonia by Willa Cather - I really liked this one a lot.  I look forward to reading O Pioneers someday as well.  (I am missing one of the selections in there between Mockingbird and Huckleberry - can't remember - will probably come to me at 3AM.)  I am up to pick next and am having a bit of angst about it.  I can't decide between something I have never read but probably should at some time (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) or something I have read and remember loving, to see if I still like it (A Separate Peace by John Knowles).  Part of the fun of the year of classics has been reading things I have never read and part of it has been rediscovering things I had to read before and seeing if they struck me differently as an adult than than had when I was in high school.  What classics have you read and re-read as a child/teen and then again as a grown-up?

Weeding:  The garden is transitioning to the late summer blooms, some of the fall blooms coming early.  I am wandering the garden, deciding what needs to be divided and what is going up for the plant swap I am coordinating next month.  Looks like I have plenty of rudbekia, monarda and balloon flowers, as well as a hosta or two to divide.  Or give away completely.  I have decided I am not a fan of hosta.  They are boring to me.

That's all for today.  Need to take my ratatouille out of the oven.  It is smelling pretty tasty.

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