Archives for the month of: July, 2015

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Easing into this quiet Saturday, the morning dove coos in the background as I update my books read/in process list in Evernote. It’s where I keep titles and dates because I want to be able to have another spot to look back at my progress and see what pulled me in and when. I quickly scan over the 2014 list and am happy to see the long list of books, most completed, some left unfinished with short notes as to why I abandoned the book. Many titles I’ve forgotten about, but when I see them, I remember the stories and feel happy that I entered so many different places, met many characters, laughed, cried, felt deeply touched at times, connected.

And then there are some titles, that when I see them, I do remember the title itself, but not a thing about the story or characters. This bothers me. I know that I’m not alone in this. But I wonder why there are some stories that go forgotten, as though we never read them, never encountered the characters or their experiences. There are books on the list that I cannot forget and that from time to time I remember when something occurs in my day to draw it back. There are stories that I’ve wished that I could love, stories that sounded like they’d be fantastic, but because of whatever reason, maybe the style didn’t fit with my mode of receiving or maybe I didn’t like how the dialogue was going. Sometimes it’s so subtle. I know when I simply can’t enter a book even though I want to because it feels like it could have been, but never was–at least not for me.

One book in particle that I see on my list that I wanted to love is The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma and Jim Brozina. I’ve attempted to finish this book at least three times. How could I not be lured to the end by a memoir of a young girl and her Librarian father who make a pact to read aloud for 100 nights?

Last I updated my notes in Evernote, I left off on page 71. Usually if I begin a book, and it’s completely and utterly pulled me in, I will finish it; and I’m usually reading several books at one time, dipping in and out of where ever I want to be in the moment. I did like the book. There were parts that stood out and kept me going, but there was something about it, that kept me from wanting to continue. I feel that because I love books and libraries, I will need to finish this book one day. I need to keep going and continue where I left off no matter what. I used to keep a spreadsheet of my book reactions. I stopped doing that, but have been wanting to get back to it. I don’t usually make many notes in Evernote, but for this book, I wrote “Interesting but too many other books to read right now.” That was back in September of 2014.

So that gives me a sense and brings me back to thinking that maybe the book just felt a little bit too slow for me and maybe it felt like it would be a memoir told from an adult perspective, and it is, but it often felt like it was told from her younger self, which I suppose I wasn’t expecting. So when I enter the book again at some later time, I have to remember to enter it on its own and try to suspend my judgment until I reach the end.

The morning dove stopped cooing for a while, but I hear that he is back. His coo is a welcome sound that immediately brings calm to this morning, makes me stop to follow my breath.

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I love the colors of the M&Ms in this banana bread.

I thought I’d start this post with dessert. I didn’t take a picture when the bread was done, so while I was at work snacking, I snapped a photo before it was all gone. This recipe was really good. I followed it exactly, except I used creamy peanut butter instead of chunky because it’s what I had on hand.

This all came about because there were were two almost black bananas aching to be turned into something sweet and delicious. On our walk, Hubby kept asking me where I hid his bag of M&Ms, but I wouldn’t tell. Then a lightbulb went off, and he also made the suggestion when I said I was thinking of making banana bread. I didn’t tell him what I had in mind. I wanted to surprise him. I searched online for a recipe for banana bread with M&Ms and came across this one. It’s a keeper and I can’t wait to make it again.

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/04/11/not-your-grandmothers-banana-bread-with-mms-nuts-a-smidge-of-peanut-butter/

Sunday started off to be a good cooking week. I may have felt inspiration from the jambalaya and fried fish that my mother-in-law cooked during the week and invited us over to enjoy. She asked if we wanted refried or regular beans with our meal. We opted for refried. It was, as she said, a sinful meal, and we may as well go all the way. Almost everything was fried or had large amounts of delicious fat!

I had not planned to spend as much time in the kitchen on Sunday as I did. I thought I’d get in and out. I knew that I wanted to prepare posole, a Mexican stew that I grew up eating at my grandmother’s home. I searched the internet for recipes and found a variation by Rachel Ray that sounded promising. I’m used to eating red posole, but I went with a green this time.

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I was specifically looking for a recipe that used pork tenderloin for a healthier version. I was happy to find Rachel Ray’s recipe. I also looked at a red recipe. I ended up using most of the ingredients in Ray’s recipe. But not the honey, and I only used two cans of chicken stock and enough water to my tastes. I used the 4 poblano chiles, which I blackened on the stovetop. I also used about 3/4 cup of chiles Japones (Japanese chiles). They are small red chiles and added some heat. I followed the preparation of the red chiles from the second recipe and set the sauce aside to add to the mix when I got everything in the pot.  I also decided to make the green chile separately rather than cooking everything in the pot, then pureeing part of it. I didn’t strain. I cut the husked tomatillos into quarters and put them into enough water to barely cover them and simmered them for a bit, these went into the blender with their water and the poblano chiles, garlic, and salt. I set this aside, along with the red chile, until I had cooked the pork and veggies and then brought everything together into the pot to simmer. I didn’t do the nacho surprise…maybe next time if I need a change.

We topped our stew with shredded cabbage and lime juice. We also had an avocado on the side. This was a delicious posole that I will definitely add to my repertoire of recipes. There was enough flavor from the chiles and other ingredients without needing those extra cans of stock; and the heat was great.

That was Sunday. The momentum continues!

And I might add to the quote and say that, “All true love is grounded in esteem and good food.”

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/pork-tenderloin-posole-with-bottom-of-the-bowl-nacho-surprise-recipe.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/posole-rojo-recipe.html