Sunday, September 2, 2007

Since my last post I...

... read three books, went to the movies and traveled downtown to the Mustard Festival. Not bad for one week.

Savage Garden by Mark Mills
An enjoyable light read.

Publishers Weekly:
Two murders separated by centuries make up the heart of this excellent literary mystery. Set in the beautiful Tuscan countryside during the summer of 1958, Mills's novel tells the story of Adam Strickland, an art history major researching the 16th-century garden on the grounds of the Villa Docci. As Strickland studies the intricate sculptures and inscriptions in the garden, he deciphers a series of clues that hint at a murder committed more than 400 years ago. He also discovers evidence of another murder, this one only 14 years in the past. Unraveling the former mystery will find him a place in academic history, but solving the latter will place his life in danger. Stuart brings just the right touch to his reading of this intelligently written story. With an excellent use of his vocal talents, he moves easily from one character to another, never overplaying the accents or gender. His descriptive narration uses Mills's prose to sweep the listener into a classic world of intrigue and suspense. Fans of P.D. James and the like will enjoy

Mary Modern by Camille DeAngelis
I liked this one a tad more.

From the Publisher
Like the New York Times bestseller The Time Traveler's Wife, this compelling debut novel weaves an old-fashioned love story with modern science—and leaves us wanting more.Lucy Morrigan, a young genetic researcher, lives with her boyfriend, Gray, in her crumbling family mansion. Surrounded by four generations of clothes, photographs, furniture, and other remnants of past lives, they are strangely out of touch with the modern world— except in the basement, where Lucy works in the hightech lab she inherited from her father. Frustrated by her unsuccessful attempts to win tenure and bear a child, she takes drastic measures to achieve both: She uses a bloodstained scrap of apron found in the attic to successfully clone her grandmother.Naturally, Lucy is hoping for a baby. Instead, she brings to life 22-year-old Mary. Alive in a home that is no longer her own, amid reminders of a life she has lived but doesn’t remember, Mary is trapped in the strangest sort of déjà vu, and Lucy must face the truth about love, longing, and the ties that bind.

Last but not least on this weeks reading list, Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson. I read about it on bombastic bagman's blog here and was intrigued enough to get a copy from the library. It was a good choice. Very original and I found it highly entertaining. Add it to your reading list.

Library Journal: Bizarre images and bawdy laughter galvanize this splendid English farce about a prodigious giantess and her explorer son in 17th-century London. Jordan fetches the first pineapple to the court of Charles II, while his mother, The Dog Woman, wreaks vengeance upon Puritans in a brothel. The plague; the flying princesses who defy laws of the courts and gravity; Jordan's travels to the floating city and the botanical wonders of the New World -- the tale nips easily in and out of history and fantasy. The two characters eventually merge into the grievously polluted life of modern London. Metaphors abound with polemics on environmental concerns and politics of past and present .

We had a girls afternoon out on Friday, my sister Catherine, my niece Beth-Anne and me. We went to see Hairspray. It was top tapping fun. You are always aware of John Travolta as John Travolta playing the mother but that adds to the laugh. Good bunch of singers and dancers. Worth seeing in the theatre.

A short hour downtown Saturday afternoon to visit the 10th annual Mustard Festival. Paul wanted to try some different mustard flavours only to discovered he already has the ones he likes best. We wandered into a few shops while we were there and once again discovered there is little to bother with downtown.

With Stephen away for the holiday weekend we decided it was time to have lamb. Paul found this recipe in the cookbook he won at the hardware store. We were trying for the new BBQ but hey, it's better than nothing.

Lamb Loin Chops with Orange Zest

4 to 6 thick lamb loin chops
1/4 teaspoon - 1.25mL garlic salt
1 tablespoon - 15mL brown sugar
2 tablespoons - 30mL fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon - 15mL olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon - 15mL grated orange peel

- Trim any fat from lamb.
- Combine garlic salt, brown sugar, pepper, orange juice and olive oil in a small bowl
- Preheat BBQ to medium-high
- Lightly brush one side of the chops with 1/4 of the mixture
- Place chops on hot grill orange juice side down
- Close the lid and grill 2 minutes
- Brush the top half of the chops with a light coating of mixture and turn over
- Close the lid and grill 2 minutes
- Repeat two more times brushing with the remainder of the mixture for a total cooking time
of about 10 minutes for medium rare or until desired doneness
Sprinkle the grated orange peel on top when serving

I used lamb shoulder chops and served them with a pasta salad, grilled yellow zucchini and a bottle of French Beaujolais.

We are having perfect weather on this last long weekend of the summer.


jeanie said...

The lamb sounds wonderful!!!

I am intrigued by the concept of a mustard festival... and mildly amused at creating images in my head of the local tourism bureau trying to tie it in with local arts, crafts and culture.

I loved Sexing the Cherry - but you definitely have to be in the mood.

We're always trying for the BBQ too - or the tinny, V's other fantasy!!

Elizabeth said...

Tinny? I need a translation.

Jean Pierre said...

i'm so glad you enjoyed "sexing the cherry"!

i love the photo with the poppets! those poppets - they have such personality. :)

and the lamb looks delicious...!

Kathleen said...

You are the READINGEST woman! I often don't "let" myself read until all my chores are done. Then, when I start, I'll marathon read 3-4 books and have another lull.
How're the renovations going?
Tinny.....hmmmm....something to do with tin foil?

Elizabeth said...

Chores? You do chores? I avoid them whenever possible. Good thing I don't list the books I start and don't finish.

I think tinny is a small boat with an outboard motor

Vanity is being made to order. Possible finish date for the room is Thanksgiving. If not Canadian that American. *grin*

Kathleen said...

"Chores" does imply a bit of slavery, eh? LOL! I just have trouble taking time off for "play" when I have things needing to be done. I'm a really great procrastinator!
Glad the renovations are underway. And Thanksgiving's not so far off. Like the new light fixture!

Carl V. said...

I LOVED Mary Modern. Once I got going with it I just couldn't put it down. Its one I recommend highly and gave to several people as Christmas gifts this year.