This month I had the chance to spend a week with my husband’s family in the Smoky Mountains. It was a lovely week of familial bonding, scenic views, and a teeny bit of touristy nonsense.
One of my favourite parts, though, was the chance to do some more reading. With all those extra adults around, fewer responsibilities, and a baby cousin to occupy Lydia, I was able to spend hours inside some fabulous books.
So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been into.
Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. I have a Thing for books about food. I can’t put them down. I gobble them up like novels.
I took this book — based on the blog of the same name — out of the library (because Leigh Kramer recommended it in one of her What I’m Into posts), and didn’t do much else for two days. It’s so good, you guys!
This book is part memoir, part cookbook. The memoir parts were a delightful read, but the recipes are what’s making me consider buying my own copy. My attempt to photocopy all the recipes I want to keep is bordering on plagiarism. (I’m trying to be a minimalist when it comes to books, but I’ve already renewed this one three times at the library. That might be a sign that it’s a keeper). I’ve already tried over a dozen of the recipes, and they’re all perfect. Delicious, easy, and just a touch exotic for this Mennonite girl. I’ve already made her chicken pot pie three times. And the homemade fettuccine with leeks and bacon? I don’t know if I can ever make fettuccine any other way again.
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Ann Lamott. I love Ann Lamott. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a wiser and funnier woman. (Seriously: this woman can make me laugh. If you haven’t read anything by her, do yourself a favour and get one of her books. Any of her memoirs).
Help, Thanks, Wow is much shorter and more poetic than anything else I’ve read of hers. I also read this one in two nights. Moving, original, meandering, and soulful. Beautiful. Read it.
The Giver by Lois Lowry – this was a re-read for me. I had recommended it to Ben, since he was looking for some good fiction; but then seeing him read it made me want to read it again.
Such a beautiful book. This is YA fiction at its finest. Simple enough for a child to understand and appreciate, but elegant and profound enough to make an impact at any age.
I’m still in the middle of Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh. This book is helping me embrace my introverted self. It feels good to have someone explain why I can’t easily talk in a group setting. I’m looking forward to hearing some ideas on how I can get involved in the Church while remaining true to myself and my gifts.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. This is another re-read for me, since our Book Club decided to read together. I forgot just how funny and lovable Don Miller is. Such an endearing protagonist and such a unique voice. I just want to keep listening to him.
Ben and I finally started watching Parks and Recreation, after three different friends independently recommended it. We love it! Leslie Knope is such a lovable character. We also can’t get enough of Ron Swanson. Such fun! And even though there’s still more than enough promiscuity, we find there’s a lot less sexual content and more intelligent humour than a lot of what we’ve seen lately.
Nothing! No good movies all month! Come to think of it, I don’t know if we even watched a single movie all month. It’s hard to commit to a 2-hour session in front of the TV screen when you have a busy toddler in the house who doesn’t go to bed before 10pm.
In case we ever have the chance again: any recommendations?
In the Kitchen
My most daring culinary experiment was using up the beef tongue in my freezer in these beef tongue flautas. They tasted great, but I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to get another beef tongue any time soon. There are just some images (peeling a poached tongue, anyone?) that are hard to shake — even for this farm girl. You know?
Otherwise, dinner has been pretty standard around here. Lots of Dinner: A Love Story-inspired meals, as mentioned above.
Ben and I gave up sugar for Lent, so I made plenty of batches of spicy popcorn, garlic-parmesan roasted chick peas, and various crackers to munch on in lieu of sugary snacks. I didn’t really miss the sugar (except when out with my girl friends, and everyone else was having cheesecake). In fact, it was kind of nice to have an excuse people would respect when turning down birthday cake and Krispy Kreme donuts. (“Oooh, I’d love to, but I gave up sugar for Lent!”)
So that’s what I’ve been into! How about you?
I’m linking up with HopefulLeigh.
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