Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Club: The Book Theif and Normandie Cafe

I'm a little behind on my book club reviews so let's just do a quick synopsis before I get to today's:

The Room by Emma Donoghue at Village Inn. This was a solid 3 star book. An interesting yet unbelievable story of a woman who was kidnapped and kept in a shed (Room) for years. The story is told from the perspective of her son, who was born in the room conceived by her kidnapper. Worth reading but not worth bumping to the top of your list. Village Inn was well generic.

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card at Training Table. Wonderful book one of my favorite in the Ender's series. I HATE sci-fi and yet I loved this book. Card does a wonderful job of moving the story line along while still developing the world around him in an understandable way. Worst book club meeting I've ever been too. Everyone bailed. Training Table was blah - completely overrated I probably wont ever eat there again.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson at Chicago Pizza. When I first finished the book I HATED it. HATED.IT. It was slow and boring; it could have been so exciting but it just wasn't. However after the meeting and the awesome discussions I bumped my rating from a 2 to a 3.5. It's definitely not my cup of tea but I had to admit that there was a lot of very interesting history embedded into the story. The fact that it's a non-fiction makes it great but also leads to the boringness. If you enjoy American history or like architecture it's must read. Chicago Pizza was surprisingly tasty. A little over priced - but then again I think most pizza places are. I went simple and shared a thin crust prosciutto pizza and the house salad and was quite satisfied.

Today's book was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This was one of the first books that I listened to on MP3. It was amazing. I honestly loved it. A non-Nazi family in Nazi Germany. The story its told from the perspective of Death. Really a brilliant tale; it made me laugh out loud and then sob. I really think everyone should read this book and I would love to see it in school curriculum. The discussions about the book were good, we did get off on some tangents but over all it was interesting. A lot of people there were history buff which I am not so it was interesting to listen to their additional knowledge. The restaurant we ate at was Normandie in Holladay. My review? Meh. The food was fine but way over priced for the portion size and quality. Teardra got a mac-n-cheese that she deemed the best she's ever had. I got a steak sandwich and caesar salad and it was fine.

There are a ton of meetings coming up that I'm really looking forward to including The Giver, Tinkers, and The Reader (the last two I haven't read yet but look):

If by chance you are a historical romance or period piece person pick up The Gentleman Poet by Kathryn Johnson. I picked it up on the whim at the library and I was pretty sure I'd hate it and not finish it but I LOVE it. 

Happy Reading

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Story of Stupidity and Something to Make it Better

After running errands today we decided to give ourselves a little treat. My mom and I were craving some delicious (half priced) cherry limeade from Sonics. I appreciate the sock hops at Sonics because they have to figure out your change all by their lonesome selves. They roller skate out to your car give you your food and then make change for you all without the aide of a calculator or cash register. You'd be surprised at how many people can't do that.

We then drove down the street to get the naughties some ice cream from Burger King. I was delighted to see that they offered their soft serve in either a "cone or a cup". It said so right on the board. And as all mommies know cones and young children equal a big fat mess. So I pulled up and said "I'd like two soft serve ice creams in a cup." And so begins my story of stupidity:

BK Girl: You mean a cone.
Me: Ummm no I mean a cup.
BK Girl: You want a sundae? 
Me: No it says right here "soft serve ice cream in a cone or a cup" and I want mine in a cup.
BK Girl: (silence) So what if I put it in the cone and then put it into a cup."


Double pause...

My brain doesn't process stupidity too well and so I was a bit perplexed and well dumbfounded at her response so I said sure and drove up to the window. And sure enough I watched as she filled two cones with ice cream then turn the cones upside down in to cups to hand to me. I really REALLY wanted to take the cones off and hand them back to her but my mom taught me not to be rude and so I didn't. But WOW... Wouldn't you just put the ice cream into the cup and skip the whole cone business all together?

Now that you're mind has been numbed by that story I'll give you some happier news. My garden. We harvested the plants two days ago and got this:

That's only a portion of the tomatoes. We've been picking them regularly and we still have a ton that aren't red yet. We pulled up the onions a while ago but I can't find a picture. As for the zucchini? Their still growing strong. In fact we have a weird new type that just randomly showed up:

My mom and I both shredded up different batches of zucchini and squash to store in my new deep freezer (yeah!!!).

We also peeled and pack up the tomatoes for future use in tomato sauces and salsas! No more canned tomatoes for us:

I made up a big batch of almond pesto! I can't WAIT to throw that on some pizza dough with some fresh tomato slices and mozzarella! Yum!

But really what I wanted to share with you is my new FAVORITE way to eat zucchini.... Deep fried zucchini strings! So simple. Just shred the zucchini going along the whole length of the zuc. Then chop up thin rings of onions. Throw everything in some buttermilk and let it sit, turning it occasionally to make sure every piece gets it's buttermilk bath. Mix some salt, pepper and garlic powder into some flour. Shake off the excess buttermilk, coat with the flour mixture, then fry until golden. I promise you it's heavenly!