Monday, July 6, 2009

Wimbledon, Latest Reads

Matt was so pleased when Roger Federer won the men's (sorry gentlemen's) singles yesterday - he is Matt's hero in the tennis world and he had everything crossed that he would win. I didn't watch, I don't really know why, I used to enjoy watching Wimbledon when I lived in the UK, but haven't really watched it since. Apparently no British male has won since the early 30's, so this last couple of weeks the British were cheering for the Scottish player Andy Murray. The Williams sisters did it again too, they swap the title between them. Matt was also happy Tiger Woods performed up to standard in a golf tournament he hosted this weekend. Meanwhile, I was reading, how unusual you might say. I read Turn Coat by Jim Butcher which is the latest in his Dresden File series, I absolutely love these books, all about vampires and wizards and things that go bump in the night with a terrific overtone of humour. If you have never read any of these novels, this is the 11th, they are really good, I don't find them a bit scary. Harry Dresden is a wizard living in Chicago and very much looked down upon by the White Council (more wizards) as a rebel. He has a great big carpet of a dog (Mouse) who sits on people to keep them from doing stupid things and is totally intelligent. Then there is a cat (Misty) as well as a skull called Bob who reads trashy romance novels. Harry has to drive an old Beetle as anything modern with lots of technology is affected by magic. He only has candles in his apartment, no electricity. (He lights them all at once by saying flicus bicus!! Flying is out of the question, I would hate to be on a plane with Harry!! I highly recommend them for good reads. The other book I read was New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. This is the second of her Twilight series which seems to consist of four books. The first one having been turned into a movie. More vampires and werewolves in this one. I have enjoyed both the books I have read and am eagerly anticipating the next one, Eclipse. Again, it isn't really scary - the books are basically a love story between a human girl and a vampire male. Quite a poignant story. You should read the excerpt at this site where you can also read the first chapter. I now have a short story to finish - its a love story by Marilyn of French Marilyn's blog. I also have been re-reading some short stories about Valdemar - don't know when I last read these stories, but they were quite fresh to read again and I mostly didn't remember their plots. The original Valdemar series was written by Mercedes Lackey, but this book of short stories only includes one novella by her. I love the Valdemar stories the idea of the "Companions" who choose their riders in the most magical ways and become their closest friends for life, are a wonderful concept. Her characters are marvellous too and make you want to get to know them. Going back to Food and Drink for a recipe today, I came across this one with Orzo which is a pasta I very much enjoy. I don't have any shrimp at the moment although I plan to rectify that when we go to North Carolina in September. Food and Drink recommend serving this with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pilsner beer. Orzo Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Shrimp There's a lot of colour and flavour in this yummy salad which can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Use jumbo shrimp for added appeal for guests. Serve as is or, for a twist, on a leaf of Boston lettuce. Bringing this dish to the next family reunion will make a big impression. 1 red onion 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1 red pepper, quartered 1 yellow pepper, quartered 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup orzo pasta 1 lb jumbo (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined 3 Tbs chopped fresh Italian parsley 1 clove garlic minced Pinch hot pepper flakes 3 Tbs white wine vinegar 1 Tbs each, chopped fresh mint and basil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cut onion into 6 wedges, place in a large bowl. Add zucchini, red and yellow peppers and 2 Tbs of the oil. Toss. Place vegetables on greased grill over medium high heat and grill, turning once, for about 10 mins. or until golden and tender-crisp. Remove to cutting board and when cool enough, chop into bite sized pieces and place in large serving bowl. Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well and add to grilled vegetables. Toss shrimp in 1 Tbs oil, 1 Tbs parsley, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Place on greased grill over medium high heat and grill, turning once, for about 5 minutes or until firm and pink. Add to bowl. Whisk together remaining oil and parsley, white wine vinegar, mint, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad, toss to combine. Serves 4. Have a great day.


  1. Can't say that I am a tennis fan these days. I feel with all the 'oldies' gone - McEnroe, Conners, Becker, Borg etc - the game has become dull. Or rather the sport has become dull.

    As for cycling - the Tour de France - oh la la, not a favourite of mine either.

    So what sport do I like? The one I'm best at: lying on my sofa reading.

  2. I have a friend who is nuts about Lance Armstrong and the tour. I spent time in France when the tour was on, many years ago, when French TV wasn't very interesting anyway, and the tour just about drove me up the wall.