Friday, October 12, 2012

Nobel Laureate, Witch Fairy, New VW

Mo YanGlenda Larke (see Tropic Temper) pointed it out to me first, but a Chinese writer, Mo Yan has won the Nobel prize for literature which is quite a feat. He is praised for his “hallucinatory realism”, in other words, he writes fantasy!! Presumably this also opens the door to the rest of the speculative fiction world. I hope so because many of the authors write the most fantastic stories which, in my opinion, are very underrated. Of course some people make it to the top, J.K. Rawlings, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, to name True Bloodthree, but there are so many good authors out there whom very few have ever heard of.  I have just discovered a series by Bonnie Lamer which I think is probably classified Young Adult, called Witch Fairy. The first is called True Blood and the second Blood Prophecy. There seem to be a whole heap more of them as well. I am thoroughly enjoying them although reading them on Kindle, I am finding a few typos here and there. The story starts with a young woman with parents who are ghosts. She turns 17 and then discovers she is half witch half fairy none of which she has any idea of and basically doesn’t believe. Trouble is at 17 her magic becomes ‘unbound’ meaning she now has the use of it, but no-one has shown her how to use it or control it.

supermileageHave you seen, in the news, the new VW which is being introduced in China. It costs the equivalent of $600, seats one person only and gets some 258 mpg. A perfect car for travelling to work in the city. Someone commented you could buy two of these in China (one each for husband and wife) and ship them back home for less than the cost of buying a new car in the West. The car has been manufactured under great secrecy until now. There are lots of pictures on the web. The interior is pretty basic but practical with lots of attention to safety. I want, I want!! The Smart Car holds two, but I think it is rather ugly, this is quite an attractive little car. Have you noticed how many of the new car designs are ugly?

Here’s something a bit different – the picture makes it look great of course, but then pictures are not always truthful, but the combination of ingredients sounds as though it would taste pretty good. It came from the Food Network. I have no idea what san marzano tomatoes are, but I am assuming any good canned tomatoes will do.

Mediterranean Chick Pea Stew

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen

This hearty soup is perfect on a chilly night.Med. Chickpea Stew
Yield: 2

  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red finger hot chili pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can whole, peeled, organic san marzano tomatoes, hand crushed (796mL)
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • 2 cups chick peas
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • handful of fresh parsley, minced
  • 5 large mint leaves, stacked, rolled up and sliced into ribbons (chiffonade)
  • toasted whole wheat pita, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
  2. Slice the top off of the head of garlic; lay it on some aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and black pepper. Seal aluminum foil over garlic and roast for 40 minutes.
  3. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers and scallions into the pan, stir and coat with salt, paprika and cumin. Pour in the hand-crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Peel 4 cloves of roasted garlic and crush with a fork. Add garlic, chick peas, lemon zest, mint and parsley to the stew then stir until heated through.
  5. Ladle stew into big bowls and serve with toasted whole-wheat pita wedges.

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo .. I saw and read about the new Nobel Prize winner and a new VW, but one for our market, - am unsure about parking millions of those around the cities of China ... and I love chickpeas - the recipe sounds delicious ...

    Cheers Hilary

    1. I didn't know there was one for another market yet. I think its such a good idea - Follows Ford's idea of a car for everyone.

      Enjoy the chickpes.

  2. The smart car IS ugly and it doesn't even get that good of gas mileage. I think that new VW would be crushed by a pickup or SUV here.

    1. Yes, but they are real gas guzzlers aren't they?