Monday, December 29, 2008

Weekend Weather and Books I Read

What a weekend, weatherwise, first we had a lot of rain, then thick fog followed by gale force winds. Trees were bending almost double. The winds did a lot of damage throughout Southern Ontario and I think in the Northern States too. A lot of trees down and a lot of people without power. It sounded almost like hurricane force winds. They sure were howling around our building, made me cold just listening to them. The winds found all the tiny cracks in the windows and blew the curtains around. Brrrr. However, today is sunny and there is almost no snow left except where it was piled after being shovelled. The result being we just "hunkered" down and read or watched TV and didn't do much of anything at all. I got through a couple more books, one being The Twisted Citadel by Sara Douglass which I finished last night. I thought it was the final book in the current "set" (Dark Glass Mountain) but it turned out I was wrong. The first was The Serpent Bride which I found fairly hard going, however, this book I raced through and enjoyed much better. It turns out there is at least one more book to be published, some time next year. I shall have to remember to look out for it. The other book I read was Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott, her first novel in the Crossroads Series. Trouble is, it was written in 2006 and there are supposed to be 7 books in the series. At this rate, I may not be around for the remainder. I really prefer to come across a book which is new to me, but where the series is all but completed. This applies to another series, Winds of the Forelands, I am reading, I mentioned the first one a week or two ago which was called Rules of Ascension and now have book two which is Seeds of Betrayal. This is one of the series recently recommended to me by Glenda Larke of Tropic Temper (see link this page). It seems I not only enjoy Glenda's books, but also the books Glenda herself likes to read. No league bowling today although we did think of going along anyway, see how we feel later. At least Friday's league is running. I need to practice as I have a tournament on Sunday morning. No Canadian Diabetes volunteering either, they are closed for a week. Going to be a bit of a boring week especially as we are not doing anything for New Year. I was checking my vegetarian cookbook for something different to serve as a vegetable and came across a recipe which I haven't yet made, but plan to do so as soon as I can buy some bell peppers. In fact the other night I suddenly thought of braised celery which we enjoy, so served that with the remains of our turkey. I did cook the bones up with some veg and made a very good soup into which I added a can of lentils and we had that for supper last night - it was yummy. Meanwhile: South-Western Bean Salad The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook My comment: This recipe calls for dried beans, however, I would certainly use cans of beans rather than mess with soaking beans for hours first. Do use fresh coriander if you can, it tastes so much better. Serves 4-6 1 cup dried black beans 1 cup white cannelini (navy) beans 1 medium red onion 1 medium red (bell, capsicum) pepper 8 2/3 oz canned corn, drained 3 tbs chopped fresh coriander 1 clove garlic crushed 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp French mustard 2 tbs red wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil salt and pepper If you are using dried beans: soak in separate bowls in cold water overnight. Drain, place in separate pans, cover with water. Bring both pans to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 mins or until tender. Drain, rinse and allow to cool. Alternatively, use a couple of cans of prepared beans, drained and rinsed. Chop the onion and red pepper. Place in a bowl and add the beans, corn and coriander. Stir until well combined. Combine the garlic, cumin, mustard and vinegar in a small jug: gradually whisk in the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture and toss lightly to combine. This salad can be made up to a day in advance and is a great dish to serve at a barbecue or take on a picnic as it carries well. Have a great day.


  1. Did you know poor Sara Douglas is very ill? Google for her website and read the message there. Dreadful news, as she is only in her forties, I think. Her family comes from Penola, not 30 miles from here, and she comes from an old local family. I taught ballet to littlies who must've been her cousins, back in the seventies.

    You've nudged my conscience, Jo - I must blog my reading, too. It's the Done Thing at this time of year!

  2. No I didn't know about Sara Douglass being ill. I looked for information about her or her books and couldn't find anything up to date. I will have to look again.