Monday, June 15, 2009

Books and Asparagus

Over the weekend I finished the Sharing Knife series I was telling you about, by Lois McMaster Bujold, Passage being book 3 and Horizon the last one. I really enjoyed the books and it was a good story with a different kind of magic. A lot of the story was about different kinds of people learning to live together, i.e. the ones with magic and the one's without. If you like fantasy stories, this is one of the best series I have read lately and I am pursuing another series written by the same author. As I had finished these two books, I then went on to another book by Sarah Addison Allen whom I mentioned the other day as well. She writes delightful stories set in North Carolina which are somewhat magical. In this one, Garden Spells, there is an apple tree which throws apples at you and if you eat one, you will get a dream of your future which could be good or bad so the tree's owner tries to ensure no-one eats them. All the women in one family are magical, in another family they are good at sex, each family has its own particular trait. I really like this author and will certainly look out for anything else she writes. GMA was interviewing an author, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, who has written a book called In Her Own Sweet Time. She was talking about women and child bearing including deciding to have children without necessarily marrying the father. It made me think how things have changed in my lifetime. When I was a young woman it was considered dreadful if it was known you had even had sex with anyone let alone had a baby. If it was known you had "played" around you were considered to be fast and not a very nice young woman, boys would never marry you, etc. etc. What a terrific about face that a man will now marry a woman who has one or more illegitimate children without even thinking about it - other than taking on the job of two kids that is. I was just speaking to someone to whom I had recommended Barrie's Asparagus and he was unaware that the season ends soon. Tim Barrie always says "Mother's Day to Father's Day" there might be a day or two more at either end, but that is the approximate season, so if you haven't been there and wanted to go, you haven't got too much longer. Just to encourage you, here is a delicious asparagus recipe. Roasted Asparagus with Garlic-Lemon Sauce Eating Well Makes 4 servings 2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds), trimmed 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided ⅛ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons water 2 anchovy fillets, minced 1 small clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs (optional; see Tip) 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Toss asparagus with oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 3. Combine mayonnaise, Parmesan, water, anchovies, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. To serve, drizzle the asparagus with the sauce and top with hard-boiled egg (if using). Tip: To hard-boil eggs, place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out hot water and cover the eggs with cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle before peeling. Have a great day.


  1. Having taken some time off I've also been reading -- instead of writing. And what a lovely change. Do you know the Israeli writer Amos Oz?; I bought about a dozen of his novels as well as his memoir at our WHSmith at the beginning of my 'home holiday', and I love his writing.

  2. Nope, I can't say I do. I will look out for him. But these days I read a lot of fantasy which I know you don't enjoy.

    Nice to see you back by the way, are you going to disappear again for a while?