Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
by Barbara Kingsolver
Yeah, so...um...I didn't get very far with Seven Storey Mountain. Yeah...oops. That's because I was completely swept away by Barbara Kingsolver's latest book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I have been an avid Kingsolver reader for several years, but was so annoyed by the preachy environmentalism masquerading as fiction in her book Prodigal Summer that I haven't ready anything she's written since. When Animal, Vegetable, Miracle first came out, I rolled my eyes and walked right on by.
And then picked it up off of a friend's coffee table, read the first page, sat down on the couch, read a little more, and couldn't put it down. I think what turned me off about Prodigal Summer was the underhanded way that (I felt) Kingsolver pushed her environmental agenda onto the reader. It felt passive aggressive, overly defensive, and forced. But in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Kingsolver can be direct and honest with the reader about her views, and the resulting book feels like conversation between the reader and Kingsolver. A conversation that perhaps takes place in her cozy kitchen while canning tomatoes or flipping through poultry catalogs.
Anyways, it's a good read, especially at this time of year when the summer bounty is winding down and hot tea starts to sound like a mighty fine idea.
Speaking of which...
Nutcracker Sweet Tea from Celestial Seasonings
Earlier in the summer, my good friend Dave arrived in my cube all a-flutter and grinning from ear to ear. He held out a box wrapped in Christmas paper: "Open it! Open it!" By this point, he was hopping from foot to foot and giggling a little, so I tore off the paper in about two seconds and revealed....an entire box full of Nutcracker Sweet Tea. That's right, Dave had heard my cry for a dependable supply of Favorite Tea Ever, and went straight to the source: Celestial Seasonings Mecca and got me six whole boxes of Nutcracker Sweet Tea. All for me! To ration or splurge as I please! Oh, Dave, did I ever tell you that you're my hero? Yes, and also the wind beneath my wings.
At the time, I had one lonely box of tea that I'd been slowly rationing out. Then it got hot here in Boston and hot = iced coffee, and for whatever reason, it's only been this last week that I cracked the first box of Favorite Tea Ever. And it's so timely since just this week, fall arrived. Just like that. Sweater time!
Not a sweater, alas. No, it's that time of year when I still believe I can really truly finish all my knitting projects in time for Christmas. Yes, like any true Red Sox fan, I still believe.
And yes, pictures of the Daisy Dukes to come. Sorry it's taken me so long. Sorry sorry sorry! They're done, actually, but just haven't gotten photographed. To come. To come. The best is yet to come.
I need to do a separate post about this asap as this is my new favorite thing ever. It's essentially my recipe for pizza dough (HERE) split into eight pieces and folded into calzone-shape. I spread out the dough into a palm-sized round on a piece of parchment paper, put a few spoonfulls of filling, fold it over into a half-moon and pinch it shut. Leave the parchment paper around it (the paper comes off in the oven) and cut a few steam vents in the size. I bake these on a baking sheet in the oven because the filling tends to ooze out and get all over my oven (which is always perfectly clean. Of course.). That's it! They're about 3.5-4 Weight Watcher points each, depending on the filling and they freeze like a dream. I made a double batch this past weekend--sixteen calzones! I had a whole production-line going there. These are perfect for how crazy my life is these days--I leave a bunch in the freezer at work for lunches and throw one in my bag to scarf down between lecture and lab on class nights. Yum!
What else?....mmm...that's about it. That's about all I have had time for! Well, that and watching America's Next Top Model. (Go, Bianca! So fierce!)