Category Archives: Photographs

Jamie Oliver can cook anything from zombie brains and alien heads to Chernobyl vegetables

What’s the name of this vegetable? Don’t peek.

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It’s a celeriac. I’ve been told it looks like an alien’s head, a zombie brain, a Chernobyl vegetable and “the thing that was stuck to Spock’s back.” The celeriac was part of our fall organic vegetable delivery a few weeks ago. Someone gave me a Jamie Oliver recipe to try cooking this unique veggie. The recipe rocked and everyone enjoyed eating zombie brains for Thanksgiving. It tastes like celery and cooked, has the texture of a potato. Celeriac is rich in potassium and vitamins C and B-6. Here’s the Jamie Oliver recipe, just in time for Halloween. Let me know how it works out for you.

 

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante. Translated by Ann Goldstein.

Four-hundred and eighteen pages. Europa Editions.

9781609452339Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay reads like a soap opera. You know the entire cast of characters; new and fleeting ones are introduced and they get themselves into dangerous, sad and fascinating situations. You know they’ll get out of the mess they’re in but you don’t know how, so you keep reading.

The third in the four-book Neapolitan series is definitely not pulp fiction, yet it contains lurid and sensational subject matter and its narrative is operatic in scope. The main characters Lina and Elena alone would be comfortable in a Jackie Collins novel; not to mention the characters that surround them. In fact, that may be the broad appeal of the series.

The characters are so richly described and the writing so evocative, that the book is more than typical chick lit about women’s relationships. Ferrante’s talented writing elevates Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay from a light fluffy read at the cottage to literary prose.

The third book becomes more about Elena and how she asserts herself as a person and as a writer, while Lila spins down into a horrible abyss before climbing back up. Characters from the previous two books come together. There’s a reversal of fortune.  At this point, I could give you a synopsis of the novel but I won’t. I didn’t have a clue as to what would happen on these pages and I want to give you the same pleasure.

However, I will tell you that what Lila and Elena go through is almost symbolic of the cultural and social changes that take place in Italy during the late 1960s and 70s, the period the book is set in.

It’s a great read but a thick read at 418 pages. Enjoy.

Dinner thanks largely to organic- vegetable delivery service

Dinner was so spectacular last night that I just have to share.

Every other Thursday, we head to a grocery-store parking lot and pick up our order of organic vegetables grown on a nearby farm. This is what the farmer gave us this week!

 

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And this is what we did with the string beans, onions, zucchini and tomatoes.

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The veggies were sautéd (the beans, par-boiled first) in butter and pepper, to which we added organic trout broiled with BBQ spices and more tomatoes. Oh and wine. My husband doesn’t even like string beans but he said it was better than dinner in a nice restaurant. I love string beans and I agree.

 

 

Organic-vegetable delivery getting bountiful

Eight weeks ago, when this experiment started, I thought I had a lot of fresh organic vegetables to content with every week, but really, it turned out to be a small amount. Now that summer is in full swing, my bi-weekly delivery of organic vegetables is humongous!

How is a family of three supposed to eat all this in a week? That was my first thought. Thankfully, we signed up for a bi-weekly service so we have two weeks to eat all this!

 

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Name that vegetable

We had fun trying to identify a vegetable and a herb included in our farmer’s produce basket delivered recently. We turned to Facebook and our friends came through for us. Can you name the vegetables on the table and the herb in my hand?

Don’t peek, the answer is below the photos.

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Kohlrabi and garlic scape.

That’s part of the fun of picking up a farmer’s vegetable basket every other week. We never know what to expect. I found myself sautéing chopped turnips last week and my son told me he liked the new way I made the potatoes. Oh honey, they’re not potatoes. Should I tell him?