Well, my reading goal for 2009 was to read 25 books. Not a lot, but in 2008 I didn't read very much at all, so it felt doable. And it was! I read 44 books total. (Why didn't I finish just one more? I'm only 70 or so pages from the end of one of my current reads.)
Books Read, January through December, 2009
01 – J13 - Weather Makers, Tim Flannery, Review
02 – J15 - The Tales of Beedle the Bard, JK Rowling, Review
03 – J20 - Criminal Minds: Finishing School, Max Allen Collins, Review
04 – J21 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Review
05 – J27 - A Spot of Bother, Mark Haddon, Review
06 – F11 - Divisidero, Michael Ondaatje, Review
07 – F14 - Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday, Garth Nix
08 – F22 - Keys to the Kingdom: Grim Tuesday, Garth Nix
09 - M08 - The Supernaturalist, Eoin Colfer, Review
10 – M15 - Keys to the Kingdom: Drowned Wednesday, Garth Nix
11 – M23 - Keys to the Kingdom: Sir Thursday, Garth Nix
12 – M29 - Keys to the Kingdom: Lady Friday, Garth Nix
13 – A05 - Keys to the Kingdom: Superior Saturday, Garth Nix
14 – A12 - God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens, Review
15 – M04 - Spook Country, William Gibson, Review
16 – M08 - City of Thieves, David Benioff
17 – M28 -The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, MG Vassanji, Review
18 – J03 - The Accidental, Ali Smith, Review
19 - J05 - Skim, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, Review
20 – J12 - The Mysterious Benedict Society,Trenton Lee Stewart, Review
21 – J19 - The Man who Forgot How to Read, Howard Engel, Review
22 – J25 - Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan, Review
23 – J02 - Born on a Blue Day, Daniel Tammet, Review
24 – J04 - Adverbs, Daniel Handler, Review
25 – J07 - jPod, Douglas Coupland, Review
26 – J12 - When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris, Review
27 – J22 - Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Review
28 – J27 - Interworld, Neil Gamain & Michael Reaves, Review
29 – J28 - The Flying Troutmans, Miriam Toews, Review
30 – A03 - Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card, Review
31 – A04 - The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill, Review
32 – A12 - M is for Magic, Neil Gaiman, Review
33 – A14 - Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card, Review
34 – S16 - Little, Big, John Crowley
35 – S23 - The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
36 – O16 - Ghost Story, Peter Straub, Review
37 – O20 - Chasing Vermeer, Blue Balliett
38 – O27 - Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
39 – N12 - Pattern Recognition, William Gibson, Review
40 – N22 - At Last There is Nothing Left to Say, Matthew Good
41 – N27 - The Chrysalids, John Wyndham, Review
42 – D02 - Elizabeth Rex, Timothy Findley
43 – D04 - You Are What You Eat, Gillian McKeith
44 – D10 - Dark Entries, Ian Rankin
Various bits and pieces about what I read below the cut...
24 December 2009
Here's a kind of sort of recipe and a how-to.
23 December 2009
I don't know what inspired me to bake the day after getting my H1N1 shot because OW my arm hurts but I guess I just had too much to do. Today is officially Blame the H1N1 Shot Day. As in: "I'd love to help unload the dishwasher, but I can't really lift my arm up right now. Sorry!"
In any case, I made four kinds of cookies yesterday - shortbread cookies (left), soft chocolate cookies (middle), pistachio orange cookies (right), and pfefferneuse, which are hiding under the pistachio cookies.
Everything kind of went a little bit wrong yesterday - we didn't have any eggs (my sister and her husband made piroshky the day before, messed up the dough and had to start over, using up double the eggs they'd planned), I forgot to buy pistachios, I used wheat flour instead of white (I'm sorry, but health be damned: I'd rather my christmas cookies have as little nutritive value as possible, if it means they taste like they're meant to) on two of the batches of cookies, I snapped a wooden spoon in half mixing the pfefferneuse dough. Our oven is cooking 50 degrees hot. Ugh.
Everything else is basically as they should be. Thank goodness, because I gave these three small boxes to one friend, a bigger box to my boss, and tomorrow I'm leaving another bigger box for my various managers and whoever comes into their office. I didn't want to buy more useless trinkets for people, so, you know. Food.
Anyway, if anyone wants recipes, leave a comment. They're all already typed up, which means they're all pretty easy to reproduce here. I won't even blame it on H1N1 shots if it takes me a while, it'd just be outright laziness.
17 December 2009
It's not so cold now, but we had a really cold cold-snap last week and I kept thinking about soup and how it was soup weather and then my iPod would be on shuffle and Almost a Full Moon would come up: "Let's make some soup cause the weather is turning cold/ Let's stir it together til we are both grey and old / Let's stir it together til it tells us stories of its own / Let's make some soup cause the weather is turning cold..."
I kept trying to make this soup - "Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup" from Dreena Burton's eat, drink & be vegan (her blog can be found here) - but then I'd realize my lemons were gone too old or I'd not got any celery or I had no onion or some combination of the three. Like a perfect storm, I managed all the ingredients today.
With quilting, I sometimes feel like a project isn't really a project until I've bled over it. Well, I bled over this soup project. Several months ago I bought myself an immersion blender and I've never used it in all that time, so I finally dug it out, and nicked my index finger but good while giving it its first wipe down. That sucker is sharp.
In any case, this soup was a really delicious combination of red lentils, chickpeas, vegetables - Burton suggests either zucchini or tomatoes, but I had both so I used both - and a really warm fall-flavour of cumin, mustard seed, paprika, and some other herbs. The soup is finished with fresh-squeezed lemon, which I'd thought might kind of lighten it out of the fall-flavours zone, but it really just brightened and sort of intensified the flavours already in the soup. Seriously delicious. I'd love to post the recipe, but I couldn't find it online. Alas.
I think anyone who has filtered through the food parts of this blog very much can certainly tell that I'm as far from vegan as it gets, but I do like to cook vegetarian meals at least a few times a week so I'm forever buying vegetarian or vegan cookbooks. I mostly cook the recipes with beans in them because I'm still terrified of tofu, but there might be one or two recipes in this cookbook that I may, maybe, if I can talk myself into it, try. We'll see.
In any case, this is a pretty nice cookbook. (It's doing duty as a coaster under my bowl in the photo.) There are several recipes I'd like to try (even excluding the possibly-maybe tofu recipes). If I have any complaint, it's that there just aren't enough pictures. I love a cookbook with a lot of pictures - I like to know what I'm getting into. In any case, even if I don't try anything else, it's almost worth the purchase price just for this soup - really delicious stuff.