Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thank you for returning it to the library

Hey, I finished The Kite Runner last week. I'd tell you all about, but I'll bet you've read it already. The reason I'm so late getting around to it is that I've been waiting for you to return it to the library.

Next book up was Verandah People, a collection of short stories by Jonathan Bennett. It was so-so. I put up with it because it was a mini-trip to Australia, where all these story characters sit out on their seaside verandahs, leading not very happy lives. Hey, if I could sit on a seaside verandah in Australia, I'd be happy.

If you decide to take on the book, but don't like yucky stuff, skip "The Slow War Cry of Grammar."

Now I'm slogging through The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. The book jacket is covered with liberal praise from other authors I have read and enjoyed, but I must be missing something. Knitting is a Lifetime Channel movie tucked between bookcovers. All the drama feels trumped up, with just enough lovely jaunts to Europe thrown in. All the characters have pretty jobs, the kind soap opera characters might have. Real people spend their days making phone calls for collection agencies, or providing respite care for handicapped children. Hood's people own knitting shops, or blow glass, or run darling little bakeries where they make delicate pastries all day long. They own charming beachside cottages on the East Coast on their knitting-shop pay. Hey, do you know how much charming beachside cottages cost?

The most sympathetic, humane woman in the book falls in love with another woman. I guess it turns out badly; I'm not sure because I skipped that part. Now that I'm 3/4 of the way through, things are finally getting truly terrible for the main character, which means that the story is finally picking up.

All in all, Kite Runner was far superior--great description, spare prose, credible characters and real drama.

Since I didn't offer you anything new and compelling to read, how about a great cookie recipe:

Mix together:
1 cup sugar
3/4 c. vegetable oil
Beat in:
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and add to the sugar-egg mixture:
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

Stir in:
1 - 10 oz. pkg. mint chocolate chips
Form into balls and roll in:
1/4 cup sugar
Place on cookie sheets. Bake at 350' for 8-10 minutes. For those of you who care, the whole batch weighs in at 5784 calories.

If you can't find mint chocolate chips, just use regular ones after adding 1/4 tsp. mint extract to the dough. Or maybe 1/2 tsp., I can' t remember. Just make sure the dough smells minty.

Our Crystal Lake bishop's wife made these at Christmas time and brought them to book group. As we all traded goodies, we were encouraged to take enough home for the family. So I took plenty of these. And they just never made it home. Not sure where they went ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Oh baby...maybe that's how I'll reward myself for doing a mile nonstop. Mmmmm....