Thursday, May 13, 2010

LIttle Colored Things in the Rice

Would I be bragging if I say this meal came out just like the magazine pictures? Or could it be that the dishes were so easy, any dummy could make them look nice?

First, we feature Chicken Parmigiana.

May you enjoy the aroma as this bakes. I sure did.

While it's in the oven, you have time to fix Zucchini Rice Pilaf 

I love restaurant rice or box rice mixes with colorful stuff in them. But I don't want to have to think of stuff to add in. Someone just tell me please. So here it is.

The recipe contributor suggests that if you abhor zucchini, you might substitute squash or mushrooms instead. If you abhor squash and mushrooms, I really don't know what to tell you.

Over on the Finished Book Pile, we have Living It Up at National Review by Priscilla Buckley. This is a fun look behind the scenes of running a magazine. I especially like the chapter on the young interns that crossed the office threshold over the years. In between the chapters on work, Priscilla squeezes in some chapters on play. Money was no problem; the Buckleys were the WASP-y sort with a named country home in Connecticut and a winter place in South Carolina.

Follow Priscilla as she bumps along on safari in Africa, or yachts around the Mediterranean, or rides a hot-air balloon over the hills featured in The Sound of Music. Then head back to the office with her as she directs traffic between the secretaries, the writers, the printer, etc.

Oh, my goodness, two books on the Finished Book Pile are unfinished! Yeah, I was just not in the mood for them. At one time, I would have thoroughly enjoyed Storm Over Rangelands by Wayne Hage, but I've exhausted myself on Hage's topic. Ten or fifteen years ago, I devoured everything I could find on the West, mostly to figure out for myself if all those childhood dinner conversations about danged power companies and doubled-danged environmentalists were John-Bircher-style rants, or legitimate complaints. Conclusion: the dinner rants were a little of both.

The development of the West is a fascinating tale, not that I expect anybody to corner me at the next family reunion to hear all about it. Joseph R. would have enjoyed this book but, unfortunately, he's gone off to his great leather recliner in the sky. Seeing as how it talked about grazing rights in the West, I can also imagine Uncle Grayson reading it, shutting it in disgust, picking it up again, talking back to it.

I gave it the old Read-10% try but I just didn't have the patience to finish it.

So, moving on, I also read 10% of Irish on the Inside by Tom Hayden. You baby boomers remember Hayden, right? Disrupter of the '60s political conventions? Senator from California? Husband of Jane Fonda? Aha, you do remember that one, don't you?

Hayden's worldview is all about identity and power and protest. "If the blacks get to complain about how they're treated, why can't we Irish complain too? We're not all about fiddles and Guinness Beer, you know."

Hey, I enjoy complaining. But going through life with your fist raised in the air? What's fun about that?

If I were Hayden, I would get a kitten and a laser light and mellow out.

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