Monday, December 5, 2011

Blogger Reads Sci-Fi, Survives

By request, I offer you POOR MAN'S LOBSTER as our recipe for the day:

8 boned and skinned chicken breast halves
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 TB brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix together all ingredients except chicken. Marinate chicken in the mixture for 3 to 6 hours. Drain well. Broil on second shelf 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Serve with melted butter and dip as with lobster. Calories equal 280/serving, unless most of the oil drains off. But then I guess you make up for that with the butter.

Recipe from a community cookbook.

I never have dipped this in butter, because I have never eaten lobster. We save that kind of thing for Abbey, the adventurous one in our family. She vowed to try lobster on a family vacation to Maine. We all sat around watching raptly as she tore off the legs and dug out the meat. Yes, she loved her little lobster feast. As for the guts, not so much. But they don't warn you about those, do they?

Over on the Finished Book Pile, we have I'll Go To Bed At Noon by Gerard Woodward. We've reviewed Mr. Woodward here before and, in that story, we thought the family who camps every summer in Wales was kind of bland. But now the family of Aldous and Colette Jones has grown up. Colette's brilliant, piano virtuoso son is a raging alcoholic, whose mind games and destructive bent make for never a dull moment in the Woodward household. Colette's brother drowns the sorrows of his new widowhood in drink. And Colette herself rather likes to while away the hours at the pub. The lady can put away a pint or two.

I wouldn't want to live any of it, but it was an instructive read. Includes some whiffs of cow patties.

Next up, we have Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg. Mark this one down for history: your favorite book-and-recipe blogger just read herself some science fiction. However, this was not the alien/space travel type. Silverberg's main character can read minds. For good or ill, he can just burrow in there and know what his sister has been up to, or his roommates. When he meets a fellow mind-reader, he can tell when his own mind is being penetrated.

Sometimes, what he learns frightens him away. Once, when presidential candidate Richard Nixon was in town, the main character went down to the street where the motorcade passed by, just to experiment with getting in to Nixon's brain. What he found there frightened him so badly that he refused to vote ever again.

But in middle age, he begins to lose his gift.

Fascinating. Frequent, fleeting cow patties.

Next up, What Happened to Anna K.? by Irina Reyn. I needn't give you any hints about the plot because, supposedly, this story is a contemporary version of Anna Karenina. (Does this mean I have to go read the real thing, just so I know that last sentence is true?) Reyn set her version in New York among Russian Jewish immigrants. I loved peeking into their lives, their meals of sausages, beets and vodka, their wedding parties at Queens restaurants, their obsession with money, their strange nostalgia for a frozen and miserable homeland.

Reyn reveals "the Russian soul" to her readers. "Does it have anything to do with . . . the addictive qualities of vodka? Wars fought with little training, shoddy clothing, and primitive equipment?"

It was a yummy book.