Books, Book Club, Etc.

10Aug09

Book club for Thunderbolt Kid was canceled at the last minute, and I missed today’s meeting on The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society because our trip to the Nashoba Valley Winery ran longer than expected. We went to the winery to partake of the beer, pretzel and mustard pairings, but by the time we got there, three hours into the event, the pretzels were long gone. When I made a comment to an employee there, she said, “Oh, they were to die for!” Thanks, helpful employee, for making me feel even worse that I had missed it. It’s not like we were offered a discount for having to eat stale potato chips instead of delicious homemade soft pretzels, but that’s ok, just rub it in.

Anyway, in other book news, my friend loaned me Heat, by Bill Buford. Oh man, that book made me want to drop everything and travel to Italy and eat pasta until I have to be rolled home on a barge. The more responsible alternative is to cook more pasta at home, I suppose. Here is a recipe for linguine with clams from the book that I want to try. I put it here mainly for my own reference. Diana, make this. Soon.

My advice: ignore the Babbo cookbook and begin by roasting small pinches of garlic and chili flakes and medium pinches of the onion and pancetta in a hot pan with olive oil. Hot oil accelerates the cooking process, and the moment everything gets soft you pour it away (holding back the contents with your tongs) and add a slap of butter and a splash of white wine, which stops the cooking. This is Stage One . . . In Stage Two, you drop the pasta in boiling water and take your messy buttery pan and fill it with a big handful of clams and put it on the highest possible flame. The objective is to cook them fast – they’ll start opening after three or four minutes, when you give the pan a swirl, mixing the shellfish juice with the buttery porky white wine emulsion. At six minutes and thirty seconds, you use your tongs to pull your noodles out and drop them into your pan – all that starchy pasta water slopping in with them is still a good thing; give the pan another swirl; flip it; swirl it again to ensure that the pasta is covered by the sauce. If it looks dry, add another splash of pasta water; if too wet, pour some out. You can let the thing cook away for another half minute or so, swirling, swirling, until the sauce streaks across the bottom of the pan, splash it with olive oil and sprinkle it with parsley: dinner. (pp 130-131)

One day, I will make it and take pictures and show you. Until then, I will just have to enjoy the lobster dinners ($4.88 a pound for lobster?! Hello!!) and vanilla cupcakes I’ve been making and that are being made for me. The cupcakes currently are cooling and waiting to be iced.

I know this blog has been neglected, but I am going to try and post at least once a week. I’ve got a few blogs brewing, as I’ve been up to some fairly interesting and fun stuff. At least to me. 🙂

One final note: on the knitting needles, I recently cast on . It’s probably going to be finished just in time for next spring, but it will be beautiful!

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