Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Books 'n' brownies

I found this recipe for caramel sauce and used it as an excuse to make brownies. Is that wrong? The sour cream tang was perfect, but I felt like I could do without the lemon, really; I also omitted the last tablespoon of sugar by accident, but it turned out just fine.

This followed a wonderfully simple recipe for raw zucchini and squash, very thinly shaved and tossed with a dressing of lemon juice, a little olive oil, dill, and a bit of onion and garlic (and salt and pepper, of course), then topped with some surprisingly good feta from Trader Joe's. The recipe also called for blanched almonds, but I omitted those; in retrospect, they would have provided for a more interesting texture. It didn't really matter, though, because we devoured the stuff. I used a vegetable peeler to shave off long, thin strips of vegetable (if anyone has an extra mandoline sitting around, feel free to send it over), so there wasn't any of that spongy quality that larger chunks of raw squash particularly can have, and there was no need to let anything marinate. I've never been a fan of raw zucchini and squash, but it's back on the menu with this dish.

(That is Andy's leg, in case you couldn't guess. We were so busy eating the food straight out of the bowl that I almost forgot to photograph it, and so I snapped something quickly, reasoning that my photography supplies suck enough that the quality couldn't really get any more rock-bottom. In other news, the face-stuffing would be gross if it involved something other than a dish of vegetables and not much else.)

And now, a note on books. The summer is affording me huge amounts of time to read as well as to cook. So far, I've reread The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, a childhood favorite, and Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, and read for the first time:

  • Kant and the Platypus (very dense and very good)
  • Alias Grace (solid, if a bit prosaic; not so dense, and less polemical than some of Atwood's work)
  • Better (Athul Gawande has some good ideas)
  • Mr. Palomar (man, Italian fabulists, you're so awesome)
  • The Best American Science Writing, 2006 (occasionally gimmicky, but overall a pleasant diversion)
  • The Foundation Pit (without a doubt underread)
  • The Famished Road (I loved it, but I can see how it might not appeal to everyone)
Thanks to a gift card to Barnes and Noble, I purchased Too Loud a Solitude and The Crying of Lot 49 in addition to a couple of the books listed above. Either one of those (probably the former, since Andy's picked up the latter) or one of a couple Andrei Bely books I picked up at the local library are next. Any other suggestions? I've certainly got a "to read" list on my LibraryThing, but it can always get longer.

1 comment:

  1. Nah... any excuse is a good excuse to make brownies. :)