|I am not Lagunitas beer (alas). I am an uglie smoothie.|
The Snow Child. I just finished it, and it was magical. It's set in Alaska in the 1920s, and it reads like Little House in the Big Woods crossed with A Fairy Went A-Marketing. Crossed with Out Stealing Horses. Crossed with Ovid's Metamorphoses. Got a clear picture of it? No? All I can say is that it was such an incredible fairy tale that every morning I woke up and told Ben and Birdy about whatever part I'd read the night before and they were enchanted. I left out some of the gloomier twilit bits, but wow. What a wild and beautiful ride. I can't recommend it enough. So long as a childless homesteading couple making a girl out of snow who either does or doesn't come to life sounds like your kind of book. Plus: isn't that the loveliest cover? Sigh. Michael just said, "You're not reading it again, are you?" And I had to say, "I'm just looking at it. Sheesh." But I might read it again, just a little bit.
(And now I'm noticing that the book is based partly on an Arthur Ransome translation of a Russian folktale called "Little Daughter of the Snow." Arthur Ransome, who wrote Swallows and Amazons, which is only one of the best books ever! O, perfect world. While I'm sort of subtly recommending children's books: we're listening to The Railway Children on tape, and it is utterly wonderful. It is so fresh and fizzing, I can hardly believe it was written over a hundred years ago. I am also planning still to respond to all your fantastic book recommendations. I have checked dozens out of the library based on them. More soon.)
|The ingredients themselves are quite attractive. But then, thanks to the laws of color mixing, this happens.|
Okay. The uglie smoothie. I should tell you, first of all, that while I'm interested in juicers, I cannot stand the thought of wasting all that fiber and pulp. I just know that if I got into juicing I would spend my life trying to form the leavings into crackers and casseroles, paper and pinatas and lawn sculptures. So for now, I stick with smoothies. And this is pretty much a perfect one: hideously ugly, wildly nutritious, and lip-smackingly delicious. You get loads of protein from the milk and almonds, and then a good, deep green feeling from the spinach. The date and vanilla make it taste kind of milk-shakey, and the strawberries are the crucial aromatic ingredient that also adds a bit of welcome tang. Plus, if you need to be perfectly camouflaged while lounging atop a military vehicle, this is the smoothie for you!
Makes enough for 1 game grown-up or 2 uncertain children who will nonetheless love it.
If you plan ahead, you can soak the almonds in hot water for half an hour; this will make a creamier smoothie, although I like it both ways. You could also substitute half a banana for the date, but I do recommend using one or the other for sweetness.
Large handful baby spinach (kale is good too)
3 ice cubes
¾ cup low-fat milk
Small handful raw almonds (scant ¼ cup)
1 pitted date (or half a banana)
½ teaspoon vanilla
Whir all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink. Feel profoundly nourished.
Pinned the smoothie so I'll remember to try it after I get almonds. Put Swallows and Amazons and The Snow Child on my library list for the next time I go. I have a lot of Catherine Newman recommendations in my near future! I will be sitting sipping the smoothie while reading one of the books!ReplyDelete
I've been juicing, and I simply love, love, love my Brevelle juicer (so elegant in all its stainless steel loveliness). That said, I can only find so many muffins and soups in which to use the pulp (works great in both). I nearly cry when adding unused pulp into compost.ReplyDelete
That smoothy might be ugly but is sounds delicious. Making it tomorrow am. Also buying Snow Child and The Railway Children.
Swallows and Amazons is one of my all time favorite books and I almost never find anyone who's read it.Loving your recipes and your book recommendations...ReplyDelete
Yes! There is a folktale called "Little Daughter of the Snow" and I actually got to see a puppetshow of this at a Waldorf school where my kids go. It was simply beautiful. Would the fact I know the ending spoil it for me? Never mind. I know the answer has to be "no". By the way, my birthday dinner last week was your chicken with ginger vinaigrette and crack broccali. Leftover sauce went over lo mein noodles later in the week. Delicious! --Cathy KReplyDelete
Swallows and Amazons!! I loved it, and also rarely meet anyone who has read it (or maybe I also haven't asked anyone for, um (cough), 20 years). Did you know it was actually the first of a series of 12 books? (And I have got all of them in a box waiting for my children to get old enough to... decide they are Too Jolly Ancient :) )ReplyDelete
I saw The Snow Child at Costco. It looked SO good! So I reserved it from the library but there's like 90 people ahead of me and I'm not sure I can wait that long so I may buy it. I am glad you liked it because I have been loving your recs. Just finished another Leah Hager Cohen book: House Lights. She is a great author and I have you to thank for introducing me. Now, Swallows and Amazons a good friend recommended, she was reading it to her boys. Silly question, would two girls 8 and 6 dig? Guess I should try and see! I've always wanted to read it. We are also slated to read Girl of the Limberlost. And Ruth Chew's No Such Thing as a Witch which I loved at 8. The smoothie, by the by, also looks really tasty-date, what a great idea for flavor's sake!ReplyDelete
Swallows and Amazons will be too slow for the 6-year-old, I think, but great for the 8-year-old. I'm reading House Lights right now, thanks to your recommendation!Delete
Will be curious to see what you thought. It seemed to take me a long time to read- The ending was pretty moving.Delete
Yum! I'm so with you on the juicers and the fiber waste. Here is our latest smoothie obsession (and I do add a banana to it):ReplyDelete
I'm off to make last weeks tofu!
Yes! I love Swallows and Amazons, too! And while I finally finished The Grief of Others, I think it could've used the following disclaimer: If you've given birth in the past year, you may not be hormonally ready for this. :)ReplyDelete
I love your book recommendations as much as your recipes! Thank you! I LOVE the Lagunitas glass that looks like a mason jar. How can I get one - can you say? I was so sad when our case of Lagunitas Sucks Holdiay Ale was gone. Sigh.ReplyDelete
Wait, kathy, didn't someone reply to this? I thought so, but don't see it. They sell them on their website! Or you can complain about a bad batch of beer, and they'll send you some for free. : )Delete
Forget about juicer recommendations (sorry dragonflymama), go take out a mortgage on your house and buy a Blendtec blender! This thing changed our lives. It replaces at least 3 appliances, including the food processor, blender, and grain grinding attachment on your Kitchen Aid (I know you love that attachment, though).It takes smoothies to a whole new level because it can grind up, dare I say, just about *anything* into icy, creamy, smoothie heavenliness. All those things you thought you had to throw away become inspiration for new flavors...hello ham bone and pineapple core frosties! My husband got ours after I told him I stood at the silly Costco demo stage watching the 18 year old kid behind the counter make things like raw tomato soup and spinach ice cream for an hour...I was outwardly mad at him but secretly happy that he brought one home. Really, we could have bought a HE front loading washing machine for the same price, but the Blendtec is much, much more exciting. I like it much better than the VitaMix, which is larger and even more expensive, plus you have to have 2 jars, one for wet, and one for dry ingredients. The Blendtec could probably make something yummy out of that book when you are done reading it. So, that being said, I make some version of this green smoothie nearly every morning, and I put in things a regular blender leaves behind in big, unappetizing chunks, like the stems of kale leaves, which just have to have super cancer-fighting properties. Alright, I will now get off my super blender soapbox! Thanks for the book recommendations! No more exclamation points!ReplyDelete
I have lusted over the VitaMix for years, so the previous comment about The Amazing Blendtec is kind of blowing my mind.ReplyDelete
I love a good healthy smoothie, and surprisingly, my son will actually eat spinach in one when he wouldn't touch it on a plate.
Thanks for all the book recommendations. I long for the days when I'll have time enough to read them all. I just keep adding them to my Amazon wish list so I can remember them all.
I've never heard of Lagunitas beer or their mason jar-esque glasses, but for the poster that wanted to know where you can get them, I found this: http://store.lagunitas.com/Lagunitas-Mason-Jars_p_23.html
If you have a Costco membership and happen to be lucky enough for them to have the Blendtec on one of their roadshow, buy one! You get an 8 year warranty (I think if you buy directly from the company it is only 3 years) plus, Costco will always take anything back. It was around $350.00 and totally worth every penny. If you blend up some greens with things like berries, you can't see the greens at all. I make ice cream with kale and everyone loves it!Delete
Erin, you are even nuttier than I am! Kale ice cream!Delete
Yay Smoothies! I can't wait for it to warm up a bit so we can start having smoothies for breakfast again - I always use frozen bananas as 'ice' in ours it makes them creamy and frosty - when it seems that room temp bananas just add to the slime factor. I've also been making home-made almond milk (1c. almonds soaked overnight + 4 c. h2o + 3 dates blended up as fine as possible and squeezed through the hilariously named 'nut milk bag' = heavenly and the almond meal left over is perfect for baking)That I'll be using for the liquid come those sunny mornings....Thanks again for the thoughtful book recommendations.ReplyDelete
Is that a glass straw? I've been thinking about getting some. How do you like them?ReplyDelete
Jenny, we bought 4 glass straws around 9 years ago, and still have 2 of them. They're sturdy and I love them!Delete
We had a cookbook author in our shop and she absolutely wowed the families with her version of an ugly green smoothie. I couldn't believe how good it tasted, how good it was for you, and how UGLY it was (which made the kids totally want to drink it). Thank you for sharing another recipe! We'll have to try it the next time we're having an event at the shop with kids... no matter what the subject, green smoothies should be a hit.ReplyDelete
I made the ugly smoothie yesterday and I could not get that darn date to blend! Everything else was totally smooth, even the almonds but that date stayed in a big lump so of course the smoothie wasn't really sweet enough!ReplyDelete
I added a dash of honey, because I add a dash of honey to everything. My teeth stayed green all yesterday! Delicious!ReplyDelete
So. Swallows and Amazons. I got it from the library and...I am wondering how long it will be before a character named "Titty" will stop startling me every single time I see her name!ReplyDelete
I think I laughed every single time. So, um, "a long time."Delete
Ok, I know this is from a while ago, but I'm curious about how you dealt with some of the more overtly sexist parts of the railway children. I reread it after you mentioned it, anticipating reading it to my 4 year old, and realized I have no idea how to mitigate the advice the doctor gives to Peter. She's defining gender roles very rigidly right now, and I don't want to make things worse! Should we just wait to read it? How did you start discuss historical sexism with your kids?ReplyDelete
Paige, sheesh! You're supposed to be, like, "Can I add chard instead of spinach?" or whatever. Okay. The Railway Children. My kids are definitely old enough to recognize and combatively ignore sexism when they encounter it, so I am not as aware of it as I once was. But, oh, I love the book for the way the kids are all so powerful--in their kindness and activism. They make everything happen, and it's so much better than some of the modern-day crap that panders. You know? But four. Yes that is likely too young for the Railway Children and for much else, I'm afraid! Bummer, I know. How did I start to discuss historical sexism? I think probably through books--maybe Little House on the Prairie? I remember Birdy's offendedness over that line in Dr. Seuss's Mulberry Street: "Anyone could think of that. Dick or Tom or Fred or Nat. Why even *Jane* could think of that!" (paraphrasing/not remembering names) I take it for granted now, I realize.ReplyDelete