Ah, nice to be back at the computer again, looking ahead to a fairly normal week. My darling sister left yesterday morning--I had a lovely time with her despite the fact that one of my parents was not exhibiting good behavior or social skills.
I made the chocolate gelato again (chocolate being an essential ingredient to successful recovery from a bad parental encounter) and this time added the zest of one orange to the custard mix (and let it steep for a while before straining it out) and about a half teaspoon of orange oil. This helped a great deal in the aftertaste of the finished product.
And last night I finished the wonderful Ian McEwan book Saturday. His writing is so elegant. Some people aren't big fans of the day-in-a-life structure, but I have an affection for such books; I think the predictibility of the structure is comforting and that lets my brain focus on other parts of the book. I am still bummed out that the book was excerpted in the New Yorker because until I got past page 100, I couldn't really let myself go--I knew what was going to happen and it made me tense. Once the incident that was excerpted was over, I enjoyed the rest of the book in a full-immersion sort of way.
In particular I loved the descriptions of neurosurgical procedures--I don't have the stomach ever to be a doctor, but I love anatomy and processes; reading about how the body works makes me feel peaceful and comforted. I wish I could find an author of McEwan's caliber with prose who authored books about how the body works--I can handle dry, scientific writing, but what a pleasure when it is also beautifully written. I'm thinking Oliver Sacks might fit the bill--I think I'll check out The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat.
Today I plan to make a variation on this corn chowder recipe (I'm planning on replacing the heavy cream with evaporated milk, cutting out the sweet potato, adding a little white wine, adding some rock shrimp right at the end, and making sure that some fresh basil is a part of the garnish). Ami inspired me to make corn chowder after her brief description on my answering machine of a terrific sounding summer meal: corn chowder, salad, good bread, and a good cheese. If the chowder is worthy, I'll be sure to post the recipe tomorrow.