Monday, August 15, 2005

Coming up for air

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.


Anonymous said...

Anna! Next time she's in town I'd love to see her. Thought you might like to know that Julie brought your delish mango lassi to our family dinner last night. YUM. We all gave you due credit. And then my mom made a heavenly dessert of vanilla ice cream drowning in yummy red haven peaches, which also inspired reference to you and your mouth watering blog.

Anonymous said...

I made that exact corn chowder recipe (July was a bountiful issue of Gourmet), as written. It was quite tasty, but I'm sure your personalizations will be great also.

Anonymous said...

I do like Oliver Sacks. And one of the best books I read as a graduate student was called The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture by Mary J. Carruthers (Cambridge, 1992).

Axel will be in Ann Arbor this fall (junior sabbatical); maybe the kids and I will join him for a weekend, and see you all?

Kate said...

Annie--it would be great fun to see you, meet your little girl and see if Ian and Elliot/Leo remember each other at all!