Friday, December 15, 2006


I just lost a long post. It was all about how bewildered I am by the NYTimes Book Review naming Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children as one of the top 10 books of the year. My feelings about the book are particularly intense as it uses 9/11 as a plot point and I recently finished reading (with my book group) the excellent Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer which shows the impact of 9/11 on a 9 year old boy.

I'm too damn tired to try and recreate my post, so if you'd like a couple of pithy reviews as to the flaws in Messud's book, I recommend the first two reader's reviews on Amazon, the first titled "A narcissist's view of 9/11" and the second titled "The Emperor's Children have no clothes!" I think most of my problems with the book are shared by these two reviewers.

At some point I'll try and recreate what was so special and moving about the Foer book. Right now I am retreating from the fickle world of blog land to a cup of tea (and a three-year-old girl who thinks she is a tree frog...).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Help me out here...

I need some advice. The winter holidays are approaching and I want to thank Ian's teachers with something more than just a card with my heartfelt appreciation for everything they do for my challenging boy (they'll get the card, too.). The school district has a policy that teachers can't receive gifts that are more than "tokens", that is to say, gift-cards are out. If I'd been a little more on the ball, maybe I could have knit something for these hard working teachers, but now I'm left with a gift of some sort of food.

Thankfully, I think that I have the kitchen skills to make something pretty tasty. But I'm left with a few ideas and issues to tangle through. Give me your advice:

1. A tin of cookies. Good ones, not crappy ones. I'm thinking of Chocolate peppermint bars, Lavender shortbread and molasses cookies with raspberry jam (my recipe). If I go this route, do I stick with one kind of cookie, or do I go for a mixed tin? I think the former looks nicer, but the latter is more flexible when it comes to individual tastes (for those lavender, peppermint or molasses haters out there). Also one of Ian's teachers has a weight issue. Is it totally insensitive to give her cookies?

2. Homemade maple apricot granola. Here I'm trying to be sensitive to all of the teachers's health and the fact that they may get bombarded with cookies and appreciate something that isn't going to cause a heart attack. But are they going to open it up and think "yuck"?

3. Something savory (ideas welcome)?? I was born with a salt tooth rather than a sweet tooth and would (personally) prefer a savory gift over a sweet one. But I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here.

Sigh. I'm leaning towards the cookies, just because I like to spoil people with something a little luxurious.