Tuesday, February 05, 2008

fat fat fat fat

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Not that any of us need to get any fatter (Ok, Ian could use a little more fat, but he's the only one), but Fiona and I happily made our way to Copernicus Deli this morning to buy some strawberry and prune filled paczki. Fiona was amazed to discover that the trays of paczki were stacked taller than her:
They trucked these, and many more like them, in from Hamtramck and they were tasty--yeastier than a regular donut and the not-overly-sweet prune filling helped my grown up taste buds handle the sugary richness.

Of course, we couldn't leave with just a few paczki, so I also picked up some sauerkraut with caraway, a baton of polish sausage and some mushroom-filled pierogi. We'll have those for dinner later this week.
The book I'm reading right now fits in perfectly with this splurge of Polish delicacies, Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife. I really like the content of the book about the Polish family who ran the Warsaw Zoo and the ways they helped hundreds of Jews escape and hide during the Nazi Occupation.

But I am struggling with Ackerman's writing style. Her prose is florid, which I've appreciated in other settings (there is a lovely poem about pink Amazon river dolphins in her book The Moon by Whale Light), but which I'm finding distracting here. There are tons of digressions, some of which have scientific or historical information, but which also make following the progress of Jan, Antonina and their "guests" hard to follow. I feel like Ackerman is trying too hard to convince us of Jan and Antonina's heroism with this laden prose--their actions speak very clearly to their courage and I wish the story was told simply. Instead I find myself skimming and dodging through the book, trying to follow the narrative and not get side tracked.


Erica said...

okay, I give, Where is Copernicus Deli?
I could do with some home made pierogi...I miss Hamtown.

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I miss the paczki! Can't find it here (at least not like in Michigan). Happy Fat Tuesday!

Oh, and Elliot is a skinny guy, too. I think he and Ian might have a lot in common, actually.

Kate said...

Copernicus is located in the South Main Market--near the intersection of Main and Madison. It is right next to By the Pound and a cool looking Brazilian Market that I haven't had a chance to check out yet!

pat royalty said...

Kate, re "reading", and books: As I continue to enjoy the current PBS Austen series, reading some of her work for the first time, rereading others, I am especially delighted to see again the perfect "Pride and Prejudice" repeated from a few years ago and I expand my enjoyment with two current mystery book series about Jane Austen.

First, and new to me, is author Carrie Bebris, who continues where Austen leaves off in "Pride and Prejudice" with "Mr. And Mrs. Darcy Mysteries":"Pride and Prescience"," Suspense and Sensibility" start the series off, enjoyable enuf to read, not over the top.

Then there is Stephanie Barron, who has been around awhile, she turns Jane herself into the sleuth with "Jane and the__________" titles. She gets Austen prose just right, and I recommend them. By now she has written over seven of these.

The latter series reminds me of the superb Sherlock Holmes series which I devoured last year by Laurie King, which stand head and shoulders above most such series. These combine the best qualities of the above books as they continue where the Sherlock Holmes saga stops; they turn Holmes into a more mature hero, adding a young American girl to the mix. Joan Warden, my librarian sister in law, and I rhapsodize about these, and rightly so. If you read these it's imperative to read them in order. The first is "The Beekeeper's Apprentice".

I seldom read novels, and never read current fiction, but do see me for mysteries, which give me much enjoyment. of course, cooking is another matter, but i satisfy myself by heaping recipes onto my family via email... pat royalty

Anonymous said...

Hi. I found your blog by searching for Zingerman's browine recipe. I went to UofM and Copernicus Deli is owned by my best friend's mother. I always love stumbling on things that remind me so much of home. Your recipe for Chipotle & date hot sauce looks so delicious!