Bookish Wednesday and the Beginning of July

Well, after reading Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo, I am going to have to read his prior book, Golfing with God.  I thoroughly enjoyed Breakfast with Buddha.  Good humor, interesting story and characters, and just plain fun.  Otto Ringling’s parents, who farmed land in North Dakota, have died in an accident, and everything is left to Otto and his sister, Cecelia, who he believes is flaky and irresponsible and who has dabbled in various spiritual and non-traditional pursuits.  Otto lives in a suburb of New York City and is a stable husband, father and food book editor — a no nonsense kind of guy.  When he arrives at Cecelia’s to pick her up for the drive to North Dakota as she is afraid of planes and flying, she talks him into taking her guru, Volya Rinpoche, a robed Skovorodinian monk, on the drive instead.  She wants to give Rinpoche her part of the estate for him to start a meditation/retreat center. Otto is a born skeptic and thus the story is about their cross-country journey and battles of wits and wisdom as they visit various American landmarks on their way to North Dakota.

Here is a short excerpt:  “What if the secret architecture of it all was just as Rinpoche claimed: some cosmic unity there byond our false identification with the individual body? a love beyond imagining that hid in the molecules of a trillion shapes, causing hearts to beat and rivers to run and lovers to find each other? What if the plain old Protestants had it partly right — that you could have direct access to that breath and pulse of love without the official intervention of the church fathers? More than that, what if, throughout history, there had been people — grand spirits in human form — sent to show us the route out of this mess, a way to embody that love, or merge with it, rather than simply touching it once in a while, with a handful of close souls, in our best moments? What if earth was just a violent stopping place on the highway to some saner, sweeter home, and there were teachers who saw that and had come to help us on the journey?  And if there really were such people, what would be the consequence of ignoring them?”

July already??! It has been hot hot hot here.  I had planted some lettuce for the bunny in a planter box, but it has all wilted and died.  This year in my back herb garden something keeps eating some of my plants.  First a rosemary.  I bought a replacement and put it in a pot in the kitchen window.  Next a dill.  Which I need to replace but have not.  And most of a parsley.  I have never had anything eating my plants in previous years.  I put two tomato plants in the herb garden, and potted a grape tomato plant in a large planter, but it has not done as well as I had hoped.

Our office is closed on Friday and I have a long list of things I want to get done this weekend.  But I will be coming into the office for a bit.  A document needs to be in the appellate court office by Monday, and I have gotten most of it done, but my boss, who is on his way back from a Tuscany vacation, needs to review it and provide some information.  So we will be working for a bit on Friday so that I can get it overnighted out for Monday arrival at the appellate court.  Fun.  I. am. very. happy. to. do. this.

I have a hair appointment scheduled, need to get veggies at the farm market, work on cleaning/reorganizing/recycling the basement utility and family room.  Read, knit, play music, garden, sew, cook, etc. Thursday evening I am going to an outdoor jazz concert and fireworks with friends.  I would love to go to the city’s music crawl on Friday night, but not sure I want to go solo. When I was younger, I was always hit on by the unwashed guy with the stringy hair and green teeth.  Unfortunately, that has not improved with aging.

Last weekend I made two great salads:  I sliced yellow squash and zucchini squash very thinly and put them in a bowl.  I picked some mint leaves and stacked and rolled them and sliced them and added them to the squash.  I made a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and poured that over.  Threw in a handful of toasted pine nuts, and sprinkled parmesan shavings over and chilled it in the fridge.  I finished the last of it today for lunch.  I really like it.

I did something similar with green beans.  I cleaned and steamed them and then put them under cold water, then drained.  I diced some red onion and chopped some dill and added them to the green beans.  Same dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then threw in a big handful of feta cheese crumbles. Yum, yum.

The same night I baked zucchini bread with crushed pineapple and walnuts added in.  Very tasty.  The bread has been my breakfast every morning this week.  And the fashionista has been eating a few buttered slices this week.

I have been looking for a good recipe for an asian style rice noodle salad with sprouts, cilantro, fresh veggies, and a not very complicated dressing — something that uses the sweet chili sauce.  I think I will browse the internet and then head over to the local asian market this weekend.  It will make a nice light summer supper.

The fashionista wants to make veggie burgers again soon, and I asked her if she would eat a broccoli slaw if I make one, and she thought that sounded like a nice change — so broccoli slaw it is.  She also wants to make chili cheese dogs, and planned to buy a package of the soy hot dogs to try, but our grocery store was out last night.  I will stop tonight and see if they have them yet.

Lots of plans — have a nice weekend!


About ksknitter

I wear many hats -- mother and grandmother, paralegal, knitter, bass player in a praise and worship band, gardener, cook, avid reader, good friend, good listener -- just to name a few. View all posts by ksknitter

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