Sunday, May 24, 2009

chick peas and chick lit ...

I have spent the week among people and sunlight, meaning that I have also spent an equal part of the week recuperating with books and movies in a dark room.

Here are the deets:


plantains and spicy black beans: My cooking has added new level of difficulty. now it needs to also be in the less-than-30 minutes prep time catagory.

This is just black beans, veggie broth, onions, garlic, cumin and coriander served over plantains [i used banana.] Sour cream, salsa and cilantro on the side. I liked this. Ocassional spicy bites. Totally easy. I believe this is our Cuban period.

Dumplings with Chickpea Gravy
: I got this one from Elizabeth at CentrePullBall and liked it a lot. It feels like something that should be a staple. Easy, inexpensive, good. Just make dough balls, and then a gravy out of chickpeas and some spices. Add a mix of frozen veggies.

Saturday by Ian McEwan: Henry Perowne, neurologist, father, husband, squash player on the brink of retiring and a man whose interest in cooking exceeds his talents, wakes up early on a Saturday morning and stands at the window and thinks and watches and thinks some more.

He thinks about his day and his wife. He sees a fiery plane zip across the sky, quiet witness to something that will play out in the news. He goes downstairs and talks to his blues-guitar playing son, who is on the tail end of Friday. He goes back to bed. He does it with his wife. He wakes again and prepares for a game of squash against his colleague and friend.

In the end it’s all worth it. I promise. This should be a secondary title or something. “Saturday,” by Ian McEwan written in large font. “Stick with it, it’s worth it” in parenthesis beneath it.

Full review here.

Secrets to Happiness: A Novel by Sarah Dunn: I’m not sure why I thought a book about a single woman writer living in Manhattan wouldn’t be chick lit, since most chick lit begins with those very same ingredients. It’s kind of like taking ground beef, adding orange powder, serving it in a hard shell and saying “But it’s not a taco.”

But in Jincy Willett’s review of Secrets to Happiness in the NYT’s Book Review, she says point blank: ” [Secrets to Happiness] was definitely not written just for women, no matter how it’s packaged. True, the protagonist is female, the setting is Manhattan, and the focus is on relationships — and there’s a big shopping scene. True, mostly women will read it. But then women are the ones mostly reading every­thing. Besides, it’s not about shoes. And the shopping is for books, at the Strand. Also, unlike chick lit, chick TV and chick movies, Secrets to Happiness is actually funny.

Full review here.

Ghosts (New Directions Paperbook) by Cesar Aira: I struggled getting into this one. It's very short and prosey and has some naked ghosts. But it also has crazy-long digressions and little action. That said, it is packaged beautifully.

"The Hills": Spencer to Heidi's dad: "I'm going to move out west!" [This show is set in LA.]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : I'm pretty sure that if you watch this backward, you get satanic messages from Forrest Gump.

The Devil's Backbone : Moving from my Stephen King movie phase to my Spanish movie phase.

The Wrestler: "Beaches" for men who remember the 80s. This is actually super good, but I prefer my depressants in liquid form. Really, it's fantastic.

Star Trek: For some reason, my four seasons-worth of knowledge of Battlestar Galactica did nothing to help me get this movie. The best part of the movie was finding out that Captain Kirk is dating Audrina from "The Hills."


Futbol said...

re: the wrestler. here's how i think it came to be. a bunch of people were in a room and said, "how about we make a movie about how washed up mickey rourke is?" and everyone said "awesome! but there's no way he'll be into that." so they created this elaborate scenario with wrestling and deli counters and topless marissa tomei as a diversion; in reality, the movie is literally about mickey rourke, no more, no less. and that's why he's so good in it. he's not acting.

Whiskeymarie said...

I think you'd like these (sorry I can't link properly):

I've had my students make them in class and they're pretty tasty.

christina said...

oh wow, wm -- that looks awesome. i'll try that!

elizabeth said...

Hey Christina-
thanks for making the dumplins, I hope they turned out good! I'm super embarrassed to admit that I forgot one ingredient- 1/4 C nutritional yeast! Oh the shame- really, I feel like an arse. My apologies for making you eat, essentially, watery beans... please forgive.

christina said...

interesting ... i thought it all turned out good. :)