Tuesday, December 2, 2008


1. Thanks everyone so much for your thoughtful comments and for sharing your stories with me. It's hard to feel so violated in your own home.

2. The WINNER of one copy of The Green Beauty Guide is........


Congratulations! I'll be emailing you for your address. Thanks to everyone who entered. I appreciated your comments and have found that we all have many of same challenges when choosing green products.

3. Squash.

Squash is good food, and I'm pleased that my family is eating it (somewhat) happily.

First there was this fabulous squash and pasta recipe, then some divine squash soup with roasted garlic and herbs that I kept all for myself. Because no one else would eat it.

Here is my latest creation, a squash and rice casserole that I adapted from Deborah Madison's book, Vegetarian Suppers.

This was total comfort food. Sauteed leeks with garlic and herbs, combined with cooked brown rice, grated butternut squash and a medley of cheeses I found in the fridge. I topped each serving with toasted pine nuts, not part of the recipe but my child is a nut lover and I though it would make this more appealing. My nervous husband suggested we go out after he took one look at this, but after trying it reluctantly said "It's good. I like it. (insert big sigh here)"

Here's how it looked after we had our way with it:


4. Book Review

I finished Sophie Hannah's novel Hurting Distance recently. It has a fascinating premise: Naomi is having an affair with a married man. He seems to have disappeared. But when Naomi goes to the police and they contact his wife, she insists he's not missing. Naomi lies to the police in order to get them to take her seriously but this dredges up her past which she is reluctant to discuss.

Sophie Hannah sure knows how to create an atmospheric page-turner. As a reader, I was so attuned to what people were saying, who they were saying it to, and if there could be a double meaning. After all, Hannah completely fooled me with her book Little Face. I was happily reading along, when a storyline emerged having to do with rape. Rape is never a happy or positive story, but the slant this author took was really offensive to me. I found the storyline to be extremely sick and disturbing. It just was not the story I was expecting, nor would ever expect to read to be quite honest. After it becomes obvious what has happened, the final confrontation I found to be very....bland.

I don't know if I'll read Hannah's books again. She certainly does come up with unique and interesting premises, but this book crossed the line for me. I'd love to hear from anyone who has read this book; I had a UK copy but it looks to have been just released in hardcover here.


Bookfool said...

We had a squash gratin that was really terrific for Thanksgiving. The kids kept our leftovers, but hubby whipped up a second batch (yes, he does the cooking) when we returned. I think I'll go have some for lunch.

Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I've sent you my mailing address. :)

Anonymous said...

We love squash down south. I love seeing your food.

Carrie K said...

I don't think I'd appreciate that twist myself.

I'm so sorry to hear about your robbery! It's a horrible violation.

Tara said...

Bookfool, all my hubby can make is tacos - good for yours!

Bermudaonion, thanks!

Carrie K, I doubt you would. Thanks!

Iliana said...

Oh that dinner looks yummy!

I read this book and wasn't too wowed by it. Actually I kept feeling like I'd missed something as I've read some very good reviews about it.

Nan said...

What herbs did you use, Tara? I think I'd like to try it, using my frozen grated summer squash since neither of us cares for winter squash. It sounds delish, and I thank you for sharing it!

nutmeg said...

I haven't read any Sophie Hannah but was actually thinking that I would read the one you reviewed here first. Maybe I will just read Little Face and leave it at that!

Tara said...

Iliana, thanks! I've read lots of good reviews - almost all of them on Amazon UK are 4 or 5 stars. I like the writing style and the tension in the book, but the storyline just went over the line for me. I don't think you missed anything! Have you read her most recent mystery?

Nan, I used sage and thyme. The original recipe calls for using summer squash, and marjoram, thyme and parsley and a little lemon zest at the end.

Nutmeg, I certainly couldn't recommend this one, thought there are lots of great review of it.

J.L. Danger said...

Hey good job Bookfool! Thats pretty funny, I was just at her sight before I got here!