Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturdays in the Garden - Curry and Inspirational Ladies of Fiction


I'm back home from the hinterwilds for good now with mixed feelings ( I've spent the last five weeks, more or less, out in the middle of nowhere for work).  I'm too much of a homebody to not be ecstatic to be in my space again but it was a nice little adventure at times and it was good living a little closer to nature.  My last morning, the start of fall, had the most astonishing sunrise - hot pink and lavendar warming up into tangerine with a rainbow to boot.  I wish I'd had a camera but alas.

And speaking of fall, it is awesome even if it does mean that Winter is Coming.  One thing I love about Iowa is how close it lives to the seasons probably because of the dominance of agriculture.  I may just be more aware of it since I've been dabbling in gardening the last few years.

Speaking of which... In the Garden?  I should get a few more peppers and the Chard has perked up again and is going gang busters as you might expect with the cooler temps.  It loves this cold late summer we've been having.  The last tomatoes are also ready to be picked and I think I will roast and freeze them.  I tried this a few weeks ago but ended up roasting them a tad too long - apparently smaller tomatoes need less time in the oven then regular sized tomatoes.  I can be a little dense sometimes.

It's almost time to get the garlic planted and for the first time this year I think I will have to plant what I harvested rather than ordering garlic.  Garlic ordering is a weird little business that requires you to be on the ball and ordering in August if you want particular varieties.  I have been decidedly off the ball for the last couple months so ordering did not happen which ain't a bad thing.  This is actually how it should work - you keep a chunk of the harvest and re-plant the rest and I do like the variety of garlic I have on hand (Music).  However, this is hard to do for a small space gardener who is not in the best of times swimming in garlic (lovely image, no?) and I had a particularly small harvest this year because of the brutally cold but snow light winter last year. All my best heads will have to be planted. Woe. Is. Me.
My (pitifully small) garlic harvest


A couple things life wise making me happy are this short list of Inspirational Female Characters from the Offbeat Home blog.  It has in fact inspired me to make my own list sometime in the near future which would include some of the folks on the Offbeat Home list as well.

The big excitement? Besides, you know, being back home?  I finally found a curry recipe that didn't frighten me and is exactly how I like it!!  Most curry recipes I run across, and I'm willing to admit I may not have been looking hard enough, have a list of ingredients and steps that intimidate the hell out of me.  The few I've tried have been seriously blah.  This recipe is simple and has more of the sweetness of some of the Thai curries.  My only complaint is that it could have also had a little more heat.  The recipe can be found halfway down the page on this post on the Beauty that Moves blog.

Yup, Curry and the Inspirational Ladies of fiction.  That's all you need to set a week up right! :0)

BOOKS and the BLOG

My reading has continued at a swift pace as there was lots of time in the car on top of no internet or TV for weeks. What I've been reading:

Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: One of the most unique and mannered 1st person narrations, I've ever read.  No surprise that it's lovely.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell:  One of those books that makes you bore everyone around you by spouting "fascinating" facts.  Interesting but not sure what real impact it had.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed:  Beautifully written and often inspiring while also making me cry. A lot.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote:  Finally finished it and it's definitely a great, if disturbing, read.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson:  More below.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: More below
Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier: Pretty standard folk tale-esque fare from Marillier.
The City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau:  A middle grade book that feels seriously middle grade but an interesting premise.
Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton:  This is book three in the series and thus far I've liked each successive book more than the one before it so that's a good trend.
The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer: A really excellent middle grade book about Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes' younger sister.

Phew! I'll be planning on reviewing most if not all but some may be short and smooshed together. I'm currently reading At Home by Bill Bryson, Perilous Seas by Dave Duncan and Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye.

This past week on the blog was actually on a normal schedule which helped my planner soul sing:

SUNDAY: I posted a twofer reviewing both Douglas Adams' A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. The two books and authors went surprisingly well together.
TUESDAY: I completely screwed up and compiled and posted NEXT week's Top Ten Tuesday topic - Books that were Hard to Read.
THURSDAY: A review of the Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch which I like a whole bunch!

This next week I will probably post a cozypalooza post on Sunday, do LAST week's TTT (Fall TBR) on Tuesday (because if I'm going to screw up I should probably go big), and maybe a review, maybe a fictional heroine hall of fame post on Thursday.  Ahhh... It's nice to be back on a schedule and indecisive!

Finally, I recently saw that Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon is October 18th!  Because I am apparently attuned to the universe, I will AGAIN be on vacation during the read-a-thon so taking 24 hours to read sounds like a blast and totally do-able.  Anybody else participating?

So how are things? Got any great curry recipes that you adore and are easy to make that you wouldn't mind sharing?

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