Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Dreaming the Bull, by Manda Scott

Dreaming the Bull (Boudica, #2)Dreaming the Bull by Manda Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Competent writing, a talented story-teller, and excellent research all contribute to the entertainment value of this, the second book of Manda Scott's Boudica series.

My only quibble is purely personal taste in that with such a remarkable, historical backdrop I'm wondering why Scott had to wander so deeply into neo-pagan spiritualism and magic. The result, for this reader, diminishes the quality of the story and the skill of a writer otherwise comfortable with her craft.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sorrel Soup

This time of year one of the early delights of the herb garden is sorrel, that wonderful perennial green, salty and savoury, a spring delight.

It occurred to me sorrel would make a delicious cold soup, a variation on watercress soup and vichyssoise.

  • 4 medium white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into about 1" cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 900 ml vegetable stock
  • about 3 cups well washed and drained sorrel leaves
In a large microwavable covered casserole dish combine the potatoes, garlic, onion, and seasonings. Microwave at full power for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Remove from microwave. Add a little of the stock to the potatoes, and with a hand blender gently and carefully begin to purée the potato mixture, adding a more stock as you go. When all the stock has been added, and the mixture is a smooth purée, add the sorrel and handful at a time, and purée until smooth.

Chill well and serve cold with curls of lemon or garnished with chive flowers.

Makes a wonderful, colourful starter for a fish entrée. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: Three Day Road, by Joseph Boyden

Three Day RoadThree Day Road by Joseph Boyden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An astonishing novel. An even more astonishing first novel. There can be no disputing Joseph Boyden is not only an accomplished story-teller, but a significant Canadian voice in the 21st century.

Three Day Road, drawn from real people and real history, is an impeccably researched, and skilfully wrought tale of two Cree soldiers who fight in the nightmare of WWI. It is a story about the terror of residential schools, the descent into madness, and the arduous journey back to peace of mind and body.

A singularly great novel and great read. Highly recommended.

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