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I Didn’t Know That About That!

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By Gini Rainey

I always find it interesting how different people have different names for the same things.  I think this is part of what makes social interaction with new people such an adventure.  From friends to friends, generation to generations, and even family to family, we seem to all come up with variations on themes.  For instance, the many different names given to infant pacifiers comes to mind: passie, binky, plug, dummy, bo-bo, nookie, and more.  Our babies called them binkies (Binky being a name-brand), but none of our friends’ babies did.  I almost hugged someone recently when they referred to their baby’s pacifier as a binky.  It was great to find someone who spoke the “same” language – at least as far as pacifiers are concerned!

So with that thought in mind, it’s easy to imagine all of the variations on a theme different dishes might be called.  Then, if you want to really make yourself crazy, try to figure out why they are called that!  One of the more interesting names for a casserole my mom would make is “Growlie.”  A simple pasta/tomato casserole made with vermicelli, canned diced tomatoes, pinto beans, onions, and more, my kids labeled it Growlie –you know, because when you smell it cooking your tummy starts growling.  Easy enough to understand where that name came from, right?

For some of the more well-known recipes out there, I’m sure there have been times when someone, somewhere has wondered where the heck its name came from.  We all know about sandwiches theoretically being named after John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich who asked his valet to bring him meat tucked between two slices of bread to keep his pinkies clean while playing a game of cards.  But for some of those other oddly named dishes, James Winter has written a very interesting book “Who Put the Beef in Wellington?” that not only gives the history behind a lot of the dishes, but also the recipes.  Published in 2013 by Kyle Books, this book is a virtual compendium of famous dishes and their history.  It’s filled with lots of historical information along with great, color photos of the food.

Starting with the title dish, although there is no actual recorded history of the development of this dish, it is assumed that it refers to the man who crushed Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.  Requiring military precision to be executed successfully, Beef Wellington is one of the most stunning pieces of British cuisine in existence.  Waldorf Salad, a simple mixture of mayonnaise, celery, walnuts, and apples on a bed of lettuce was created by Oscar Tshirky, the maître d’ at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC, and incorporated a few of his favorite things, thus creating that hotel’s signature dish on the occasion of its opening.  Sole Veronique is a dish that was created accidentally by Auguste Escoffier, who began cooking at the age of 13 at his uncle’s restaurant in Nice.  A veritable sorcerer in the kitchen, he later moved to London’s Carlton Hotel, created this dish and named it after London’s new big show in 1903, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Veronique, cashing in on theater crowd that would come in to dine after the show.  Of course, as you can imagine, the light and airy meringue/fruit dish Pavlova was named after the lovely ballerina Anna Pavlova.  Pizza Margherita, the thin crusted disk of bread topped with tomato sauce, cheese, basil, and various other ingredients was named after Queen Margherita of Italy.

I love this story about the creation of Caesar Salad.  Back in the 1920s, during Prohibition, There was a whole lot of boot-legging going on in our country, but one of the more law-abiding citizens, Caesar Cardini who, from his restaurant in San Diego, California, looked enviously down the road to Mexico, where there was definitely a different attitude towards drinking.  So Caesar and his brother Alex decided to open their second Caesar’s Italian restaurant just across the border in Tijuana.  It wasn’t long before the stars of stage and screen were rushing down to Caesar’s to eat and drink.  The story goes that on July 4, 1925, there were so many of them there that, although there was plenty of liquor, food supplies were running short, leaving not much more than lettuce in the fridge.  So, Caesar came up with the idea of preparing a salad at the tables and with a flourish began making and serving the house “Specialty Salad.”

You can impress your guests by preparing this salad from scratch at your next dinner party.  Start by pouring 6 tablespoons of olive oil into a saucepan and add 1 large garlic clove, peeled.  Don’t fry the garlic, rather simmer it to bring it to room temperature and bring the oil to body temperature, then set aside.  Now put 1 large egg into a saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute, then run under cold water.  Crack the egg into a food processor; add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.  Process well and add freshly ground pepper to taste.  Tear up 1 washed and well drained Romaine lettuce into a bowl, pour the dressing over the lettuce and add croutons and 1 tablespoon coarsely grated fresh Parmesan cheese and serve.  Yummmm!

Books

Spend the Summer Reading

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“Bring Me Back”
by B. A. Paris
Just when you think an author can’t out do their last book, they jump right out there and do it!  Filled with even more deception and intrigue than her first two books, Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown, Paris’ latest book will keep you spell bound until you turn the last page.  Telling the story about the mysterious disappearance of Layla from the perspectives of Finn, his girlfriend, and his fiancé while moving between the past and the present, it’s no wonder that Paris has carved out her niche in the psychological thriller genre.

As Finn digs deeper to determine who might be behind the disappearance and strange emails, his list of suspects grows to encompass even his closest friends.  Because Ms. Paris is a master at building believable characters, the reader finds himself drawn into the intrigue and feeling a certain empathy for everyone involved.

In Bring Me Back, Paris explores how traumatic events can impact, not only the individuals immediately involved, but also everyone they come in contact with.  Not afraid to explore new avenues of intrigue and mystery, she has created yet another spell-binding page turner that will keep you guess till the very last page.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – St. Martins Press

“The Sisters”
by Janet Kay
If you’re looking for a book to read this summer that is filled with history, ghosts, romance, and family discord, this is the one for you.  Set in current day Galveston, this story tells the story of Veronica and Isabella, two sisters who had once be in love with the same man.

Weaving a spell around not only present-day Galveston, Kay’s story helps to explain the reason so many of the historical sites in this Island community are haunted.  From the pirate Jean Lafitte to the estimated six to twelve thousand people who lost there lives during the hurricane of 1900. Described as the deadliest natural ever in the United States, this storm took the life the of sisters’ grandmother, who continues in her afterlife as Isabella’s spirit guide.

If you are familiar with Galveston, and even if not, this book is an intriguing read that pulls you into its web of family deceit and mystery as the sisters strive to learn where they have come from and reconnect on a congenial level of understanding and acceptance.  It will definitely keep you turning the pages to find out where it all ends.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – World Castle Publishing

“Neema’s Reason to Smile”
By Patricia Newman
This delightful book, colorfully illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini, tells the story of Neema and her mother who share big dreams for their life in Kenya.  Neema wants to go to school, while her Mama, who sews clothes by hand, dreams of a sewing machine and perhaps her own business. By not only entertaining, but also educating, Newman’s story sends the message to all that where there is a will, there is a way.

Motivated by actual students at the Jambo Jipya School in the town of Mtwapa, Kenya, where many kids are unable to go to school, Ms. Newman’s story provides inspiration to children of any age to never give up hope for a better life through education.

A lovely feature of this book are the glossary, discussion questions, and activities at the end of the book.  Although geared for younger children, the message won’t be lost on older readers.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – Lightswitch Learning

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Books

Book Worm Central: July Events & Book Signings

July 31st (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Beach Music” by David Graham. The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Club Reads’ events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to tylerlibrary.com.

August 4th (3-7pm) – Book Bash will be held at Harvey Hall Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. They are doubling the authors for 2018’s Book Bash – 80 authors are attending! There will be a free children’s reading at 12:30-2:30pm prior to the book signings beginning at 3pm. There will be multiple children’s authors present to read their stories and there may even be characters present to interact with the kids. Tickets will be on sale until the day of the event. Come on out and find a new favorite author as well as meet the authors behind the stories. For more info go to facebook.com/events/1715126465459268. Tickets are $12-$17. If you have a child 13 and under, they will be able to get in for $5 the day of the event. VIP tickets will get you in 30 minutes earlier and a tote bag full of goodies. The children’s reading is free to attend.

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Books

Chill Out With A Cool Book

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By Gini Rainey

Send Down the Rain – By Charles Martin 

In his thirteenth novel, this New York Times Award-winning author successfully weaves the lives of several different people into a wonderful tale of love and sacrifice that will leave you thinking.  Taking Joseph, a Viet Nam veteran with many scars to heal and Allie, who has recently lost her families business in Florida, Martin created a novel that is full of lots of raw emotion that will keep you turning pages until you come to the surprising conclusion. 

Joseph, a victim of PTSD, has chosen to live in his cabin in the Carolina mountains with his dog, Roscoe.  That is, until Catalina and her two children stumble into his life.  Making sure to get them away from her abusive, drug running captor, he loaded them up and drove them to Florida to meet up with her brother and close to where he and his brother had lived before they grew up and grew apart. 

Charles Martin has skillfully created such believable characters that you will find yourself totally immersed in the plot and all that takes place.  Without leaving your chair you will find yourself involved in the panic of flight, the angst of unrequited love, the unselfish sacrifice of a brother and the joy of rediscovering a lost love. 

This is a definite “must-read” for this summer and is guaranteed to keep you wondering until you turn 

Five of Five – Copyright 2018 – Thomas Nelson 

 

Lang’s Labyrinth: Forest of the Fae Book Three – By K. Kibbee 

This book came to me as an advanced reading copy from the publisher and because I love to read, I was excited when it arrived in the mail.  Then I realized it was “one of those books.”  You know, the kind I would never pick up on my own – one about goth, faeries, fantasy, changelings, etc.  I was also concerned that, because it was the third book in a series, I might not have a clue about what was going on. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Yes, this is a book about all of the above, however, it is also, on a much deeper level, about trying to figure out a mystery that was based on a secret code.  The main character, Anne along with her best friend Grace, who has been changed into a raven, is on a quest to solve the code so she can change Grace back to human form and rid the forest of all the faeries.  Along the way she meets some very interesting characters, and believe it or not, I found myself trying my best to solve the code too.   

I won’t even begin to let on how this book turns out for that would ruin all of the mystery and intrigue that Kibbee has created, but let me say it will take you on quite the adventure and make your summer reading most enjoyable.  Remember this too, don’t be afraid to try something new – you might discover you really like it – I know I did. 

Five of Five – Copyright 2017 – Incorgnito 

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