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As I Like It!


By Gini Rainey

Welcome to October.  Welcome to fall!  Welcome to Texas in the fall – temperatures in the 90s, sweat freely flowing, still using the pool.  I’m not ashamed to admit, I am so totally ready for cooler temperatures and we usually start experiencing them the end of September, but I do believe Mother Nature is not quite ready to go there yet – at least not around here.

Our church has a theater program, and this weekend the play “Sylvia” was presented as part of a dinner theater experience.  I dare say that this had to have been one of the funniest plays I’ve seen in a very long time.  Brilliantly played by a cast of five, “Sylvia” tells the story of a guy who picks up a stray dog in Central Park, much to his long-suffering wife’s dismay.  After looking at several snippets of other productions of “Sylvia” I would put ours up against theirs any day.  We are very fortunate to have a theater board that is forward thinking and an amazing talent pool from which to draw.  Additionally, we have a team of really great cooks and the meal that was served (pork tenderloin was the star) was awesome.  If you don’t support small theater, think about starting today.  I don’t think you will be sorry.

I have a cookbook that was put together by the Dallas Theater Center Guild in 2002 and was published by Morris Press Cookbooks.  “As You Like It: Show Stopping Recipes from the Dallas Theater Center” is filled with a collection of recipes contributed by the Guild.  All sound amazingly yummy, but one really jumped out at me: Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Sauce and with fall somewhere around the corner, this would definitely be a yummy dish to prepare for family or guests!

First, prepare the marinade by combining ¼ cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon grated lime peel, 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger, 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, and 1/3 cup olive oil and whisking.  Marinate a 4 pound pork tenderloin, covered, for about 24 hours in the refrigerator, turning several times. When ready to cook, bring the meat to room temperature.  If you choose to barbeque, place the meat over hot coals about 6 inches from the flame and grill for about 20 minutes. Or, brown all sides in a skillet and cook, covered in a preheated 350° oven for 40 minutes.  After cooking, let the tenderloin stand for about 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal.  Serve with Cilantro Sauce:  Melt 1/3 cup unsalted butter in a small sauce pan. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon lime juice, ½ teaspoon grated lime peel, 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro and salt to taste.  Served with twice baked potatoes and a green salad, you won’t find much better eating this fall!

ben wheeler


Book Review: “The Blue Cloak”

By Gini Rainey

The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear

Set at the turn of the 18th century in Kentucky and Tennessee, The Blue Cloak is based on the true account of the Harpe family’s killing rampage along the Wilderness Trail.  McNear who is basically a Christian writer, struggled with the concept of the re-telling of such dynamically horrible events, but came to realize that this could become a story of redemption.

When Sally, the very young daughter of a Baptist preacher, marries the younger of the Harpe boys, many people have big misgivings about her choice of men, especially Sally’s best friend, Rachel. As Sally is leaving after the wedding festivities, Rachel hands her the gift of a packet that contains a beautiful indigo-dyed, woolen cloak. This cloak becomes a symbol of friendship, trust, and love throughout the book.

With an amazing skill for character development and research, McNear’s words succeed in weaving a tale filled with desperation, angst, deception, and ultimately forgiveness and love as the three Harpes, with their three communal women in tow, create murderous mayhem along the Wilderness Trail.

Although this book is not terribly long (255 pages) it is filled with more adventure and romance than books twice its length.  Definitely a page-turner, you might find yourself unable to put it down.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2020 – Barbour Publications

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BOOK REVIEW: Sentient Beings in the Kingdom of Bhutan


Sentient Beings in The Kingdom of Bhutan by Laurie S. Chambers

By Gini Rainey

Chambers, who has spent over fifty years traveling the world seeking to understand the complexity of being human, has written a lovely book about the peaceful kingdom of Bhutan.  Located in the Himalayan mountains, Bhutan’s people have formed a unique relationship with the animals sharing their space in this beautiful area.

While the cover might lead you to think this is a children’s book, it is filled with the complexity of human/animal relationships.  In a place where all living things matter, Chambers has managed to capture the beauty of both the sights and principles of the Bhutanese and subtly implores that we all take on these loving and caring and grateful people.

And don’t be mistaken, there are at least three levels presented in her book.  One that appeals to the seeker of truth and peace, one that encourages the young child to live a life of appreciation and love, and one that captures the eye of the seeker of visual beauty.  This is not a book to be read straight through.  Rather, it would be a wise and intelligent thing to read each page for its own merit and value and digest and internalize the message that each one has to offer.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2019 – Balboa Press

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BOOK REVIEW: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

stretford tyler tx

By Gini Rainey

Imagine, if you will, a shack in the middle of the backwater marshes of the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina.  The setting is as raw as the story that Owens tells about the abandonment and coming-of-age of young Kya.

Left behind by her entire family at the age of six, Kya learns more about life and survival in a short time than most people learn in a lifetime.

Ms. Owens’, no stranger to the publishing community having several books in print, paints a world full of wonder and discovery as Kya explores the beauty of nature around her as she struggles to stay alive.

Living on the edge of a community that neither helps her nor understands her, she grows into a beautiful, highly intelligent young woman with the help of a young boy who was a friend of her brothers.

Expertly building characters you will come to either love or despise, Ms. Owens laces Where the Crawdads Sing with a hint of physical abuse, romance, and murder.

Owens has created a book that has everything necessary to keep the reader turning the pages to the surprise ending.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – G. P. Putnam’s Sons

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