23 June 2009

Into the Beautiful North

Earlier this year I had the privilege of going to Kankakee, Illinois for the kick-off of the book tour of "Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea. As a child every Saturday during the summer my friends and I walked to the imposing sandstone library complete with turret and bronze lions. We scoured the card catalogs and stacks always eager to discover a new treasure to read. "The Black Stallion'' series by Walter Farley was by far the favorite of our little tribe. It was a joy to return to my childhood stomping grounds, but I was not prepared for the impact of the evening gathering.

So, here I am revisiting the lions who now reside in front of the new library. The old library, now I believe the library for lawyers, still stands though somewhat less dazzling without the lions guarding the front entrance.

I have not reviewed this book yet. I'm still digesting it. However, I can endorse it and its author. Meeting Luis and having books autographed was an unexpectedly rich experience. I am a huge fan of "The Hummingbird's Daughter" and am happy to report my old tattered copy is now autographed and even graced with a sketch of a hummingbird on the title page.

More to come on "Into the Beautiful North". I can tell you it is being considered for film production and "The Hummingbird's Daughter" is scheduled to begin filming in January 2010.

Also, if you are not a fan of the chain bookstores or big-box online stores, check out a fabulous Oregon book store with a website: Powell's Books. You can find them at www.powells.com with a large and varied online store. They also have a program called "Indiespensables" which offers subscriptions. You choose the length of subscription and every six weeks will receive a box, always a surprise, that includes a wonderful autographed book and a few extra delights. Check it out. It's a great gift for yourself or someone else.

Check back. This post is in constant revision. You may peek inside "Into the Beautiful North" via the link below. When the page opens use the blue toolbar at the top of the page to see inside the book.

21 June 2009

Harvesting the Roses

Here's a photo of the process of harvesting rose petals to make Rose Champagne Sorbet. First you make a base, freeze it, then process with champagne in an ice cream freezer. I use a KitchenAid. Absolutely indescribable but I'll try: delicate, effervescent, subtle rose flavor. Heavenly! You can see the petals in the colander and the pulp in the food processor. These roses are an antique variety that blooms only once in June. And, they are organic.