Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Library Loot XV

Where did the last week go? I can't believe my last post was nearly a week ago. I thought I had a lot of things to blog about, but I just never sat myself down to type anything out and now I don't even remember what it was that I even thought was worth sharing! Let me see if I can jog my brain---oh! That's it! I had some running woes last Thursday! Argh. And I had another list to post last week and I never did. Between my running woes, finally doing our taxes over the weekend, having a rather hormonal a couple of days, and my eldest daughter's birthday (omgshe'sfifteenhowtheheckisthatpossible?), I guess I just didn't have the verve to post.

Have no fear because here I am sharing this week's library loot with verve! :)

Library Loot is a weekly blog event that encourages bloggers to share what books they borrowed from the library that week. To participate, simply make your Library Loot post on your blog and link it using the Mr. Linky link at Marg's blog Reading Adventures or Eva's blog A Striped Armchair. This week's link up is at Marg's.

The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

I have read Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen and loved both books. If you haven't tried this author's books before, I suggest you do. Her stories are contemporary woman's fiction that fall somewhere between a coming of age story and a romance and have a touch of magical realism to them that make the stories just this side of every day. The Girl Who Chased The Moon is Ms. Addison-Allen's most recent release and I'm looking forward to it very much.

The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein

I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, but I do regularly prepare vegetarian main or side dishes for my family and my vegetarian friends. I flipped through this book at the library and immediately saw so many dishes that appealed to me. Soups, salads, grains, vegetable side dishes, tofu dishes, noodle dishes, stir fries, sauces and marinades. Yum. All healthful and made with only a few ingredients. I can't wait to try some of these. I think the Pad Thai will be first. Yum. Did I say that already?

Well Preserved: small batch preserving for the new cook by Mary Anne Dragan
Third edition

I love making homemade jam with fresh picked summer fruit, so when I spotted this cookbook at my library I thought it would be fun to thumb through it for some inspiration for this year's jam session. After about three minutes of reading this book, I've decided that I love this cookbook! So much so that I'm seriously considering buying my own copy. It is chock full of basic recipes and recipes for some very unique flavor combinations. Plus the recipes are not limited to jams. There are also plenty of recipes for other foods you can preserve such as pickled fruits and vegetables, relishes, salsa, chutneys, vinegars, and ketchups. It even has a section devoted to recipes for using your preserved foods! I'm probably going to start with something like the Strawberry Mint Jam. Or the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. I haven't decided yet. :)

Have you ever made homemade jam before?

How about pickles?

Any other foods?


  1. I made pickles once years ago. I'd like do it again but hopefully get better results! Enjoy your loot!

  2. Growing up a country girl, we pickled everything. We had a pantry full of stuff we canned, jams, beets, eggs, you name it.
    We had to store up for the winters you know!

  3. I love homemade jam. I helped my mom with it growing up and I've made it the last few years with my son. We were actually just finishing up the apricot jam as I was in labor with my daughter and DH was very irked that I wouldn't leave for the hospital until we got those last few jars finished!

  4. No, I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. I bought some wonderful chutney at the farmer's market last summer. But I never saw her booth again the rest of the season. I wish she'd come back. That was good stuff and no way am I making my own chutney.

  5. So strange. This is the third post about The Girl Who Chased The Moon that I've read today, and one of those wasn't even on a book blog.

    Should I take it as a sign? Was I meant to read it too? You tell us how it was and I'll consider adding it to my list.

    i did pick up and April In Death book today though :)

  6. I've got to wait about 6 months before I'd have the chance to read that Allen book. :( It's available in hardcover right now (very expensive here) so I'll have to wait for the paperback edition.

  7. You so do not look old enough to have a 15-year-old daughter IMO :) A happy belated birthday to your daughter.

    I've bottled beetroot (I think you call it beet?) - in malt vinegar. I love the smell of the beetroot cooking in vinegar :) I've also made tomato relish...the Edmonds Cookbook ( has some fantastic recipes IMO. I also made pasta sauce a couple of years ago...I need to work on it :)

    No jam though, although I know my mother and grandmothers made it :) Both grandmothers made great marmalade too *grin*

  8. Linda...
    My grandmother used to can pickles, too. They were always soft, though and I like my pickles crunchy! I have made "fresh" pickles, but never canned them. Maybe this summer!

    A country girl! So you know all about preserving! Pickled eggs? I've heard about that... ;)

    Did you have a real root cellar, too?

    I love little anecdotes like that! You will probably always associate apricot jam with being in labor with your boy. I'm thinking Piper might be *just* old enough to start helping out with jam? Maybe she can mash the fruit for you? ;)

    I love finding little culinary treasures like that at farmer's markets. What was in the chutney?

    Venus Vaughn...
    I definitely think you should pick up The Girl Who Chased the Moon. But if you want to wait for me to read it so I can tell you for sure... hopefully by the end of the weekend. :)

    Yay! picking up an In Death book! I still have to read my April book! Thanks for the reminder. :)

    That's a bummer about having to wait for the Allen book. :(

    Thank you for the age compliment (and birthday wishes for daughter). You're so sweet. :D

    We call beetroot just plain old beet or beets for plural in the US, although I think "beetroot" is sometimes used, too. And beets are often pickled here, too.

    I checked out the Edmonds link and saw a Chicken Pesto and Cherry Tomato Tart that is making my mouth water!

    I love marmalade and have always wanted to make some. I've added it to my list of recipes to try from the cookbook. :)

  9. I've been hearing a lot of good things about Sarah Addison Allen. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

  10. When I was a kid I would help my mom canning jams, applesauce and tomatoes. The kitchen smelled wonderful on those days. :)

  11. Happy belated birthday to your daughter!! :D What cake did you bake? :P

    I borrow Garden Spells from the library a while back, but returned it unread. Guess I should go back and get it :D

    Never did jams - not a fan.

  12. I used to help my mom make jam and I think we canned veggies once, but it was so long ago I can't remember.
    My Daughter will turn fifteen on the 26th. I'm freaking out just a little on the inside thinking about it! (Glad to know I'm not the only one.)
    And you don't have to convert me to Sara Addison Allen. I adore her books and enjoyed The Girl Who Chased the Mood. Each of her books has that touch of magic to keep them from being ordinary. The stories are smooth and elegant and have that touch of realizing possibilities that make them relatable.

    I hope you're having a good week!

  13. Belated happy birthday to your daughter Christine. Hope it was a fun celebration.

    I've never done much anything in the kitchen so I guess the answer to your questions is none of the above, but I like the pickles a lot! I would finish a plate of pickles served @ the restaurant, especially when they take forever to serve our orders -- I lot like pickles!

  14. Lady Q...
    Hi! Thank you for returning my visit! :)
    I visited some of your gardening posts while I was at your blog. I love to garden too, and might start posting about that interest, too. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    As for Sarah Addison Allen's books, I really enjoy them and hope you give them a try.

    Mmm... applesauce! That's a great idea. I've been wanting to make this apple jam that I saw on The Sugarcrafter's blog back in January, but applesauce would be yummy, too! And maybe healthier... less sugar.

    I didn't bake my daughter a cake. How awful is that? My daughter and one of her friends have the same birthday, so the two families went out to dinner on their birthday and the other mom brought a store bought red velvet cake. It was okay. I ate a slice and blew my calorie budget for the day by over 300 calories. The next day I made reduced guilt brownies for her from a mix (130 calories per brownie with 0 g fat). Hey, when Mom suffers... everyone suffers! LOL. I'm kidding. Sort of.

    Brandy ...
    Wow. I knew our daughters were the same age and grade, but I didn't realize their birthdays were so close! Fifteen is difficult, but I think sixteen is going to be worse. It's so bittersweet. *sigh*

    Yes! regarding Sarah Addison Allen's writing. So enjoyable.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes for my daughter. I think she had a nice day. :)

    LOL You're so funny. If I manage to make pickles this summer, I'll be sure to give you a jar. Or two. ;)

  15. oh nooo! Sorry to hear you had some running woes last Thursday. You sure have been busy and i'm so impressed by all the things you manage to do in a week! Way to go!

  16. Hope you enjoy the GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON. I really enjoyed it too.

  17. Hey Christine, how are you? I just wanted to stop by and drop you a line to let you know I was lucky enough to meet Simone Elkeles this past weekend, and I have you to thank for that! If you hadn't been such a fan of "Perfect Chemistry", I might never have read her books and become such a HUGE fan, so thank you! (I posted pics at my blog :) )

    Hugs to you!

  18. Doodlegirl...
    My running woes weren't too serious. I just had a discouraging run with my running group that previous week. I'm putting it behind me. :)

    I finished The Girl Who Chased the Moon last night and ADORED it!!! I think it may be my favorite of the author's three novels. It's so hard to decide... they're all so lovely.

    Hiya! I'm doing well, thanks! How about you??
    This was such a nice comment to read on this Monday morning. It's such a great feeling to know that my love of Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry inspried you to seek her out and that YOU are now a huge fan. I'm heading over to check out your post!

    My teen turned 15 last week and one of her gifts from me was a set of Perfect Chemistry (we read a borrowed copy from the library and she wanted it for her keeper shelf), Leaving Paradise and of course, Rules of Attraction. I can't wait to read the latter two!

    Hugs right back! :)

  19. I've never preserved anything but used to love eating the stuff my grandma used to make. Very cool cookbook!

  20. LOL, I was just wondering because you did some awesome cake for your husband's b-day and cupcakes for the other :P But hey, if she was okay with it :P

  21. Ohh The Girls Who Chased the Moon, another book by Sarah Addison Allen I have on my TBB list... WHERE did these weeks go?

    Always wanted to try making homemade jam.. never tried it though. :)

  22. Lady Q...
    Just realized I confused your blog with someone else's when I commented about your gardening posts. Sorry! *blushes*

    What did your grandma preserve?

    I know. I should have baked her something nicer. You're making me feel guilty now.

    I finished The Girl Who Chased the Moon the other night. I LOVED it. I think it might by my favorite by the author.

    You should come over when I make jam this summer. We could have a jam session! LOL! :)


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