Classes begin tomorrow morning, and as dear blog reader can probably guess, self has been quietly going bananas all day.
This evening, self called cousin Maitoni to inquire what she was cooking for dinner. Cousin inquired, voice dripping with sarcasm: Why, are you going to put this in your blog again?
Let me tell you that cousin was none too pleased when self decided to list all the food she and M ingested during three-day visit to Vienna, VA. “People must have thought my waist was 50 inches WIDE!” M said.
Self assured M that this was not true: In fact, self informed M, those fellows who caught a quick glimpse of M driving up to the studios in her cute little Prius when she picked up self from VCCA were quite taken. This, self swears, is the honest truth.
Sorry, Maitoni! Self cannot tell a lie! Yes, in spite of assuring you she would not blog further about our kitchen adventures or mis-adventures, here is self, blogging about you again!
Anyhoo, self had purchased four lovely salmon steaks from Safeway yesterday, and had a question about whether it would be better to saute or bake them. As it turned out, cousin was cooking the exact same thing for dinner tonight. What are the odds, dear blog reader???
M advised self NEVER to put salt on a salmon (Okey dokey), to put salmon pieces in a pyrex just large enough so that the pieces are snug (Okey dokey), to coat the pyrex first with canola oil (Okey dokey), then apply a little soy sauce (Okay), and smear half a cup of mayonnaise over all(Okey dokey), then stick salmon pieces in fridge for half an hour, and turn up oven to 425 degrees (Where is key for the little degree symbol on self’s keyboard? Aaargh!), then remove salmon from fridge and bake for 20 minutes.
Oh, super! Thanks so much, Maitoni! As Virginia is three hours ahead, cousin tells self she is just pulling perfectly browned salmon steaks out of oven, and as she describes how they look, with little bubbles simmering on the top, self becomes quite hungry. She wishes she were still in Virginia, ready to partake in fruit of cousin’s cooking prowess. But, alas, self is in California, and dinnertime is still hours away.
This afternoon, since self anticipates being very busy tomorrow, she decided to zip through two issues of the New York Times Book Review. Without further ado, here are the books self is interested in reading after perusing the NYTBRs of Aug. 12 and Aug. 19:
NYTBR : Aug. 12
(1) After reading Nathaniel Philbrick’s review of Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America :
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America
(2) After reading Kathryn Harrison’s review of Rachel Seiffert’s novel, Afterwards :
Rachel Seiffert’s first novel, The Dark Room
(3) After reading Lydia Millet’s review of Maxine Swann’s novel in stories, Flower Children :
Maxine Swann’s Flower Children
(4) After reading Marilyn Stasio’s Crime column, the following crime novels:
James Lee Burke’s The Tin Roof Blowdown
the first book in Olen Steinhauer’s Emil Brod police procedurals, The Bridge of Sighs
first-time novelist Stef Penney’s The Tenderness of Wolves
(5) After reading Richard Brookhiser’s review of Richard Kluger’s Seizing Destiny: How America Grew From Sea to Shining Sea :
Richard Kluger’s Seizing Destiny: How America Grew From Sea to Shining Sea
NYTBR : Aug. 19
(1) After reading Alison McCulloch’s short reviews in the Fiction Chronicle:
Jean Echenoz’s Ravel
Susan Bernofsky’s translation of Robert Walser’s 1908 novel, The Assistant
(2) After reading Julia Scheeres’ review of Joseph Finder’s corporate thriller, Power Play:
Joseph Finder’s Power Play
(3) After reading Tom Barbash’s review of Ron Carlson’s novel, Five Skies :
Ron Carlson’s Five Skies
* * * *
In addition, since self is so fearful that she will not have time to go to the library in the next few weeks, she took the added precaution of borrowing three books: a non-fiction account of The Mutiny on the Bounty; and two novels, one by J. M. Coetzee, the other by Heidi Julavits.
Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.