logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: food-and-wine
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-11 13:29
The Drops of God (manga, vol. 2) story by Tadashi Agi, art by Shu Okimoto, translation by Kate Robinson
The Drops of God 2 - Shu Okimoto,Tadashi Agi

Most of the volume is devoted to Shizuku selecting French wines for the “Italy vs. France” competition sponsored by his company’s new Wine Division, although it isn’t immediately apparent that the first part of the volume has anything at all to do with the competition.

In the first part of the volume, Shizuku helps a struggling French restaurant. Their business was nearly killed off by a bad review from Issei Tomine, and now he’s scheduled to come reevaluate the restaurant. The restaurant’s owner is confident about his food but has no idea what to do about the wine menu - his wife used to handle that, but she died some time ago. In order to figure out where the restaurant owner went wrong, Shizuku must discover how to properly pair wine and food.

Shizuku’s efforts help him select one of the wines for the “Italy vs. France” competition, but he still needs two others. He finds the second one after visiting a bizarre wine shop staffed by twin brothers with very different opinions about wine and the third one after being approached by Maki Saionji, a wine importer and Issei Tomine’s occasional lover. The volume wraps up with both the competition and Shizuku and Issei finally reading the first part of Shizuku’s father’s will, which gives them the clues necessary to find the first of Shizuku’s father’s “Twelve Apostles.”

Hm. Still an enjoyable series overall. The first part of the volume was nice, but a little too removed from the main storyline and a little too serious to be fun despite that. There were some good educational aspects, though - the volume touched on the difference between how Japanese people view drinking tea with a meal (for example, tea can be used to cancel out the flavor of heavy and rich food) and the way wines are traditionally paired with French cuisine (the wine and food should enhance each other rather than cancel each other out). I also liked the father-daughter relationship aspect. The daughter was more responsible and dedicated than she initially appeared to be.

The next part of the volume, the weird wine shop, brought the story back to the restrained wackiness I enjoyed in the first volume. The brothers were amusing, complete opposites. One preferred to focus on wines from wineries with good reputations and would consider nothing else - he didn’t even bother to try all his wines to figure out if they were good, he just assumed they were because of their reputations. The other brother focused entirely on cheap wines and refused to stock anything else. His part of the shop looked like a cheesy dollar store, or maybe a giant “going out of business” sale.

The one thing I absolutely didn’t like about that part of the volume was the brothers’ father. I think readers were supposed to view him as being at least as amusing as his sons, but I just thought he was a horrible human being. In order to get his sons to cooperate and improve the family business, he

lied to them and told them he had cancer.

(spoiler show)

I mean, what kind of person does that? Thankfully, there was no sign that Shizuku and Miyabi would be returning there anytime soon.

For me, the weakest part of the volume was the wine competition. It went very quickly, and I felt like I had a much better grasp on the appeals of the French wines than I did on the Italian ones, since so much of the volume had been devoted to those. The final verdict was interesting, though. I was left with the impression that, if you’re unfamiliar with wine and looking to select a decent cheap one, it’s probably best to go with an Italian wine, but if you’re a bit more experienced and looking for more variety, French might be the way to go.

One ongoing bit of mystery: the identity of the woman who declared the competition’s final verdict and who gave Shizuku advice that helped him with his wine selections. She looked like a random cranky old woman when she was first introduced, but it soon became clear that she was quite wealthy and had probably known Shizuku’s father very well.

This volume left me feeling a little less excited overall than the first one, but the educational aspects were still pretty good and I’m still looking forward to seeing what else the series has in store for readers. It looks like Shizuku will be spending at least part of the next volume working with an amnesiac artist in an effort to find out what she knows about the First Apostle.

A couple things that struck me: even with help from all of his wine-possessing friends, Shizuku is going to end up spending a small fortune trying to get up to speed on wines; and, if they weren’t rivals, Shizuku and Issei would probably make for decent wine-tasting friends since they keep selecting/appreciating the same things.

Additional Comments:

My feelings about the artwork are still largely the same: it’s lovely, although noticeably focused on characters over backgrounds. However, there were a couple parts in this volume where I felt Okimoto slipped up a bit: a three-page section showing Shizuku back at the Wine Division, helping the chief with a wine cellar and receiving a dessert wine from him, and a panel in which Sara cutely encouraged people to taste the “Italy vs. France” wines. The bit with the chief looked unfinished, as though some of the screentone had been forgotten, and some of the linework was unusually thick. The panel with Sara was mostly fine, but her lips were odd, like she’d only put makeup on the right half of them.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-07 17:53
Cookbooks planning to borrow from library
Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share - Kathy Gunst,Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen - Luisa Weiss
The New One Pot Cookbook: More Than 200 Modern Recipes for the Classic Easy Meal - Adams Media
One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals from the Oven to Your Table - Molly Gilbert
A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Two Chatty Cooks, One Iconic Dish and Dozens of Recipes - from Mom's to Mario Batali's - Frank Bruni,Jennifer Steinhauer,Marilyn Naron

We actually like soups, stews and chilis year-round.  I like quicker ones in hot weather (it's not the cooking time or cooking heat— it's just that I get less inside time plus in winter smelling a slow simmering soup is comforting, but in summer it's somehow not).

 

One Pan & Done  is by the chick that does the sheetpan supper books.

 

A Meatloaf in Every Oven: Two Chatty Cooks, One Iconic Dish and Dozens of Recipes - from Mom's to Mario Batali's  sounds like it will be fun to read and useful.  Description says

"The definitive guide to an American classic though the lens of New York Times journalists Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer's culinary friendship. 

Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer share a passion for meatloaf and have been exchanging recipes via phone, email, text and instant message for decades. A MEATLOAF IN EVERY OVEN is their homage to a distinct tradition, with 50 killer recipes, from the best classic takes to riffs by world-famous chefs like Bobby Flay and Mario Batali; from Italian polpettone to Middle Eastern kibbe to curried bobotie; from the authors' own favorites to those of prominent politicians. Bruni and Steinhauer address all the controversies (Ketchup, or no? Sauté the veggies?) surrounding a dish that has legions of enthusiastic disciples and help you to troubleshoot so you never have to suffer a dry loaf again.

This love letter to meatloaf incorporates history, personal anecdotes and even meatloaf sandwiches, all the while making you feel like you're cooking with two trusted and knowledgeable friends."

 

 

NEXT READS PLANNED

 

Five chapters a week for this July's bookclub read of Old Man's War.

 

Breath of Heaven (Well of Sorrows) (Volume 3) - Joshua Palmatier,Benjamin Tate  Breath of Heaven (Well of Sorrows)    

 

Plus whatever library ebooks I borrow (lots on waitlist plus binge-ing some series, currently Drink Deep in Chicagoland Vampire series is checked out) will interrupt regular reading schedule.

 

Another bookclub read of whatever TOR offers free (mid-month?) plus 24in48 readathon July 22-23 will also disrupt or remake plans.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-06-09 19:04
Not exactly what southerners mean by "Bless Your Heart" — but curious about this one.
Bless Your Heart: Saving the World One Covered Dish at a Time - Patsy Caldwell

I certainly need to have a look at a cookbook that includes recipes to take to book clubs, eh?

 

The synopsis of Bless Your Heart: Saving the World One Covered Dish at a Time reads:

"What would the South be without deviled eggs at the church potluck? Can you even begin to imagine a family reunion where nobody remembered to make the baked beans and sweet tea? Is it possible to celebrate a major holiday without crunchy sweet potato casserole on the buffet table?

 

Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson don’t think so, either. Indeed, every occasion in the South comes with its own essential menu, and they’re all here in this collection of time-honored favorites.

 

Want to show your team pride with the spread at your next tailgating bash? Patsy and Amy have got you covered with desserts that boast every color in the SEC. No matter the particular moment of life you encounter, this is your go-to encyclopedia of Southern cooking and traditions around the table.

 

Bless Your Heart will do just that. These recipes are proven to comfort and satisfy your family and the people who may as well be kin. Whether the occasion is a holiday gathering, a garden party, or one of life’s unexpected events, food is the common denominator in the South. Lifelong Southerners Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson understand the craft of Southern cooking, and how few things are as nurturing as a meal lovingly prepared in the traditions of the South.

 

There’s a recipe here for every situation in which a Southerner may find herself. From book clubs to baby showers, Patsy and Amy know exactly what flavors perfectly complement any of life’s occasions. You’ll enjoy the familiar stories of traditions in Dixie along the way, and no doubt pick up a new idea or two of ways to celebrate Southern culture, nourish your loved ones, and make new memories."

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-05-20 04:33
"Meatier" finds in public library ebooks
Michael Symon's Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers - Michael Symon
Ribs, Chops, Steaks, & Wings - Ray Lampe,Leigh Beisch
ManBQue: Meat. Beer. Rock and Roll. - John Carruthers,Jesse Valenciana
Wicked Good Burgers: Fearless Recipes and Uncompromising Techniques for the Ultimate Patty - Andy Husbands,Chris Hart
Woman's Day Monday Night is Chicken Night - Woman's Day Magazine,Woman's Day
Perfect Grilled Meats: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-146 - Matt Kelly
Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook - F.L. Fowler

More to checkout for me (my library uses overdrive).

 

Durn autocorrect keeps trying to make "public library" "pubic library" ... er?

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-05-18 06:55
"Spicier" public library ebook finds
Flavors from Home: Refugees in Kentucky Share Their Stories and Comfort Foods - Aimee Zaring
New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories - Susan Tucker,S. Frederick Starr
Authentic Recipes from Jamaica (NONE) - John DeMers,Eduardo Fuss
The Cuban Kitchen - Raquel Rabade Roque
Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine - Steven Raichlen

More I plan on checking out at my library (uses overdrive for ebooks)

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?