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text 2018-03-30 13:34
Homemade and Fermented Hot-Sauce: Habaneros and Bird's Eye Chiles - Part 2

 

Bloody Hell!!! This was frigging delicious!!!

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text 2018-03-11 16:33
Homemade and Fermented Hot-Sauce: Habaneros and Bird's Eye Chiles

(Ingredients)
 
Because Spring is almost here, it's time for making hot-sauce...Love spicy food. Hotter the better. Subtlety works too. It depends on what you're cooking. I make soups nobody I know will eat they're that ferocious (with the exception of my friend João Claudio who's also an aficionado of "hot" food; he's even thinking of founding a hot-chile fraternity...before I start receiving hate email, "chile" is the country and the spice. Chili is the dish...lol). Homemade and fermented chile just gives that huge extra dimension to a meal.  I believe it's the rush that comes from eating hot chile hot-sauce with my food that is so pleasurable. It enhances food and definitely makes it more interesting and more connected to what I'm eating.
 
If you're into all things Mediterranean, especially Chiles, read on.
 
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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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review 2017-10-11 20:20
Human Interconnectedness: "A Nest of Vipers" by Andrea Camilleri
A Nest of Vipers (Inspector Montalbano Mystery) - Andrea Camilleri,Stephen Sartarelli

Why is Catarella allowed to have any part in the operation of the station? He'd be an encumbrance even if moved to toilet-cleaning duties. Why does Montalbano never seem to have any means of communicating with the rest of the force on him? It's not that he can't get a signal since he's never shown to try! Why does he appear to operate outside the rest of the force in his own time and to his inclinations? He's more like a private eye than a policeman. Catarella is almost certainly a “raccomandato”, i.e., someone who got his job thanks to connections rather than going through a rigorous interview and testing process (in Portuguese would be harder to translate; I don’t there’s a noun for that; for the action, yes; it’s called “meter uma cunha”, meaning literally “to pull strings for somebody”). It happens an awful lot. But Catarella does crack computer codes, week in week out, so he's good at something!

 

 

If you're into Mediterranean Crime Fiction, read on.

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review 2017-09-13 16:23
Mediterranean Diet: 250+ Heart Healthy Recipes & Desserts + 100 Mediterranean Diet Beginner's Tips, Tools, & Resources. (Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Fight Disease & Burn Fat - Kevin Hughes

Mediterranean Diet: 250+ Heart Healthy Recipes & Desserts + 100 Mediterranean Diet Beginner’s Tips, Tools, & Resources. (Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Fight Disease & Burn Fat by Kevin Hughes
Don't care for some of the discussions in this book as our nutritionist told us to limit our salt intake due to husband's heart attack. This book says Med diet is high in salt-I totally disagree with that.
I know what I can sprinkle on our food to make it healthy.
Recipes in this book do not have pictures. The nutritional information they do contain is different for each of the recipes, most will have protein, fat-not broken up into good and bad fats, carbs and calories. Each recipe has a title and servings and list of ingredients. When you have to use a can of beans and just rinse it off the brine is already in the beans, USE FRESH!
Some items I have no idea what they even are: tahini. Also has directions in how to make. Not all recipes even have nutritional information. Some of format is different for some of the recipes.
There are to me, a lot of useless information in the book. Introduction starts out with what the Mediterranean diet is and to check wtih your doctore first.
I totally disagree with having red wine at dinner. our doctor told us if you do not drink wine, don't start because of this diet. To us it's a new lifestyle as we combine exercise and sleep with the good diet.
Not sure if you really need to know about what kitchen utensils and appliances you should be using. Some of my appliances do the job of 6 other appliances.
There are listings of other sites online to check out along with apps to use.
Funny how it states to use low fat butter and other products but recipes don't use them as ingredients, they use real milk, etc.
We use low fat, low sodium and have no problems when the recipe calls for regular.
This book I could modify but it still doesn't list good and bad fats nor sodium which is what we are more interested in than calories or carbs. So lacking.

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