Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Literary Obsession Fuels Some Easy Recipes

A good book should leave you...slightly exhausted at the end.
You live several lives while reading it.
by William Styron

A book cover proclaiming a true story about a thief, a detective, a world of literary obsessions with a cover picture right out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie certainly caught my attention. 

Allison Hoover Bartlett's novel The Man Who Loved Books Too Much is a unique narrative set within a strange world of rare book collecting. The author is a journalist who delves into the life of a real person John Charles Gilkey. He is a book thief that steals purely for the love of books. Gilkey is not just a thief, but an intelligent one who seems to have his own set of rules of fairness and rights. He is obsessed with collecting hundreds and thousands of rare books from fairs, schools and libraries. His elaborate schemes of using fraudulent credit cards and some checks is intriguing. Along the way I learned a new word: bibliodick, which means a book dealer who has a definite liking for detective work. Ken Saunders enters the narrative story as the book dealer driven to detective work to find Gilkey and bring him to justice.
I thought this book had some similarities to the book Orchid Thief  by Susan Orlean. Her book is also written in a semi-journalistic narration about addiction but focuses on plant obsession; namely  orchids. Another new word for your vocabulary: orchidelirium,people obsessed with orchids   Both books I found quite informative exploring the new worlds of rare books and plants. 
Looking for an an easy meal idea this should fit the bill. It is meatball subs served with chips and a broccoli salad.
 Broccoli Salad
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 small red onion
  • 12 strips of bacon-fried crisp and diced
  • ½ cup raisins or craisins
  • 1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 small package of shredded cabbage mix
  • 1-cup mayonnaise
  • 2 TB. vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar (may want to use less sugar so taste first starting with 1/3 cup)
  • Mix salad ingredients
  • Chill salad ingredients while making dressing mixture
  • Pour dressing over salad ingredients 1/2 hour before serving and return bowl to refrigerator
  • If need more dressing make ½ mixture more: ½ cup mayo, 1 TB. vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar
Meatball Subs
  • 1 package of prepared meatballs (Sam's Club sells them)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 package of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package of hoagie buns or brat buns
  • Preheat oven @ 425
  • Heat sauce in a saucepan on stove
  • Warm meatballs in oven-add some water to keep them moist
  • Assemble on a cookie sheet with opened buns
  • Place 3-4 meatballs down the center
  • Ladle warmed sauce over meatballs-about 1/4 cup per bun
  • Sprinkle with cheese
  • Bake in oven at 4-5 minutes and then serve

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