Saturday, April 26, 2008

Books to be read, and Matzoh Ball Soup

Stuff has been a little crazy lately. crazy like working 13 hour days, and getting up the next day to do it all over again with a smile on my face. what can i say? I'm a slave for free food.

not a lot of reading got done. but i made two batches of Maztah Ball Soup, and learned some stuff in the process - parsley = good, thinking your Maztah balls are done before their time = bad.

My Matzah Ball Soup (adapted from Mom's recipe)

make the soup:
olive oil or schmaltz (what's schmatlz?)
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
half an onion, diced
one clove of garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
6-10 cups water
salt & pepper

saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in some olive oil/schmatlz in a large soup pot. mix in some salt & pepper. when the veggies have softed up a bit, pour in the broth & water, and slowly bring to a boil.

while soup is heating up, make the matzoh balls:
2 tbsp schmaltz or vegetable shortening
2 eggs
a heavy half cup matzoh meal
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp soup stock or a mixture of stock & seltzer to equal the same amount
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley

mix schmatlz/shortening together with eggs in a bowl. and matzah meal, soup stock/seltzer, salt & parsley, and blend well. you should have a mixture that holds together. if not, add more matzoh meal or liquid as needed.

have a small bowl of cool water handy, and wet your hands. roll the matzoh mixture by the tablespoon between your palms to make small balls, and drop into boiling soup. Partly cover and boil for a minimum of 20 minutes (i called them done after 15 once, it wasn't pretty. they were in fact, kind of nasty). matzah balls will roughly double in size while they are cooking, and much of your broth will be absorbed.

book news is a bit lame right now.

i'm desperately trying (again!) to get through Hal Duncan's (debut?) novel Vellum. It's relatively fun, in a Kevin Smith Dogma meets that Keanu Reeves Constantine movie. You know, angels versus demons, trying to recruit the angels and demons who thought the war was stupid and fled to earth in an attempt to hide from the powers on high. It's a good book. It takes a LOT of mental concentration to follow some of what's going on, and i'm ending up reading it in 5 minute increments, which is probably an insult to the book. I really want to enjoy this book, but i really, really should be reading it when i can actually give it the attention it deserves. Maybe in the fall or winter?

got an advanced reading copy of the new Steven Brust - Jhaegaala. I can't tell you how excited i am about this. Still trying to finalize a review of his The Book of Jhereg. You know those snarky noirish detective movies? Mix that with a really good detective caper, and take out all the cheesy garbage, and toss in some telepathy, some teleporting with nasty physical side effects. . . and you'd have something like The Book of Jhereg. except the book is way better than that. if you like fantasy of any shape or flavor, get yourself some Brust.

speaking of fantasy, i couldn't drive past the comic shop this afternoon without spending money i didn't have on Elric: the Making of a Sorcerer, the graphic novel by Michael Moorcock and Walter Simonson. What was even cooler was the guy who owns the comic shop told me to come back and tell him what i thought of it. more than that, i talked Fullmetal Alchemist with the other clerk. that place is so geek-cool!!

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