Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i love apples.

have you been to your local apple orchard yet? no? why not? apple orchards are fun, and filled with apple trees, which are in turn, filled with apples and soon to be apple cider. and all sorts of other yummy things you can make with apples. and when the weather starts to turn cold, and you get your winter coat out of the closet for the first time in 6 months, and you put your sandals away for the winter, what's better than warm apple anything? hmmm. . . not much.

Mom's Apple Crisp (with minor modifications made by yours truly)

5 crisp apples (I like Gala)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) cold butter
1/3 cup oatmeal (not the instant kind)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

preheat oven to 350. peel and core apples, then slice thinly. layer the apple slices with half the nuts in a greased 8x8 baking dish or other caserole of similar volume. sprinkle lemon juice on the apple slices as you are layering them. the layers should come about 3/4 up the sides of the dish.

in a bowl mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. cut the cold butter into small peices, then cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. cut until coarse crumbs form. gently mix in oatmeal and remaining nuts. sprinkle mixture over apples. bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until apples are tender, and topping is crisp.

apple crisp, like many other foods, go well with a good books. goes even better with books, plural.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - not at all what I expected, but incredible, and well, amazing. Teenaged cousins Joe and Sammy start out as many teenagers do - convinced that they are invincible, and that their dreams will come true. well, dreams do come true, just not the way you expected. and what you thought you wanted isn't really what you want. This happens to be a book about two Jewish cousins in New York City in the 1930s, and the next 15 years of their lives. but that's not what it's about at all. I don't mean to be vague, and any readers who enjoy the surface story for what it is will enjoy their time, but if you can see just a little deeper in the kaliedescope, you'll get knocked on your ass before you know what hit you.
i need to write a better review. . . . something more substantial.

these next two are MUCH easier:

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman - very cute, very quick. the "we only have time for a short bedtime story because my TV show is starting" version of Meiville's Un Lun Dun (which I enjoyed more). I give Gaiman credit for the buttons thing, that was beautifully creepy. . . but the rest? I've seen him do better, so this kind of felt cheap and lazy.

Deathnote volume I, by Tsugumi Ohba - this series has been out for a few years ago, so i was happily surprised to find it in the library. Basic plot is creepy, but fun - a death god accidentally drops his notebook, his "Deathnote" on earth, where it ends up in the hands of Light Yagami, a typical high school student (Ok, what's with all the Japanese characters named "Light"?). Light now has the power of the book - if he writes a name in the book and thinks of a person, the person dies. Excited about the idea of a new world order, Light goes about killing criminals and terrorists. When the police catch on that something funny is happening, famed Detective L is put on the case. Light is oddly nonchalant about his killing spree abilities, and Ryuk, the original owner of the deathnote is entertained and amused by the whole situation. Seriously, something this freaky should not be this entertaining.

Currently reading Between the Rivers, by Harry Turtledove. I was sitting in on a Sunday School class the other week, and the teacher was talking about the Garden of Eden. God made Adam, Adam was lonely, so God made Eve. He told them they could eat of any tree in the Garden of Eden except the tree of Knowledge. they could do anything but seek knowledge? What kind of a God wants stupid followers? that's when my husband put this Harry Turtledove book in my hands.

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