This weekend is a welcome one full of rest, downtime, and friends. The weeks are getting busier and busier as I try to get everything ready before stepping away from work for maternity leave (and I’ll be another kind of very busy and exhausted), and I’m finding my body is asking for a bit of a break. We had a delightful Saturday evening sharing dinner with friends I don’t get to see nearly as often as I’d like. I made a chicken dish out of Food 52’s new cookbook A New Way To Dinner paired with an applesauce cake (the standout hit of the night — I’d highly recommend it for anyone with apple picking on their fall agendas). All was delicious, but this morning I can tell I spent most of yesterday on my feet up and about in the kitchen.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
Weekly Menu Plan (in case you need ideas or inspiration):
Sunday: Pork tenderloin with golden beets (this was fabulous and will probably make it into a holiday menu rotation later this year), roasted cauliflower, baguette
Tuesday: Rigatoni with chickpeas (from Back Pocket Pasta cookbook)
Wednesday: Pan-seared steak tips, mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed green beans
Friday: Noodle House takeout
Saturday: Rosy Chicken (from Food 52’s cookbook), mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, garlic bread, and applesauce cake with caramel frosting
A few links and articles I’ve enjoyed this week:
An essay by the fabulous Rebecca Solnit on Harvey Weinstein and things that aren’t men’s fault.
As always, thank God for Beyonce.
Just for fun and no other reason.
Bon Appetit’s review of pumpkin spice products. I’m a big pumpkin fan (and will make a lot of baked goods with pumpkin puree in the fall), but I’m not huge into the pumpkin spice or PSL trend. This week, though, we did buy a box of the Cheerios pumpkin spice variety, and I have to say I agree with BA: It’s actually pretty good. Charlotte especially likes them and asks for them as “pumpkin crackers.”
Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
This was one of the books I thought might be a big summer hit, and while I wasn’t super interested in it initially, I picked it up because I was hearing so much buzz about it. I’m so glad I did: I found it to be worthwhile and enjoyable.
I also really liked listening to in audiobook format, as the story takes place in Scotland, and the voice actor does do a good job with the lilt and accent in her narration. I wouldn’t be surprised if this winds up being one of my favorite books of the year.
The story starts simply, as we are introduced to a single thirty-something working as an admin in an graphic design firm in Glasgow. Instead of being a breezy single-girl-in-the-city story, we definitely get the sense that something is off with Eleanor; she’s more frumpy than fashionable.
A few quick chapters in, this frumpiness seems to melt into a naiveté that stems from a much more sinister background. Eleanor has a certain cluelessness about her own circumstances, but we readers have a growing awareness of what is going on in her life, and though obscured details eventually emerge bit by bit throughout the novel, there’s a real way in which readers (little as we know), know more than Eleanor herself.
Although there are elements that come off as depressing and sad, there’s a lot of humor here, too. Eleanor’s take on the world and the observations she makes are often quite funny, as are the reactions of those around her to her bluntness or social missteps.