Eyre Affairs

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Monday, August 14, 2006

"I had not notified to Mrs. Fairfax the exact day of my return..." ~ Jane Eyre

The siesta from blogging may be over, but my own personal summer siesta is far from over. I have three weeks left to enjoy the bounties of summer on Long Island, and I plan not to waste an hour of them. I hope that many people are glancing at their calendars this week and are becoming inspired to revel in the last few weeks of summertime. My siesta this past week was divine; the components would make Papa proud:

Wine
Thanks to Martha Stewart, the best sangria was served at my sangria party this past week. In her latest Living, she gives a wonderful recipe for Rose Sangria that I shall reprint for all to make and sip.
*Rose Sangria - serves 4-6*
3 cups rose wine (one bottle)
1 1/2 fresh pink grapefruit juice, strained (I used the juice from two grapefruits and it was fine)
3 ounces of contreau or triple sec (I used triple sec)
3 ounces of brandy or gold tequila (I used brandy)
1 small lemon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I did slices)
1 orange cut into wedges (I forgot oranges at the supermarket, but will add them next time)
4 pounds cantaloupe or honeydew, seeded and cut into wedges (I used one cantaloupe because I prefer it and melon-balled it)
3/4 cup lemon-lime soda
Stir all of the ingredients together and refrigerate it for at least an hour. Do not add the soda until you are ready to serve it! Make sure you serve it over ice, but do NOT add ice to the sangria! Enjoy! Love, Amy and Martha

Water
The ocean has been beautiful this week; it is a dark blue beneath a cloudless light blue sky. I went to the beach both days this past weekend. My beach buddy Saturday was T; we had a lovely time and she was quite a trooper considering she is recovering from a broken foot! Yesterday I went to the beach with Robin. We had a great time together; she has lost so much weight and looks amazing in a swimsuit. Ironically, I was reading the New York Times Book Review as we sat side by side in the sand, and the last review was about two separate novels about conjoined twins. She and I agreed that we would want to kill each other if that were us, but then killing one meant we both died. The other piece of irony here is I used to joke with J. Sarah about she and I being conjoined at the hip. Anyway, there are more beach days to come over the next three weeks, and it is my hope to take Jack for a few hours!

Books
Thanks to David ( http://nakedmanatee.blogspot.com/), I read one of the best-written novels I have ever experienced as a reader: Bastard out of Carolina. As disturbing and difficult as it was to read, the voice of Bone, the protagonist, was one of the greatest voices of a protagonist I have read. I realize now that characters like Lily from Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees and Susie from Sebold's The Lovely Bones are more than likely modeled after Bone. The next book on my reading list is Papa Hemingway by A.E. Hotchner. I took it from my father's collection last weekend. My first unit with my American Lit Honors class this fall is Hem, so I am going to take excerpts from the book to introduce Papa's biography.

Food
J. Sarah, Cassie, and I dined at LeZie in Chelsea this past Tuesday evening. I don't remember the last time I visited the city for dinner before this night. For those who truly know me, they would comment that this is not good for my well-being. Eve bit into the an apple thinking it would feed her soul, and I bite into this big apple knowing that it feeds mine.

I arrived early to the city, and I swear the moment I stepped onto 7th Avenue, I had a grin on my face. I wondered what others were thinking for a moment, but after that moment I didn't care. I thought I would hit Lohmann's to shop, but my how times have changed. I went to the huge Bye Bye Baby (Jack's first birthday is in three weeks) on 7th Avenue instead.

How apropos that the restaurant is named LeZie. Zia in Italian means "Aunt." The dish I had was amazing! It was ricotta pasta with herbs, fava beans, and asparagus. I learned that ricotta pasta is basically gnocci, but substituting ricotta for potato. I think I sense a Sunday this fall trying out a ricotta gnocci recipe now that I am the gnocci queen! This is the recipe I found so far, but I am going to search for others.
*Ricotta Gnocci*
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
2 cups Flour (or enough to fill the Ricotta container)
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients, kneading to finish blending. Let stand for 15 minutes. Roll into ropes about as thick as you thumb using hands and a floured surface. Cut into one-inch pieces. Roll with fork to impress lines, press with thumb to make indentation. Drop into boiling water and cook until they rise to surface, about 10 minutes.

Family
I am glad I spent a good deal of time with my family this week. I saw a great deal of Missy, Ed, and Baby Jack. Jack has a new swing set in his yard and he loves the baby bucket swing. Missy and Ed goaded me to take him down the slide since I was small enough to fit, but I think Jack was a little startled as we slid down together. He had many visitors this week, including cousins, my aunt, and my grandma, so I got to see all of them as well. The beach with Robin was so much fun, and last night I had my parental units over for some grilled fish, mashed potatoes, and corn. I made my daddy a margarita and he said it came out well! I almost cried when grilling the tuna because my mom has this thing when it comes to raw fish. No pink in the middle. Sigh. Clearly I am still not over the sin I committed against the beautiful tuna steak. Still, I would do anything for my parents.

Friends
I am a bit sad this morning because summer rec is over and I am not with my friends there, including my counselors in my class: Boz, T, and Ems. Thankfully I got to see T on Saturday and spoke to Boz via text messaging. I am in withdrawal from them, but not from my kindergarteners! The sangria party turned into one big drinking game of "Never Have I Ever," and I realize now that we were so loud. I joked I would be banned from my neighborhood after what was said.

Activities
Thanks to Ems and her mother, I am now addicted to crossword puzzles. I never, ever did them in all of my 28 years of life, but this past week of rec, it got intense. T gave me a New York Times Crossword Puzzle book as a gift, and I got crossword books for her, Em, and Boz. Great minds think alike? I can't stop. Its an addiction. I have been doing them morning, noon, and night.

21 Comments:

Blogger Marty said...

Dear God! Thursday!!!!!!!!
Praise The Saints, you're back!

(You were missed, in case all of the exclamation points did not get that across, smiles)

Glad you had a nice siesta.
My turn! (I wish)
Sangria rocks, BTW. :)
I know I couldn't read 'Bastard' cause I get too upset about that topic, like physically sick about it, but I'm glad you found another great book! Aren't most books great? ha

12:26 PM  
Blogger Seskel said...

Crossword puzzles are extremely addictive. Especially those damn New York Times ones. Glad the siesta is over, I quite enjoy your blog. (Semi-longtime reader, first time commenter.)

1:38 PM  
Blogger beachgirl said...

There is a movie version of Bastard out of Carolina... the little girl that played Bone really brought the character to life, she was amazing... I haven't read Secret life of bees but I have read The Lovely Bones... it was extremely moving!!

I am so glad you are back!!! I think we need another pic of baby Jack!!

Much love!!

1:49 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Martypants ~ Merci, mon cherie! Its nice to be back! Indeed, most books are great, including "Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying." (Monty Python fans? Anyone? Anyone?)

Seskel ~ I just read your blog and am extremely excited about becoming a new reader. Thank you so much for your kind comment about Eyre Affairs. Glad to know there are other crossword addicts out there like me. What did you get for one down yesterday?

BG ~ You will love "Secret Life of Bees", so hop to it! :) Tomorrow I should have Baby Jack photos; I took a few when he was on his swingset!

2:46 PM  
Blogger afromabq said...

i cannot wait to use that sangria recipe! it sounds wonderful.

glad you're back!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

Sangria and "Never have I Ever"-- what a fabulous combination...however, my first few years in college I never got to drink...awww how things have changed

3:22 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Thanks for the recipes! I'm so on the Sangria, maybe even tonight.
Great insight about the books. I've read all three of those and never put that together, but I think you're right that there is some affinity between those three characters. all great books!
I'm glad your break was so relaxing! I have a few days off next week and you totally inspired me to spend them at the beach. :)

3:41 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

On an unrelated topic:
You dressed as Sherlock Holmes?
You have pics of that?

That, I'd like to see.

You are too nerdy for belief.
haha

(That's a compliment, dearest.)
:)

4:15 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

PS ~ Thank you! Oh this sangria is a must, must must!

Kels ~ I am proud to report that I was one-upped by a few others at the table...whew! Still, I drank more than I expected to!

Steph ~ I hope you made the sangria tonight! I never would have pieced just two books together, but the three seem linked. I wonder if there are any more in that style?

Marty ~ Your game is afoot if you think I am gonna post pics of me as Holmes! Elementary, dear Martypants: I will only embarass myself to a certain point!

9:21 PM  
Blogger work in progress said...

YOU'RE BACK! Woo Hoo!
You were missed. Stupid Marty's Damn comment says all the same stuff, but I really mean it, she just got here first.

Ok, the ricotta gnocchi is excellent. My grandmother who spent years making down home Italian food for my pure blooded Italian Grandfather has switched to the recipe that you posted. It's easier and much less time consuming. I've had the two at the same time (at a family get together-my aunt still makes it the old-fashioned/hard way). They're both excellent. Go with it. Thanks for reminding me about it.

And thanks for the Sangria recipe! It sounds FABULOUS.

I can't do crosswords. They taunt me. Stupid things.

11:48 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

lady jane,

welcome home miss eyre. wishing you a fine fine final 3. should i send a package on then?

/grrrrrrr

9:22 AM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Thursday: oh, I love crossword puzzles, as well. I am not very good at them, but I do enjoy trying them out...glad you are back from siesta--and with great recipes to share. Bonus!

11:54 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

WIP ~ Hallo dear. I think Marty has shotgun on comments on this blog and I LOVE it. :) J. Sarah was just telling me last night how she can't take crosswords either. I guess those who don't think more linear, as she said?

Rottiepooch ~ I owe you an email, pups. Forthwith! xoxoxo

Ryane ~ Oooo goodie; another addict like me! I found out you can even do printouts of crossword puzzles online! Yay!

For all crossword puzzle addicts:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/
06/20/movies/
20shortz-questions.html?
ex=1155787200&en=
e821736485991325&ei=5070

FYI to all: I. hate. Suduko.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Lady Wordsmith said...

Gentle and kind greetings to you, my (hopefully) well rested and well fed blogging friend. I am happy to note your return, and shall revisit when I have the chance to read and make comment.

But now I make my presence known to you here, and now -- with not so shy requests and a humble plea for your help …

Please look here and see that I have called you out. ‘Tis for the favour of your talent and skill I call on to help make a wish -- wish #24 -- come true.

(And if there be others, you wish to make so … to be sure, I shan’t say “No.”)

With blessings and thanks, ever yours
~Lady

3:18 PM  
Blogger Night Flier said...

Sounds Fabulous! I may need to take a blogging fiesta sometime soon and then when I get back have glorious things to blog about also! :)


I love Sangria! :) And how is September on L.I.? I am thinking of coming up there for a long weekend.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Mayden's Voyage said...

Dear Miss E~
So glad to have you back! I will try the Sangria- I saw Martha make this once on one of her shows and it looked divine! :)

I read the Mermaid Chair early this summer- it's a wonderful story. I guess I need to read The Secret life of Bees too :)

Let me finish Lady C first :)

I'll be back at the coast next month- it will still be warm and golden on the NC beaches. But this past weekend was wonderful! :)
The Lowes Grocery store in EI has a sushi chef- I was able to order sushi to go and took it to the beach! :) I thought of you several times~
Enjoy the rest of your summer...my kids went back to school July 17th- year round program :) But 3 weeks off mid Sep to early Oct...

6:53 PM  
Blogger Lady Wordsmith said...

Ahhh. And now that I have read your post I am truly and deeply gladdened that you are back from your blogging siesta.

Yes. Bastard Out of Carolina is a damn fine book. And Dorothy Allison is a damned finer dyke! Oft it was that I recommended her books to students in my Feminist Psychology classes. So to the core of the oppressed's pysche does she get. Yes. Bone is a skeleton for many other characters since.

If you have time still, for yet another distrubingly good read ... look into time and space to read The Beans of Egypt Maine written by Carolyn Chute. It's short - but sure to require time to get through it.

Enjoy the remains of your break.
Ever yours,
~Lady

7:58 PM  
Blogger Madfoot said...

I work on the Sunday crossword all week. I used to do this so regularly that I would be within a few letters of having it done by the time the new one showed up, but I'm so woefully out of practice that -- well, it seems like I barely start before I have to give up and start the next one. Sad, really, what age will do to a brain...

This is what I do to fall asleep, mind you. Which means that crosswords at this point have a soporific effect on me. If I get three clues in and I'm not asleep, that's insomnia.

And re: dressing up like Sherlock Homes I have only this to say/sing:

Elementary, my dear!
Two times two is four.
Elementary, my dear!
Two times three is six.

ha ha, try to get THAT out of your head for the rest o' the day.

8:54 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Lady W ~ Anon, I shall be there tomorrow morning! As for your recommendation, I am heading to the library tomorrow.

Vixen ~ Long Island in September is divine, especially wine country on the North Fork. :)

Cora ~ I think you may find "Secret Life" even better than "Mermaid Chair." I must email you tomorrow morn as well; lots to say about Chatterly.

Coz ~ Indeed, they do get me sleepy as I listen to WNYC's classical music at night! As for Holmes, I think one of my favorite sayings of all time is "No Shit, Sherlock!"
:) Ahhhh, the alliteration!

11:44 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

i returned from my travels this week - and rolled immediately into a faculty meeting and instruction begins tomorrow - my summer is gone - glad you are still enjoying yours!

i'll have to try out these recipes and pretend i'm still at the beach!

12:44 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Birdie ~ I am right behind you; I already started my syllabi this week for my courses! Make the sangria anyway and remember that Labor Day Weekend is coming up! I can't wait to hear about your trip!

7:56 AM  

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