Happy Friday lovelies!
In a previous post I requested some Summer reading suggestions and boy did you all deliver!
Obviously I finished The Hunger Games - which did not disappoint. I hadn't enjoyed a book the way I enjoyed that one (all 3 of them!) in a very, very long time. Writing a book that grips the reader in the way that one did is a difficult task - let alone 3 books! I was impressed.
I am in the process of trying to get used copies of His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman - who would have known I'd get hooked on adolescent adventure novels??
And in the meantime, I've been consumed with 50 Shades of Grey - again, a trilogy. Of course, I have two things to say about this series... Well, 3. Because there are 3 books, right?
1. The first book was riveting and exciting and oh so dirty. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. Much, much more. Ooh la la!
2. I'm currently 2/3rds of the way through the second book in the series and in all honesty, the sex scenes have lost their oomph. It's almost tedious at this point - especially with respect to how quickly and regularly the female protagonist orgasms from penetrative sex. Bitch please! A little more female centered sex would be nice and I'd like more story.
3. Lastly (and most importantly), is it just me, or is the abuse, control, and life-management of Christian Grey over Ana just scary?! In the bedroom it was hot; in her life, wrong. His paternalistic ways of running her life, selecting her friends and how she spends her time with them, buying the company she works for so he can keep an eye on her, not allowing her to go outside (or anywhere) without him, flying across the country to spy on her while she visits her mother even after she's said she needs time away from him, refusing to let her have her own wardrobe, eat how/when she wants, selecting when or if she can drive her own car, etc... is insulting and abusive! How has this not created a moral outrage?! And of course, it's all okay as soon as he touches her because sex solves everything and if she can just love him enough, she can change him. Bull-hockey! This kind of behavior IS NOT romantic. It's fucked right up and i can't believe women think this shit is "soooooo romantic".
p.s. last note on this: The Twighlight series was torn apart by academics and feminist critical thinkers all over the place because of the abusive and paternalistic nature of the "love" story, mainly because of the influence it was having on it's young female readers and how they were learning to interpret romantic relationships. Obviously there's something wrong with full grown women too - why aren't we interrogating this??
Something that doesn't need to be torn apart because it's beautiful and good and fresh and not at all abusive towards women? Fresh from the farmer's market, Roasted Beet Salad with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese!
...man alive I'm good at those segues!
...man alive I'm good at those segues!
Seriously though. You want this salad.
Roasted Beet Salad with Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese
(printable recipe) - serves 3 - 4.
4 Small to Medium Sized Purple Beets, washed & well dried.
4 Small to Medium Sized Golden Beets, washed & well dried.
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled.
4 - 6 Oz Soft Goat Cheese.
1 C Hazelnuts.
Tbsp or Two of Quick Pickled Onions.
1 Tsp Local Organic Honey.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degree F. Toss the beets in a roasting pan with a good glug of olive oil, a big pinch of salt and pepper and the garlic cloves. Cover and roast in the oven 25 - 40 minutes, depending on the size and age of your beets. The younger and smaller they are (i.e. farmer's market or CSA share beets) the faster they'll roast; the older or bigger (i.e. grocery store chain beets), the longer. You want younger beets here because the flavor and texture of them is far superior to older ones, but use what is available to you. You will know when they are done when a fork slides easily into the center of the beet. Remove from the oven, allow to cool enough that you can touch them and then peel; cut in half or into fourths. Or if you want to get really fancy, dice! Discard (or eat) garlic.
As they cool you can toast your hazelnuts. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and then place in oven. Toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, dump into a tea towel and rub vigorously to remove some of the bitter casings. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the chopped beets, goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, a glug of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the honey. Serve.
Have you read any of the above mentioned books? Any more recommendations? Do you think I'm "reading" too much into the 50 Shades series?.... Also, don't you just love beets?