Archive for September, 2013

September Book Club

The Menu

Cucumber and Apple Condiment
Apple Strudel

September’s Book Selection

In the Garden of the Beast: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Eric Larson


Of the five of us at the dinner 2 of the women (both writers) wanted to give it 4 1/2 stars while I felt  3 stars was generous. Although, extremely well written and researched, I found it tedious to read.

Coming back from Western Mass. on Sunday night didn’t leave me enough time to prepare the apartment, plan a menu, shop and cook dinner for Tuesday evening’s book club meeting so I asked if everyone wouldn’t mind ordering in for dinner. In keeping with the German theme of the book I looked into the menu of a German restaurant not more than 4 or 5 blocks from my home, but the cuisine wasn’t vegetarian friendly. Looking at the menu we probably could have ordered a couple appetizer but the sausage and heavy meat entrees were impossible. Of the restaurants suggested, everyone decided Indian food was the best option and the easiest to share. There are only a few Indian restaurants in my hood, meaning several blocks from my home, and they are mostly on Tenth Avenue where the cabbies stop to get their meals. They are good but don’t offer the variety that Basera Indian Bistro on Ninth does. We ordered several vegetarian dishes: Baigan Bharta, roasted eggplant with onions and tomatoes; Aloo Gabha, cauliflower and potatoes; Saag, spinach with chickpeas, and some Nan. The Aloo Gabha was particularly good.

I wanted to contribute in someway to the dinner and decided to make an appetizer so we could nibble while waiting for dinner to arrive. Read more

Cucumber and Apple Condiment

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

In the garden of the beast_cover


The book chronicles William E. Dodd’s appointment as Ambassador to Nazi German in 1933. Not Roosevelt’s first choice for ambassador, the mild-mannered Dodd brings his wife, son and flamboyant daughter, Martha with him to Berlin. At first they are enthralled with the parties, and pomp and ceremony of the “New Germany”. And, Martha is especially captivated by the handsome men of the Third Reich having affair after affair.  Read more

Lemony Broccoli, Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Dinner this evening was a yummy salad I made from produce bought the other day at the farmer’s market and goodies on hand. Researching recipes for a broccoli salad on the internet, creamy broccoli and bacon salads just didn’t cut it. First I am vegetarian and second I wanted something healthy that didn’t camouflage the broccoli but instead brought out its flavor. Lemon always brightens up the flavors and is my favorite addition to any dish so I developed the salad around lemon and broccoli. For sweetness and color I added blueberries. Read more