Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fall and all

Am trying another run at Middlemarch. I have to admit that sentences like this one slow me down:
"Has any one ever pinched into its pilulous smallness the cobweb of pre-matrimonial acquaintanceship?" Something about how misunderstandings help romantic attachment, I think.

The Thirteenth Tale is turning out to be some good gothic fun. It's quite meta, a bookstore researcher is asked to be the biographer for a dying novelist. Swimming in literary references direct and oblique. Other meta books I've enjoyed:  The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Three Weissmanns of Westport . I know there's at least another book for this category but it's escaping me.

Justin Verlander pitched for the Astro's win in the World Series. And he earned his keep with such excellent pitching. Two days after the winning game he got married to actress/model Kate Upton in Italy. Which all seems to make for some serious hubris that the gods might be winding up to strike this marriage down. But on the side of good luck their bridesmaids' dresses were seriously pinkugly. To the happy couple!

Jackolanterns are sulking in the compost heap. A few uncarved squashes remain to decorate our front step. It seems to be November all of a sudden. I have been ready to fall asleep at 9:30 every night after the time change. But I have yet to feel the hate in my heart that time changes used to bring me. Maybe the vitamin D helps. That and the kids who get themselves up in the morning.


I have a feeling that I have posted six previous recipes for cooking black beans in the slow cooker. But I can't find any of them with a perfunctory search and that means that they may as well be lost for all time. Here's my latest attempt that has great flavor but needed extra cooking time.

Start with a bag of dry black beans. Pick them over, remove stones and broken beans. Rinse and soak in plenty of water overnight. Drain the beans. Turn on slow cooker and add a good glug of olive oil, a quartered onion, two peeled and flattened garlic cloves, a carrot in large chunks, a stalk of celery and some extra celery leaves, a bay leaf, a jalapeno and a bell pepper (both seeded), and at least part of a 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes with the juice (I only had half a can). Add beans and six cups of hot water. Cover and cook on medium heat for 4-5 hours. I cooked on 2 and my beans were not done at all when I got home. I put the pot on the stovetop and boiled them beans for an hour until soft. Add salt to taste (I added 3/4 t of table salt). Add lime juice if you have a lime (I did not - sob).

There. As I get older perhaps I will post my bean recipes with increasing frequency until one day every new post will be nothing but beans.


Anne Marie Borch said...

I've attempted Middlemarch a couple of times too, and never finished it. I did love the BBC mini-series from a while back with Rufus Sewell. Speaking of great BBC mini-series...check out North and South with Richard Armitage--really great stuff--on Netflix. And the novel by Margaret Gaskell is also a lovely 19th C. work--it's about the differences between the north and south of England in early industrial times--mills vs. rural ag. Hardness and industry vs. softness and ease. It's not a classic like Austen or the Brontes, but it's right below them in the pantheon IMHO.

You've seen Cold Comfort Farm, haven't you?
The Danish

Nimble said...

Making notes of the series. I keep hearing people saying swoony things about R. Armitage, it would be good to see him in action.
Ooh yes, Cold Comfort Farm is great on film (ol' Rufus again!) and in print. I think I may have to skim through the medical man sections of Middlemarch, but I am advancing so far. The copy I have is annotated and GE did research on the state of the medical profession at this time and I fear she may have put too much of that research in.

Anne Marie Borch said...

Richard Armitage is my new obsession. Although he hasn't done too much swoony stuff besides North and South. He was great in the Hobbit, too, but Thorin Oakenshield isn't swoony. I've just started trying to watch him in Berlin Station, a current series, but it seems like a low budget Homeland and it's on Epix? Very obscure and not streaming.... He needs better vehicles! But he's dreamy in interviews and North and South is great.