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Myrna S. Greenfield "Expert marketing for good food and good causes" RSS Feed (Boston, MA USA)

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She's Gone Santa Fe
She's Gone Santa Fe
by Maida Tilchen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.46
27 used & new from $6.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating glimpse of lesbian lives in 1920s New Mexico, January 20, 2014
This review is from: She's Gone Santa Fe (Paperback)
Maida Tilchen's historical novel, "She's Gone Santa Fe," imagines what it would have been like for a young, white, Jewish, budding lesbian to have fled the dreary world of 1920s New York sweatshops for anthropology school at Columbia University with the likes of Margaret Mead, and then to flee that equally oppressive environment to try living among the Navajos in the Southwest.

Tilchen has taken the few facts that were known about a historical figure and created a fascinating tale. Her main character, Ree, arrives in New Mexico without knowing how she'll be able to integrate herself into the Navajo community. She manages to get a job at a lesbian dude ranch in New Mexico and goes on to work for a rich woman who dabbles in anthropology. She feels like a fish out of water wherever she goes. All Ree can think about is how desperate she is to find a home among the Navajo, but when she actually arrives at that community, she doesn't fit in there, either.

Ree is so naive and deluded that I kept wanting to scream, "Wake up and smell the coffee!", but I did admire her determination to achieve her dream. Ree is far more sympathetic than the rapacious anthropologists, who are trying to steal the Indians’ culture, as well as their artifacts. As Ree wakens to her lesbian feelings, I kept rooting for her to find the love and acceptance she desperately craved, but sadly, she never succeeds.

If you're looking for a lighthearted lesbian romance, go elsewhere; if you've ever wondered what your life might have been like if you'd been born 100 years ago, you'll really enjoy this book.

Turn of Mind
Turn of Mind
by Alice LaPlante
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.41
187 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling yet tough read, August 24, 2012
This review is from: Turn of Mind (Paperback)
This haunting novel is a compelling yet tough read. Dr. Jennifer White is a recently retired orthopedic surgeon in Chicago who is experiencing the first stages of dementia. She's also the prime suspect in the murder of her long-time friend and neighbor, Amanda. Even Dr. White doesn't know if she's innocent or guilty.

Jennifer White's ability to anchor herself and respond in the present fluctuates, but even when her memory and awareness are hazy, she still sees the world through the x-ray eyes of a doctor and surgeon. This clinical approach has made her detached, even somewhat cold, throughout her life, but helps her struggle to uncover the truth about Amanda's murder.

Dr. White has two grown children whose motives can't be trusted and a caretaker she often fails to recognize. Her former best friend, Amanda, isn't around to help her. A surprising sympathetic detective is the only one who seems to want to solve the mystery.

While it was fascinating to glimpse the world from the point of view of someone whose grip on reality comes and goes, following the events through Dr. White's eyes tends to make the mystery aspects of the story drag. It took me a long time to get through the book, but it left an indelible impression. Anyone who has wondered what it might be like to experience dementia is sure to appreciate this novel.

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More
by Maria Speck
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.90
55 used & new from $15.00

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole Grains Cookbook Everyone Can Savor, June 4, 2011
I can't even pretend to be objective about Maria Speck's new cookbook, "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals" because a) Maria's a long-time friend; b) she let me test a couple of the recipes; c) the recipes are creative, delicious, and fun to cook; d) the photos are gorgeous; e) it's a great read, because it's full of stories about Maria's Greek and German family; and f) the information about cooking with whole grains is really useful, whether you know your spelt from your farro or you couldn't tell the difference between a grain of brown rice and a couscou (what the heck do you call a single grain of couscous, anyway?)

Maria embraces the use of butter, cream and bacon; and insists that "health is the last thing on my mind when I eat." Fortunately, even though I'm a pescovegetarian and try to eat as healthily as possible, I can still enjoy this cookbook, because many of the recipes includes suggestions for how to lighten them up or make them vegetarian.

Whether you're a hedonist or a health nut, this book will make you want to try every recipe, because Maria swoons over the taste and texture of each whole grain like it's a treasured friend. To be candid, I think she's a bit nutty, because, face it, certain grains are rather bland. For example, what's the big whoop about polenta? Even when it's fried with a nice crust, it still tastes like breakfast cereal. Fortunately, her recipes call for foods with strong Mediterranean flavors--such as feta cheese, smoked trout, and olives--that could make almost any grain taste good.

Millet is another one of those grains that I'm not particularly crazy about, but its dry, almost nutty flavor is a perfect foil to soak up the salty tomato sauce in one of my favorite recipes in the book, "Greek Millet Saganaki with Shrimp and Ouzo." I've never been a fan of ouzo, either, but the liqueur cuts through the salt and gives this dish a bright, clean flavor. I even discovered that ouzo can be pretty refreshing when you drink it on the rocks with a splash of soda.

Although I'm admittedly biased, I'm sure that you, too, will find at least one new food in this cookbook that you never thought you'd want to eat.

A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern Classics)
A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern Classics)
by Vikram Seth
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.42
136 used & new from $2.81

5.0 out of 5 stars A long novel that I longed would never end, October 17, 2009
It took me twelve weeks to read all 1300+ pages of Vikram Seth's novel, A Suitable Boy, but it was worth the intense commitment. When I read a novel, I enjoy becoming totally immersed in another world. This saga of four families in post-partition India in the early 1950s was so steeped in the sights, sounds, feelings, love interests, politics and spirituality of its characters that I felt like I was experiencing it alongside the protagonists.

The main plot revolves around a mother's frantic attempts to find "a suitable boy" for her feisty young daughter, Lata. My interest in seeing what happens to Lata kept me motivated to keep reading, even when I couldn't understand all the subtleties of politics and history. The familiar dance to the altar gives author Vikram Seth a vehicle to display how the characters are affected by issues of race, class and gender in this cultural context. Like my favorite novelist, Jane Austen, Seth does a wonderful job of plotting to get people who don't like each other in the same room and making satirical observations. Although they are wearing different clothing and speaking with a different accent than my own, I could swear I've been to dinner parties with the chattering Chatterjis or Lata's mother.

Those who are simply seeking the romantic buzz of a Jane Austen novel may not have the patience to stick with this dense book, but I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to spend time with a fascinating group of people.

My Fitness Coach - Nintendo Wii
My Fitness Coach - Nintendo Wii
Offered by UltimateDiscountsCANADA
Price: $15.75
74 used & new from $3.00

32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing lack of options, March 24, 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
I'm really disappointed with this product. My Fitness Coach is not as customized to individual needs as it purports to be. First of all, it doesn't offer low-impact options, so if you have knee and back problems, like me, you have to modify the moves yourself to make them low impact. Second, it claims to adjust the difficulty of the workouts based on how hard you say you are working, but it only offers 3 options for you to identify how hard you are working, and I often feel that my true level of exertion is not captured by one of the 3 options. Plus, I haven't noticed it actually getting harder the next time if I reported that it was too easy. In addition, many of the moves do not have a demo to show you how to do them. Finally, I think the music choices are really dull!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2009 11:38 AM PDT

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