Monthly Archives: November 2010


My husband can attest to the fact that I have really good memory. That skill can be a mixed blessing. When you need to recall something quickly, you’ve got it. On the flip side of that, you are challenged by not being able to simply forget things you’d rather see fade off into the recesses of your gray matter.

Back in November of 2007, I made my first attempt at Thai Chicken Coconut Soup. And the results were less than stellar. In fact, I recall sharing with the internets the fact that my kitchen (and my senses) were smacked upside the head by the intensity of a certain ingredient:

“The good news is that my kitchen smells like lemongrass.

The bad news is that my kitchen smells like lemongrass. And only lemongrass. And now all I can smell is…lemongrass.”

Yeah, so that didn’t go so well. But I’m a determined little bugger, and I never quite gave up on the idea of successfully executing this dish.  I’d revisit the recipe, toy with some of the ingredients, and try again. I just wouldn’t let it go. I couldn’t forget my earlier failure, and I was obsessed with getting this darn thing right.

Well, Peoples of the World Wide Web, I have finally done it! Today, I made the soup…and it was FREAKING DELICIOUS. The creaminess of the coconut, the brightness of the LEMONGRASS, the saltiness of the fish sauce, and the spiciness of the Thai chilis: everything just came together beautifully. I’m still planning to play around with some of the seasonings, but I’m pretty darn happy about how things turned out. Once I’m done with nailing down precise measurments, I’ll be sure to update this post to include the recipe.


Getting My Book On

I took a short (yeah, right) hiatus from my quest to read all 100 books on Newsweek’s Meta-List, but now I’m ready to jump back into the proverbial saddle. I should point out that I did read a few other books during the break.

Possession by A.S. Byatt is, I think, the best book I’ve read this year. If you’re into metafiction, this is definitely one to check out. Since I am a lover of the Victorian novel, I really enjoyed how Byatt was able to incorporate elements of the Victorian into modern times. I understand that a film version of the book exists; however, I’ve heard from numerous sources that the movie is not good, so I don’t think it will be added to my Netflix queue anytime soon.

The other book I read is Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. I wanted to love this book: I really did. A former instructor of mine, whose opinion I value greatly, suggested that I read it. Sorry, but this book did not do anything for me. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that it’s set in Paris in the ’50s and it deals with questions of morality and love and, well, it’s pretty unconventional stuff. I think reading it right after Possession may have been a bad decision on my part. I’ll give Baldwin another chance, but it’s gonna be a while.

So now I’m ready to tackle something else. I was fortunate enough to receive a Barnes & Noble gift card for my birthday (thank you, brother-in-law!), so I picked up a few books. I still have a stack of books on my desk to read, but I was in the mood for something else. Today, I’m starting Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I’ve heard lots of positive feedback about this novel, so I’m looking forward to diving in.