Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Women's Wednesdays: Female Authors

Today just a quick list of 10 great female authors.

  1. The Bronte Sisters. I love them for the extraordinariness of ordinary women in books like Jane Eyre or Agnes Grey
  2. Agatha Christie. I love that I can never guess the murderer, no matter how many I read. After all, it might be the narrator, or one of the victims, or who even knows! (Roger Ackroyd, And Then There Were None, etc.) 
  3. L.M. Montgomery. I first fell in love with the Emily Trilogy, and my current favourite is The Blue Castle. I love that she believes in romance and beauty, but writes them with humour and darkness, so they're never saccharine or cloying. 
  4. Harper Lee. She only wrote the one book but it is perfect. 
  5. Ursula Le Guin. The Earthsea Series is a good place to start but I've recently been enjoying her science fiction like The Word for World is Forest and Changing Planes. Such beautiful writing.
  6. Jane Austen. No introduction necessary, correct? I think I like Mansfield Park best.
  7. Rumer Godden. Start with An Episode of Sparrows. Characterization and insight into human nature always on point.
  8. Laura Ingalls. Start at the beginning of the Little House series and read all the way through. Her memory is so sharp; not only does she capture all the details of pioneer life (it's practically a manual), but whatever age she's writing about, she inhabits that little girl or young woman so well, it's hard to believe it's not a diary.
  9. Astrid Lindgren. Well-known for the firecracker humour and imagination of Pippi Longstocking, which is, of course, fabulous, but for something a little less on the beaten track, try Ronia the Robber's Daughter.
  10. Madeline L'Engle. A beautiful marriage of theology, science, and humanity in every book, but never pontificating or out-of-place in the fiction. A Swiftly Tilting Planet is probably my favourite.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Toddler Tuesdays: Earthmovers

One of Steven's co-workers gifted Scout Kid a used toy earthmover, which he couldn't have been more thrilled about. We've been watching some big ol' trucks on Youtube this morning. I'm most impressed by how dang long it takes to wash this thing!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Music Monday: Song for Zula, Phosphorescent


Haunting and beautiful. When I first heard this song I was totally unmoved by it and then one day BAM! it shot up the ranks of songs I love. You know when that happens? That happened to me with Bound Stems. I must've had My Kingdom For A Trundlebed for a solid year before I realised it was incredible and I needed to check out the rest of this band's work.

Meal Mondays: Chicken Fried Rice

The Recipe:
The other night, Steven was eating a pack of chicken fried rice microwave dinner and I was like, "Man, I could make this at home and I bet it's easier, healthier, and cheaper." It turns out I was right. Recipe adapted from here.

The Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Pinch ground ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 each small white onion and carrot, finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

The Method:
1. Earlier in the day, preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Brush over chicken breasts in small baking dish; bake for about 40 minutes, flipping once to coat in sauce. Cool, shred, and set aside.
2. In a large wok or frying pan, heat sesame oil. Fry carrots and onion until soft. Stir in peas.
3. Push vegetables to one side of pan and scramble eggs in the other side. Stir together, then add shredded chicken, cooked rice, and soy sauce. Fry until heated through. Serve topped with green onions.

The Verdict:
Easy, tasty, healthier than boughten. We held back on the soy sauce and added more at table so it was very baby- and toddler-friendly.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014