january in review

for once in the history of minnesota winters, january positively flew by. i’m guessing that partially had to do with the 6 days of it i spent in tropical paradise, though. that might have to become an annual tradtion because it made the worst winter month MUCH more bearable. so…to wrap it up:

the road – cormac mccarthy i was leary of this book because i had started blood meridian in december and although i liked the story, it was an incredibly detailed and oddly written sloooooow read (i still haven’t finished it). but i decided to take a break from blood meridian and move on to the road. i started and finished the same day. it’s incredibly dreary, but incredible beautiful at the same time – i mean, if you’re the type of person that can find beauty in a post apocolyptic word. mccarthy has at least 100 different ways to describe desolation.

blink – malcom gladwell i really enjoyed this book. i usually don’t read non-fiction, but i think gladwell is great. blink is about how people are able to make decisions without really thinking about it – following our instinct or listening to the snap judgement maker in our brain. really interesting, especially if you are really into “reading” people like i am.

dance dance dance – haruki murakami murakami is so hit or miss with me – japanese ficition can be SO weird. this one was no exception from the strangeness that tends to encompass his novels, but i was really intrigued by the story and by the lead characters cryptic dreaming. i liked this one better much better than kafka on the shore which was the last murakami book i read a couple of years ago.

love is a mix tape – rob sheffield this was a cute bubble-gummy type of read. and sad. rob writes about the mix tapes he and his wife made each other before she passed away suddenly and what the songs mean to them.

i failed miserably in the crafts department in january. i’m still whittling away on the scarf i started in october, however, the end is finally near and i am going to finish it by the end of this week. i’m not going to feel too bad though, considering the sheer amount of cooking and baking i did in january, i think some of that should carry over to the craft section of my resolutions. also, i have already made specific craft project plans for the upcoming month so i expect to be able to post some new things by mid-february.

my new recipe of the week for last week was inspired by street food i had in puerto rico (though, i did research and discovered they are originally from south america) – arepas con queso. fried corn cakes with creamy melted mozzarella in the middle. a nice little crunch on the outside and warm cheese on the inside. mmmm

(recipe adapted from one found in the food section of the NY Times)

1 C finely ground corn meal
1 C milk
2 T butter
1/2 t salt
1/2 C sweet corn kernels
4 oz mozzarella
2 T neutral cooking oil

*this recipe makes 4 3-4 inch cakes and i used about half a block of an 8oz block of cheese*

put corn meal and salt in a bowl
heat milk in a sauce pan until steam is rising from it, add butter and stir until melted
pour into cornmeal and salt mixture, stir until thick batter is formed
fold in corn kernels
let batter rise for about 15 minutes
heat up a pan or griddle with the oil
form the dough into 3-4 inch balls and pat down to 1/2 inch thickness
fry about 4 minutes on each side
take off heat and slice arepa in half width-wise, add cheese, put halves back together and back on heat until cheese is melted


i still don’t have a working computer at home, so here are a couple of photos to tide your curious eyes over.

view from a WWII look out post at Castillo San Cristobal

and me with my best friend, the ocean


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