March 23, 2008
Good morning Sunday Saloners and Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate this religious holiday! This morning I slept in later than usual with my husband on one side of me and little Gizmo curled up on the other side. The sun shining between the trees and a cool breeze blowing through the open window eventually roused me. In celebration of Easter, I made a special Brunch Bake (recipe below for those of you with culinary interests). I have yet to sit and read this morning, but plan on some quiet time later on the porch if the sun and warm weather holds this afternoon.
I finished reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin (read my review) this week. It took me longer than I thought it would, but was well worth it. It got me thinking about the idea of book banning (again). I don’t understand the concept, try as I might. I have never felt that the way to deal with material offensive to oneself is to prevent others from reading it. In fact, if I find a book offensive, the first thing I want to do is talk about it with others…not burn it, hide it, make it unaccessible or otherwise pretend it doesn’t exist. Most books that garner the attention of the book banners are those with important or difficult messages; or those which explore subject matter which horrifies or creates a feeling of discomfort. Wouldn’t it be better to use this information as a way of educating or opening lines of communication? Of course, this excludes illegal acts, such as child pornography…which naturally I feel should be abolished. But, really, look at the books which appear on the lists of banned books: To Kill A Mockingbird, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and A Prayer for Owen Meany to name a few (all these are reviewed here on my site – just follow the links). What do they all have in common? They are classics written by very talented writers. Why anyone would want them removed from library shelves is beyond me.
On a more positive note, I started reading Belong to Me, by Marisa de los Santos yesterday. Some of you may have read her bestseller Love Walked In. I’m only 40 pages into the book but I love it! The main character – Cornelia Brown – is someone to whom I instantly related. She’s funny and sarcastic and doesn’t fit in with the women within her social circle. I like her. I want to get to know her. I have a feeling this book will be a quick read!
As promised…here is the recipe for the Brunch Bake (ripped from Enjoy Magazine – March 2008 edition):
- 1 package (17.3 oz) frozen puff pastry (2 sheets) thawed
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- dash hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 2 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 6 slices cooked bacon chopped OR 1 cup diced ham or chicken (I used ham)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup chopped red peppers
- Sour cream and chives for garnish (optional) – I also think that cranberry sauce would taste good with this too.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold thawed pastry sheet and roll out one sheet to about 11-inch square and one to 12-inch square. Line bottom and side of greased 9-inch spring-form pan with 12-inch pastry sheet. Beat eggs, salt and pepper with a wire whisk; reserve and set aside one Tbls of egg mixture. Add ricotta cheese, pepper sauce and spinach to remaining eggs; mix until well blended. Layer half of the bacon, ham or chicken, onions, cheeses, spinach mixture and red peppers in the pasty lined pan. Repeat layer of ingredients. Place remaining pastry sheet over mixture; fold and tuck pastry edges in pan. Pinch edges to seal. Brush top with served one Tbls egg. Cut 5 or 6 slits in top crust with tip of sharp knife to allow steam to escape. bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run small knife around edge of pan before removing rim. To make ahead, assemble and bake pie as directed. Cover, refrigerate overnight (or several hours). When ready to serve, uncover. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Serve topped with sour cream and chives if desired. Serves 10-12.