Sunday, November 23, 2014

Adoption and Fostering

Molly Ayer, a foster child, has to do fifty-plus hours of community service to stay out of juvenile detention. She reluctantly agrees to help an elderly widow, Vivian Daly, clean out her attic. Vivian really doesn’t want to get rid of anything and she spends time with Molly reminiscing over old items in her trunks. It turns out that Vivian, an Irish immigrant, was orphaned in New York in the 1920’s and sent by train to the Midwest to be adopted. Molly finds out that she and Vivian have quite a bit in common, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. This story is based on the orphan trains that ran west from New York between 1854 and 1929. Orphan Train: a novel  by Christina Baker Kline  provides an thoughtful look at immigration and adoption in the recent past. DB  

Monday, November 3, 2014

If you can't travel to Paris...

Is the thought of making French food too intimidating for you? Do you think it would be too fussy, to fancy, too...well, French! Dorie Greenspan is here to help you. She is the author of many cookbooks, and her blog, , was named one of the top fifty food blogs in the world by the Times of London. Her newest lovely book, which is owned by OPL, is called Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere.
My own personal pet peeve is no photos in cookbooks, so this one is a treat, with many glossy close-ups. The range of baking is covered here, from cake and cookies to tarts, galettes, and so much more. The emphasis is on clear directions and while not ultra simple, the experienced home cook should have no trouble. Hmm, what shall I bake first? Should it be fancy like Gingerbread Buche de Noel, or a little simpler like Limoncello Cupcakes or Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies? The book comes in at a hefty 460 pages, so there should be no problem finding something. mmmmm...ML