Recipe Day- Bookclub on the Deck by A. Woz

It seems I always get to host our group on starry nights in the spring.

We gather on the deck with fresh salads on our forks and this time, a lovely mojito beverage with mint picked from the front porch flowerbed.

Our discussion is not about food,  not even much about the book we have finished, White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.  We do talk about unlikeable characters, family loyalty, traditions,  but it’s really all reflections of normalcy as compared to our regular lives.

On evenings filled with re-enactments of our real-life laughter moments, frustrations, and a-ha moments, this group really knows how to take the topic from India’s caste system and segue effortlessly into the rigors of teaching our children manners, gratitude and our attempts to accept whatever our ten year olds think it is they need that week, which tonight, includes serious inquiries into getting a cell phone.

The deck railing hides the pushpins holding a string of last year’s twinkling white tree lights and with a blanket and a spare sweater the guests settle back in despite the cooling evening air and voices tinged with shivered sounding syllables. We hug our glasses of wine a little closer and lean in to add our opinions as we try to reclaim the book discussion that brings us together each month.

For just a moment, we are interrupted by the ringing telephone. The neighbor has called to report that a bear has been spotted a half mile away at an intersection in Hometown USA. The guests quickly look under their chairs, lift their sandaled feet and pedicured toes just a few inches  off the deck floorboards,  as if to protect themselves from an ankle lick from a wayward bear.

With gentle assurances we turn on the yard light, make sure the dogs are safe inside the fence and resume our sharing of the details that make us who we are. As our giggles float to the willow tree and the grapevine covered arbor in the side yard, we step back inside to add a spoon of Watermelon Lime Salad to our plates or to grab another serving of Totellini Mozz salad. While we chat, my husband who has graciously tucked the children into bed has an opportunity to have the last of Mel’s Cabin Salad- his favorite.

  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for July
  • Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson for August
  • You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon for September

– book picks recalled and published here with credit to Karen and her iphone.


For best results, use fresh ingredients from a local Community Shares Agriculture farm share. We support Vermont Valley CSA Farm- and farmers Barb and Dave Perkins.

Tortellini Mozz Salad

Fresh or frozen tortellini- tri colored best

2 med. tomatoes diced

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, drained

10 basil leaves, torn

2-3 T Olive Oil

1 can medium olives

Fresh ground pepper.

Cook tortellini according to directions, drain, allow to stop steaming before adding the remaining ingredients. Toss and serve immediately.

Mel’s Cabin Salad

Fresh lettuce mix

1 pint any combination fresh seasonal berries- mulberries, blackberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.

4 oz slivered almonds

4 tbsp PoppySeed Dressing drizzled on top  (Marzetti’s Natural is a good choice)

Just toss and serve in a pretty salad bowl.

### enjoy! for ChildGrower blog, A. Woz


Sad Oil

Sorry, I hate oil as much as anyone who drives a car, but I don’t advocate a boycott of BP stations.  BP stations are largely franchised to moms and pops who are very disconnected to the actual idiocy of BP. They make no money on selling the gas, but profit largely on the convenience store sales.
It appears that BP is robbing the franchise owners as much as they rob the environment.
I’d rather put my energy into helping in the cleanup effort and in changing legislation so real prevention plans are in place before any more oil extraction is approved.
I personally think this is a wake up call- solar, wind, what else can we do that doesn’t involve this much risk?
I’m thinking that if we cannot handle oil, we probably shouldn’t put nuclear into anyone’s hands either…

A. Woz, for Childgrower blog, June 4, 2010.

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