Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Two Grandmas and Their Grandbaby Color Easter Eggs




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Books Set In Another Country


I've been working on the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge for almost a decade. I've been trying to read books set in as many different countries around the world as possible. So far, here are the books I've read set in different countries. I still have a lot of countries to go.


Africa (16)
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana)
Mango Elephants in the Sun by Susana Herrera (Cameroon)
Angry Wind by Jeffrey Tayler (Chad)
A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul (Congo)
The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt)
The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu (Ethiopia)
Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman (The Gambia)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)
The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton (Kenya)
Glory in a Camel’s Eye by Jeffrey Tayler (Morocco)
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevich (Rwanda)
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers (Saudi Arabia)
Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee (South Africa)
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux (Sudan)
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin (Zimbabwe) 

Antarctica (1)
Surviving Antarctica by Andrea White (Antarctica)

Asia (16)
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (Afghanistan)
Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler (China)
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry (India)
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Indonesia)
The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer (Iran)
Ten Thousand Lovers by Edeet Ravel (Israel)
Japanland by Karin Muller (Japan)
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (Korea)
The Vast Unknown: America's First Ascent of Everest (Nepal)
My Freedom Trip (North Korea)
Tasting the Sky by Ibtisam Barakat (Palestine)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan)
Madonnas of Leningrad (Russia)
Zaatar Days, Henna Nights by Maliha Masood (Syria)
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (Uzbekistan)
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Vietnam)

Australia/South Pacific (6)
Tracks by Robyn Davidson (Australia)
Shooting the Boh by Tracy Johnson (Borneo)
Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost (Fuji)
The Naked Tourist by Lawrence Osborne (New Guinea) 
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (New Zealand)
An Evening Among Headhunters by Lawrence Millman (Tonga)

Europe (22)
Andorra by Peter Cameron (Andorra)
Dobry by Monica Shannon (Bulgaria)
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Denmark)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (England)
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida (Finland)
Words in a French Life by Kristin Espinasse (France)
The Keep by Jennifer Egan (Germany)
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (Greece)
The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Hungary)
Independent People by Halldor Laxness (Iceland)
The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy (Ireland)
Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee (Italy)
The Greatest Skating Race by Louise Borden (Netherlands)
The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom (Northern Ireland)
Dreamers by Knut Hamsun (Norway)
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Poland)
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson (Scotland)
The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo by Paula Huntley (Serbia)
Spanish Lessons by Derek Lambert (Spain)
Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson (Sweden)
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (Switzerland)
A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (Wales)
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (Ukraine)

North America (8)
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (Canada) 
All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle (Cuba)
The Cay by Theodore Taylor (Curaçao)
Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall (Guatemala) 
Madam Dread by Kathie Klarreich (Haiti)
Place Where the Sea Remembers by Sandra Benitez (Mexico)
A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul (Trinidad)
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (United States)

South America (5)
Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (Brazil)
Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende (Chile)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Columbia)
Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World (Faulkland Islands)
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Peru)


Do you have any recommendations for countries I haven't visited yet?




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

My Week, in Books




Crazy, book-ish decisions I made last week....

I was beat, but I went to our school’s Barnes and Noble night. I came home with three book club books, three books about Italy, the 1001 Photographs book, and a book of mindful poetry. And helped our school raise a little money.

I talked to our librarian supervisor and I’m going to the Texas Library Association Conference in early April. Yes, it’s last minute, but I can’t wait to visit the queen of all library conferences one more time. I may bring home enough review books to last me through my entire retirement.


Easter-ish books have arrived....



Everybunny Count by Ellie Sandall
Here Comes the Easter Beagle by Charles M. Schulz
Let’s Hatch Chicks: Explore the Wonderful World of Chickens and Eggs by Lisa Steele and illustrated by Perry Taylor

I'll be reading and reviewing these this week.


Inprint Teachers-as-Writers....




I spent all day writing yesterday, and it was delightful. Inprint Houston features lots of wonderful writing workshops in Houston each year, and I was privileged to get to experience an intensive, one-day personal essay writing session. One of the things I want to do before the end of the year is to publish a few books written by students at our school, and next week I’ll share some editing tips with my classes.


The Readathon is coming....




Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is coming for the gazillionth time on Saturday, April 28, 2018. The last readathon marked the tenth year of readathons, started by our amazing online friend, Dewey, who sadly passed away a year after starting the 'thon. Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon can always use prizes (Any authors out there? Publishers?) and hosts (It’s fun...I’ve hosted many times) and, of course, readers. I’ve already received messages from the Goodreads group about some practice pre-readathons and a scavenger hunt, so I hope you will join in, too.



What are you reading today? 


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Susan Stevens Crummel: Author Extraordinaire

I passed on her five years ago. "Her books are too hard for my primary school students," I told the other librarians in my district when they urged me to host Susan Stevens Crummel at my school. 

Was I ever wrong?!

This year we librarians in my district were asked to each feature an author at our schools, and it's a lot of work to try to find an author who will fit into my schedule and fill out the necessary paperwork, as I request the books and prepare the students for her visit. This year I decided to go with an author who was already in our system, despite my worries about the difficulty of her books.

I'm so glad I went the easy route. Turns out her books are perfect for any age.

Susan Stevens Crummel, with her sister, author and illustrator Janet Stevens, is the author of award-winning children's books, Help Me, Mr. Mutt; The Great Fuzz Frenzy, And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon; Cook-a-Doodle-Doo; The Little Red Pen and many more. 

Susan Stevens Crummel is magic with children. She shared her stories, talked about the writing process, used students to put on skits, and completely mesmerized the seven hundred PreK to second grade students at my school.






"You were a teacher?" I asked her, curious about the source of her magic. 

"Yes," she told me, "for more than thirty years." 

"Elementary school?" I asked, confident of the certainty of her positive response. 

"No," she said. "High school math!"

Susan Stevens Crummel is an author extraordinaire.



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.






Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Eleven Books I Hope to Read This Spring

See what they all have in common?




Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year by Carlo Levi
It was to Lucania, a desolate land in southern Italy, that Carlo Levi—a doctor, painter, philosopher, and man of letters—was confined as a political prisoner because of his opposition to Italy's Fascist government at the start of the Ethiopian war in 1935. While there, Levi reflected on the harsh landscape and its inhabitants, peasants who lived the same lives their ancestors had, constantly fearing black magic and the near presence of death. In so doing, Levi offered a starkly beautiful and moving account of a place and a people living outside the boundaries of progress and time.





The Seasons of Rome: A Journal by Paul Hofmann
Delving into the daily life of a city that is in so many ways larger than life, Paul Hofmann steers us beyond the tourist board, revealing a fetish for Vatican gossip, the idiosyncrasies of the gattare (cat women who care for the city's stray cats), and the vagaries of the ever-volatile Roman government. As he winds through Rome's ancient streets, we listen with him to the voices of the city, past and present, and we discover with him the intricacies and the beauty of Italy's finest city.






Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King
Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance man bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder. Not a master mason or carpenter, Filippo Brunelleschi was a goldsmith and clock maker. Over twenty-eight years, he would dedicate himself to solving puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone (some among the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated seventy million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction. This drama was played out amid plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence - events Ross King weaves into a story to great effect.






A Traveller in Italy by H. V. Morton
The Tuscan landscape, writes H. V. Morton, "is embroidered everywhere by human living, and there is scarcely a hill, a stream, a grove of trees, without its story of God, of love or death." Morton's stories and observations of Tuscany, Lombardy, Emilia, and Veneto, whether relating to the fantastic reconstruction of the La Scala opera house or the superstitious lovers at Juliet's Tomb, make his style as engaging as the landscape and people he evokes.






Aldabra, the Tortoise Who Loved Shakespeare by Silvana Gandolfi
"The way to outsmart death, Elisa dear, is to turn into something else," says Elisa's grandmother, an actress with a flair for the dramatic. But when it seems as if Nonna might actually be changing literally, Elisa must uncover a series of mysteries: why is it that her mother and her grandmother don't talk? Where is the exotic island of Aldabra - and how can it help her grandmother? Who is the man on the internet so eager to know the details of Nonna's transformation? And how will it all work out? Find out in Gandolfi's sparkling tale of love, magic, and moxie on the canals of Venice.





One Summer Day in Rome: A Novel by Mark Lamprell
Mark Lamprell's One Summer Day in Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself. Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete—but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age—“Sometimes I look at my laughter lines and wonder what on earth could have been that funny”—who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother. Both women are seemingly done with romance, but Rome has other ideas.





The Black Corsair by Emilio Salgari
Emilio Salgari’s masterpiece, a swashbuckling revenge novel set in the Caribbean; one of the world’s first pirate classics. An Italian nobleman turns pirate to avenge the murder of his brothers. His foe: an old Flemish army officer named Van Guld, now the Governor of Maracaibo. The Corsair is relentless, vowing never to rest until he has killed the traitor and all those that bear his name. To help him in his quest, the Black Corsair enlists the greatest pirates of his time: L'Ollonais, Michael the Basque, and a young Welshman named Henry Morgan...





Marcovaldo/The Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino
Marcovaldo is an unskilled worker in a drab industrial city in northern Italy. He is an irrepressible dreamer and an inveterate schemer. Much to the puzzlement of his wife, his children, his boss, and his neighbors, he chases his dreams-but the results are never the expected ones.






My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.





Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives.






Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.




Answer: All of these books are set in Italy.



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring Break and a Little March Madness for Those of Us Mad About Books

SPRING BREAK

Spring break was this week, and I planned to do a lot, but I didn't; I was that tired. Even my reading suffered. I worked on one book all week, and I didn't even finish it. Was I reading War and Peace? A Faulkner novel? No, Love and Gelato.


The weather was lovely, cool but sunny, and I did go to the Houston Livestock Show and I worked on our new raised bed garden and cooked and cleaned and I worked on my blog, but I'm not rested like I thought I'd be. 

Can I have another week off?

LITERACY LUNACY: A MARCH MADNESS BRACKET FOR BOOK LOVERS

Isn't this fun? Thank you, Molly Totoro of My Cozy Book Nook, for sharing this.

Schedule:

  • Round 1 | March 16 – March 18
  • Round 2 | March 19 – March 21
  • Round 3 | March 22 – March 24
  • Championship Round | March 25 – March 27
Go here to vote!

What are you reading today? 


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Paul Auster and 4 3 2 1


Paul Auster is sick of talking about his book. He has been talking about 4 3 2 1 (yes, that's the name of his book---just numbers) for a year, and he is tired of talking about it.

"I knew what I was doing when I did it, as much as I ever did, which I don't," he tells his audience, a sold-out crowd of avid readers at the Alley Theater in Houston, somewhat wearily. "Writing novels...it's so mysterious."

Serendipitously, the Alley stage is a fitting background for Auster's reading from his book set in the turbulent American 60's; the current Alley production is Robert Schenkann's The Great Society, the story of LBJ and his administration's attempts to better the world while fighting in Vietnam and at home, against the war. I saw the play earlier this year.

When he is fourteen, the boy standing next to him at summer camp is hit by lightning and killed.

How do things that happen to you change your life? Auster explores that idea by taking one main character and allowing him to live four different lives. 

It's a fascinating idea for a book, of course, but it's a long book (very, very long---you have been warned) so prepare to get to know one fictional character better than you've ever known a fictional character, in all his mysterious and possible facets. 

Go home and rest, Paul Auster. For a little while. Then get busy writing again.


For a fun, book-ish interview with Paul Auster take a look at Paul Auster: By the Book from the NY Times.




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Books That Surprised Me










Banana Rose. I loved Natalie Goldberg's nonfiction. Oops. Not her fiction.





Tin Can Tree by Anne Tyler. I loved everything I'd read of Anne Tyler. Everything else.





God of Small Things. Too graphic for this reader.





The Story of Mankind.   It won a Newbery. And why?





Kitchen Confidential. Can't stand that awful Anthony Bourdain. Get some integrity, fellow.












Boy's Life by Robert McCammon. I had heard McCammon writes horror. I hate horror. Boy's Life is a little different.






Chemistry by Wang Weike. I don't know anything about science, especially chemistry. It's still magnificent.





Radium Girls by Kate Moore. It could have been bleak and depressing. It was bleak and depressing, but good writing lifts everything up.





Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard. So many people warned me that this would be impossible to read. They were wrong. Completely wrong.





The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams. What do I know about sports? Nada. A fabulous story even for a sporty-no-nothing like me.




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Vado in Italia ... questo maggio! (I'm Off to Italy...in May!)




Italy, Italy, Italy. Italian cooking. Italian music. Italian movies. Italian language. And, of course, Italian books. 

I'm all-things-Italian right now.

After two months of slowly making my way through Italian Days by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison and Italian Folktales collected by Italo Calvino, I finally closed the books. There couldn't be any better way to travel around Italy than to visit via a travel memoir of one writer's trip around Italy combined with a huge collection of old Italian stories from all over Italy selected by an Italian master writer. 

I'm cooking Italian, including lasagna (see my post here) and deep dish pizza (my post is here). I'm watching movies set in Italy. I'm listening to Italian music. I'm practicing Italian on the great app Duolingo; I'm happy to tell you that I am currently 34% fluent in Italian.

In a little more than two months, my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and I will be traveling to Italy to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and the double retirement of my husband and me from our jobs. My sister has led us in the planning of a great adventure in Italy; she's helped us create stops in Rome, Florence, and, our family's hometown, Lucca. 

If the trip is a quarter as much fun as the preparation for the trip, we will have a lovely time.

Do you have any recommendations for wonderful books or movies set in Italy? Any places we must visit when we go?





What are you reading today?




What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cooking with Nonna (Part Two): Nonna's Rustic Pizza

I had good results with my first attempt at using Cooking With Nonna (see my post here). I made Nonna's Four-Cheese Lasagna, and the lasagna was...well, good. 


But I'm looking for spectacular.


So I had to give Nonna another chance.


Spectacular was what I got with Nonna's Pizza Rustica. Oh my goodness. Spectacular deep-dish pizza. Spectacular appearance. Spectacular flavor. 


Here's my (somewhat less spectacular) photo:


Results:  I've made a lot of homemade pizzas in the past, but this pizza was like no homemade pizza I've ever made before. It was a true pizza pie, thick and rich, with lots of cheese flavor. Instead of the suggested meats, I used ham for two pizzas and substituted peppers and onions for a veggie version in the other two pizzas. We loved these pizzas. I will make them again.

Here's the recipe I used:

Nonna's Pizza Rustica

For the Dough:

  • 1 pound all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  •  pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pound butter, cold
  •  milk, as much as needed

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound basket cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 pound provolone - sharp
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella
  • 4 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto
  • 1/4 pound sopressata
  • 1/4 pound mortadella
  •  fresh black pepper, as desired
  • 1 large egg for the egg wash

Directions

  1. Prepare the Dough:
    1. In a stand mixer, add the flour, salt and the butter cut in cubes.
    2. Let the flour absorb all the butter. Add the eggs and let them mix well.
    3. Add enough milk (about 1/4 + Cups) until you have a firm ball of dough.
    4. Let it rest.
  2. Prepare the Filling:
    1. Cut all the meats and cheeses in small cubes and put in a large bowl.
    2. Add the grated Pecorino and mix.
    3. Add the eggs and mix.
    4. Add the basket cheese and mix well.  Add fresh black pepper as desired. Set aside.
  3. Assemble the Pizza Rustica:
    1. Preheat the oven at 350F
    2.  Butter and flour a 9" springform pan.
    3. Cut a little less than 1/3 of the dough and set aside.
    4. With a rolling pin, roll the large piece of dough in a thin circle.
    5. Place the dough over the springform pan so that it overflows the borders of the pan.
    6. Add the filing and spread it evenly.
    7. With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough from around the border of the pan.
    8. With the remaining dough, roll it thin and with a ravioli cutter, cut strips to make the criss-cross strips and arrange them on top of the filling.
    9. Wet the strips with egg wash and bake for about 1 hr and 15 mins.






For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.