Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cous Cous in the White City

Please note that I changed the subheading on the blog to include recipes as a secondary blogging topic! ;)

"Couscous-Veggie Delight"
The first few times I made this meal it was from a different recipe that I can't find anymore - so for last night's dish I mostly used this recipe, however I included the following modifications to make it veggie-er and more tasty! I added red bell pepper and snow peas, however you can add any other veggie that sounds good to you - just toss it in with the sauteing up front. But here's what I did differently:
  • One red bell pepper sliced into smallish strips
  • About a handful of snow peas/snap peas (they often come in a small bag at the store so I just use one bag-full, or probably about a cup or cup and a half).
  • Add the above to STEP 2 of the linked recipe, sauteing them with the garlic at the beginning of the process.
  • Instead of fresh tomatoes I used one can of diced tomatoes (drained), simply to speed up the process.
Serve HOT is best, and sprinkle the feta on at your leisure before consuming. Enjoy!

Now as for the book...I loved it. After our discussion last night, I think my rating would climb up a bit from the 75%ish "thumb rating" that I gave it. I was mostly amazed at all the things that originated at the Columbian World's Fair that are still so prominent in society now, e.g. the pledge of allegiance (!), PBR, shredded wheat, of course the ferris wheel, etc. And reading about how things like that, especially the architecture of such large structures, all came together for the first time ever was pretty mind-blowing. As far as the historicity of the book, I give it 5 stars. It is truly enlightening as to our country's development over the past 100+ years.

I also enjoyed the story of Dr. H. H. Holmes. The derangedness of his story did not bother me personally, simply in that it took place so long ago, and it is highly unlikely now that an individual would get away with so much crime so easily, and for so long, in an urban setting especially. Rather, his story also amazed me simply as a representation of the simplicity of the age - what little suspicion people had of his evilness was not enough to even act on. Consequently he was able to slowly and patiently act out his plans time after time while remaining a "normal" member of society. He must have been very intelligent, and of course very crazy. As to the part of "The Devil.." that told Holmes' story, this sentence about Geyer's experience investigating Holmes toward the end of the book basically summed it all up: "[Geyer's] weakness was his belief that evil had boundaries." Unfortunately, history has evolved such that society no longer has this weakness.

Our next book is Gilead, by Marilyn Robinson. Several of us have already read this book but it is an absolutely perfect novel to re-read after a few years. I'm looking forward to it already. Buy it here:


  1. I would like to request a blog post entitled "mint brownies in the white city," please.