Monday, 19 May 2008

Broccoli and Bjork

Unfortunately in the weeks preceding the BIG DAY Jms and I had a need to go to Chadstone on many occasions. Dear God that place makes me worry for the fate of humanity, on so many levels.

But depressive, morally high-horsed diatribes aside - after the fix of fresh tempura salmon handrolls (still warm!) had quelled my distress, we happened to find ourselves in Borders in a postprandial bliss and stumbled upon the bargain bin books. More like the great wall of crazily cheap and random books that was at once inviting and overwhelming at the same time.

Well random indeed found me walking out with an armload of stuff including these two books. Possibly purchased only because they were so cheap - but both have proved to be outstanding little finds.

I don't know what caught my eye about this one - but I'm glad it did. A quick flick showed some really promising recipes. For the uninitiated, I LOVE soup. Bizarrely I never order it at restaurants, but if ever I can cook some, I'm there, wooden spoon at the ready. Perhaps its the lazy cook in me that likes the one pot meal coupled with the prep once for multiple meals.

Who could go past the strangeness of Broccoli and Oatmeal soup? Probably plenty - but not this little black duck. Just the kind of wackiness this doctor ordered - and it has proved to be an instant favourite.

(Though I may be biased - I am a Broccoli freak, I could eat it everyday - and actually try to. Jms achieved 5 star-husband status last week by discovering and cooking Oven Roasted Broccoli for me last week - OMG it was good) .

There are some really interesting flavour combinations (Brussel Sprout and Stilton, Carrot and Almond Cream, Dill and Turnip) that as you read make sense and get those taste buds tingling. It might be a little "new age" for some (soup as remedies for bad skin, circulation and sex drive starters!) but the recipes speak for themselves. There is also a really good section at the back for great soup additives - dumplings and such to turn simple soups into rib sticklers.

Bargain Number two was this biography of the world's most famous Icelandic.

I've been a fan girl from the moment the first strains of "Birthday" entered my ears oh so many years ago. My obsession ran to slowly acquiring every single remix that ever existed (foot slog style visiting second hand music shops - in the days before P2P click and download entire oeuvre option). And to Jms' credit he stayed with me all through the 6 months of listening to Vespertine at least once, if not multiple times a day.

Fortunately though my fervour has waned - partly because other obsessions came (Decemberists anyone?) and because Volta still doesn't quite gel with me (apparently though I'm not the only one).

I found it an engrossing read that goes some way to reconcile the disparate images of the uber cool artist and the unstable and eccentric individual. As a creative finding my way in what seems a marketing and product driven world - it was comforting to read that commercial success was never sought by her and her meteoric rise up the pop charts was so out of left field it completely blindsided her world. I still admire her single mindedness and commitment to her art, and am admittedly somewhat jealous that she was able to find her calling at such a young age.

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