Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bloody Crazy

Okay, I get it – crazy Bloody Marys are in.  Like the one pictured here, the star at O’Davey’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Fond du Lac (which looks amazing, and, alas, I haven’t tried).  In days of yore, I adored a good Bloody – thick, cold tomato juice on the rocks with vodka, spices, and an icy-crisp stalk of celery.  Wisconsinites also require a chaser of beer, of course.  And, as mixologists got funky with the creation, adding hunks of cheese, all manner of pickled delicacies, even mini burgers, I dashed to try the latest and greatest.

And, yes, they’re fun.  But, call me a drink snob, they aren’t that much fun.  Maybe it’s because each place strives for a wilder version than the other places or maybe I’ve just had too much tomato juice lately, but I think I’ve ordered my last crazy Bloody.  After I’ve carefully dissected the toothpicked creation (hopefully without anything tumbling down my shirtfront) and after I’ve swilled the latest peppery/watery/tomato-ish slush (even with a good beer chaser), I feel a little let down.  Like I’ve just been had.  Like that slightly crusty, slightly mushy hunk of cheese and the wilty dilly bean and the cold little burger just took up valuable stomach space where I could have put a delicious salad and a hot sandwich instead.

Maybe I’ll crack and will succumb again (I DO keep looking at O’Davey’s rendition), but as of late, I think I’m over this trend or fad or best-in-the-world beverage (your choice, the description).  What about you? What hyped-up food or drink doesn’t quite make the grade in your book?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014: The Year of Reading Women

Women writers won't be surprised to learn that female authors are read less frequently and are given less exposure than male authors.  The organization VIDA:  Women in Literary Arts, founded in 2009, has documented women's unequal representation in print and their less-favorable reviews.  Feminists have long discussed the "male aesthetic," or the idea that cultural references and expression lean more heavily toward male characters, male writers, ideas of masculinity, and the portrayal of male experiences.
Recently, authors, bloggers, publishers, book sellers, and reviewers are trying to address this imbalance by unofficially declaring 2014 "The Year of Reading Women."  Check out this post in The Guardian to see their take on the subject, which includes a list of 250 excellent female-authored reads.  Want more details?  Click on VIDA's website to see the stats and pie charts.
For my part, I just finished Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement and am starting Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.  I adored Tan's latest novel and have heard great things about Tartt's book. 
What about you?  What female authors have your read lately that you'd recommend?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cragels and Cronuts and Crogels

Meet the cragel, shown at left, the latest food  hybrid.  It's a croissant bagel, of course, just like a cronut is a croissant donut.  Brooklyn's The Bagel Store recently came out with the latest and greatest and, apparently, can't keep the $2.95 wonders on the shelves.  Connecticut's Dominique Ansel is credited with the cronut, and has also developed his version of the cragel, called the crogel, which seems to be as popular as the cragel.  Are you confused yet?  Hungry?

Personally, I'm intrigued.  Bagels and donuts, although delish, do seem to sit like cannonballs in one's stomach.  Great taste, less filling, anyone?  Hmmm, I think someone has already coined that slogan.  In any case, I look forward to such delights hitting Midwestern shelves.  Meanwhile, has anyone had a taste of these goodies?  If so, what do you think?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Have you heard of NOW – The National Organization for Women?  It’s an organization, for women and men, of feminist activists in the United States with 500,000 contributing members and an agenda you wouldn’t believe.  Founded in 1966, NOW’s goal has been to “take action to bring about equality for all women.”  How?  Specifically, NOW avows that it “works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.” [Quotes from NOW website]

NOW’s website is a cornucopia of information about all of the latest topics that affect women – reproductive rights, gay marriage, domestic violence, discrimination, and the latest media hot buttons and legislative battles.  Check out their site below to sign up for their amazing newsletter, take the reproductive rights pledge, or to volunteer at one of their sponsored events, especially their “One Billion Rising” campaign. 

Curious?  Click here and be one of the one billion rising.