STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Power of Suggestion and This 'n That

Ahhh, the power of suggestion.. it's an amazing thing! We have a friend who is traveling in Italy right now. She sends a brief "journal entry" by email each day so we can follow her travels and adventures and yesterday she was telling us of the amazing pizza she had in Rome. Well, that got my mouth watering for some homemade pizza... Are you the same? Can the mere mention or suggestion of a certain dish make you begin to crave it? I decided to "go with it" rather than "fight the feeling!" With lots of fresh garden veggies to go with it in a Greek salad, how could I go wrong? I make my pizza a bit different than you do, no doubt. I try to make it a healthy dish, so no pepperoni, salami or meats of that sort. I cook lean ground beef, add my tomato sauce and spices to make a thick meat sauce, spread that on my homemade dough, then top with lots of veggies- typically onions, peppers both red and green and lots of thickly sliced mushrooms. In the last few minutes of cooking, I top with cheese - tonight it was parmesan, mozzarella and old cheddar. "Just picked" tomatoes and cucumbers along with peppers, red onion and fresh basil were sooo good in the Greek salad. We devoured it all before I even thought of taking a photo. I promise next time I make the salad I'll take a pic and give you the salad dressing recipe. It's quick and easy with simple ingredients you'll have on hand. My tummy is so happy right now.. can you hear me purring??? Sigh.... Just as good as any meal in Rome, I'm sure...  :)

Great nephew Nathan is in Charlottetown this weekend for the Peewee AAA Atlantic baseball Championship. They won their first two games against Kentville and Halifax, but lost today to the PEI champs of Summerside. Hopefully they will rally for the place games tomorrow. Go Nate!!

I've had a very busy week with a lot of things that just had to be done. Sewing was not in the cards this week, but I'll be back at it tonight or tomorrow for sure. My LQS is holding an Open House tomorrow and I'm teaching a few new classes there this fall, so had to get that all organized, supply lists prepared, etc. I still have some shop samples to make... Never enough hours in my day...

I've fallen behind on book reviews as well. So I'll finish off tonight with a short review of The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla. This is the story of  a Jewish family who flee Vienna following Kristallnach in November 1938. Widowed Doctor Franz Adler escapes with his young daughter and sister-in-law (whose husband was murdered by the Nazis) to Shanghai, one of the few places offering sanctuary to Jews at that time. Adler struggles to settle and make a life for his family in Shanghai, a large city demarcated into military zones among the Japanese, British and American forces. Just as they begin to get used to life in a very different culture, Japan enters the war and aligns with Germany. The Adlers and thousands of other Jewish refugees must deal with the challenges and restrictions of life in China where Japan is now in charge! It becomes clear that Germany has not forgotten those who fled....
While this novel is historical fiction, there is also romance. Dr. Adler eventually finds work volunteering in a refugee hospital and meets Soon Yi "Sunny" Mah, a half Chinese, half American nurse. He recognizes her abilities and agrees to mentor her in surgery. They work together to try and better the lives of many starving Jewish refugees. I won't give away any more of the story, but suffice it to say this was another book that was VERY hard to put down.
This book is a must read for those interested in learning more about WWII and the Holocaust. I knew nothing of the nearly 20,000 European Jews that fled to Shanghai, nor the fact that the city had a large Jewish presence that went back many years. Kalla has written an outstanding story with a fast moving plot. Although most characters are fictional, they seem very real and the author has done an incredible job of weaving together a fictional story with real historical events. It's a story of love and loss, courage and resilience, hope and survival. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  
Daniel Kalla, a Vancouver ER physician, is well known for his medical thrillers (Pandemic, Resistance, Of Flesh and Blood to name a few), none of which I have read, but you can be sure more of his writing is now on my list.  The Far Side of the Sky's sequel, Rising Sun, Falling Shadow will be number one on my "Read more Kalla" list. In fact I just put it on hold at my local library.

Peace,
Linda

"You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well read or too curious about the world."  ~ Tim Gunn

3 comments:

My Maine Blog said...

Okay ... yup ... you've done it ... you've got my mouth watering for some homemade yummy pizza...I have put it on the menu for tomorrow night.

I was out and about today and went to see the movie "The Identicals". It was extra special because a very special young man that has co-created with my daughter a brand new tour band is in this movie. It was his first part in a movie and it was filmed in Nashville. I really enjoyed it ... no profanity, no nudity, just a feel good story with a happy ending. It felt so good to get out of the house and do something normal. The past few days have been so good so I'm feeling more and more like my old self again. Hope you are enjoying this lovely fall weather ... it's my favorite time of year by far. Just put out some pots of Mums and some pumpkins on the front porch steps and my fall wreath. Always feels good for a little change around the house. Hugs - Kathy

Pamela Gordon said...

I haven't made a scratch pizza ever. Awful eh? I remember the days of the Kraft pizza in a box kits. lol Jennifer made a scratch pizza for us and it was delicious. The book sounds really great. My garden is the pits. So full of weeds! There are still beets, carrots, onions, cucumbers and squash left to gather and I should make some pickles this week. Pam

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Haha, I remember the Kraft pizza in a box kits and graduated to buying the pizza dough from the bakery section of the grocery store.
It's always nice to find an author we enjoy and read their books in succession.

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