Archive for January, 2012

Fabulous, yet scary book

January 26, 2012 2 comments

I’m in the final 10% of reading the book for my book club this month. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Here’s the cover picture from Amazon:

Image from Amazon

It’s the story of how the HeLa cell line began and more importantly who Henrietta Lacks and her family were. At some point in the story one of Henrietta Lacks’ sons says something along the lines of

“Our mother is the most important woman in the world and we can’t even get health insurance.”

Indeed, I thought this book was going to be a science book — a story of who, what, how these HeLa cells came about in the lab. And it was a book like that. But it was so much more. Turns out its a social justice story: a story of a poor, black woman who happened to have cancer and what happened to her family. It’s a great read, but it does raise lots of scary questions.

Last month’s read was: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Another heavy book, about a prisoner of war. Also a good read, but leaving behind the problems of making you think about issues.  I think I’m ready for a little short, fun book. Do you have one to recommend?

Categories: What we are reading Tags:

Jo’s Soup

January 21, 2012 1 comment

The recipe is from my friend Jo. She’s from Wisconsin, but there’s no cheese or beer in it. It is, however, possibly the best soup I’ve had.

Recipe: Moroccan Harira

Soak ½ lb dry chickpeas.

Cover 1 small chicken (or some thighs, or some lamb meat, or both) with 3qt water. Add salt, pepper, half a lemon and some smashed garlic. Cook until meat falls off bone, discard lemon, separate meat and stock.

Add the following in this order to simmering stock:


1 large onion, minced

½ tsp black pepper

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp turmeric

pinch saffron

* Pause and cook until chickpeas start to come around

½ pound green lentils, rinsed and picked over

* Cook until tender

Small can tomato paste (I use tetrapak box)

Meat, diced

Handful broken vermicelli

2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 small bunch each, cilantro and parsley, chopped

Thicken with flour or cornstarch and water

Can substitute rice for pasta if desired

Serve with a squeeze of lemon

Miss your friend. Wish you could eat soup with her once a week.

Categories: What we are eating Tags:

two months, no doctormama.

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Ah well. That’s how life goes. We were busy living. Anyhow I aspire to be back in this blog space semi-regularly now,.

Categories: Uncategorized