On this blog, of course, those two Rs are Recipes and Reviews, and I’ve got one of each tonight!
Tonight my friend was making soup to bring to a Trunk or Treat, so we made two crockpots worth of this Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew. Hers went to her Trunk or Treat; mine came home with me and got served with apple muffins. To be honest with you, although I enjoyed it, I’m a bit undecided about the stew myself–there was a good bit of fennel, which I associate almost exclusively with Italian sausages, and using a slurry to transform a broth-y soup into a stew isn’t something I do frequently. My middles, however, BOTH gave it a thumbs up, and that is unheard of for soup. Since my hubby and my 1-year-old also seemed to enjoy it, I will likely keep the recipe but consider playing with it a bit. The only changes I made today were to use white wine vinegar instead of white wine (it’s what I had) and to briefly saute the celery, onion, and garlic in a bit of olive oil before tossing it in. (I was also generous with the veggies, but that doesn’t really count as a change for me.) If you’re needing it to be done in the four hour range, I’d chop your veggies on the small side–mine were firm but not crunchy–but if you’ve got six full hours, you should be good. Overall, this one is worth trying if you enjoy the ingredients involved. Let me know what you think!
She Stood for Freedom: The Untold Story of a Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland is an awfully clunky title, but the book itself is fascinating in a certain kind of way. Written by Joan’s son, it chronicles the life of a Southern white woman who believed in doing the right thing, even when it was hard; she was a known figure in the Civil Rights movement. If you’re looking for a book on that movement for middle elementary schoolers, this one packs a lot in–Freedom Rides, Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins, and the March on Washington, among other things. I stipulated that it was fascinating ‘in a certain kind of way’ because of the writing. Loki Mulholland doesn’t do a bad job of honoring his mother, but you can tell that writing for children isn’t quite his forte; he talks slightly down to his target audience (in a totally well-meaning way). He also isn’t quite sure whether he wants his book to be a true biography or a history of her role in the Civil Rights movement–he includes just enough personal information to make it more than the latter, but not quite enough to be a thorough example of the former. Both issues are understandable when one considers his relationship to his subject and his day job, though, so I’m inclined to more or less give him a pass there, since I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
And there you have it, folks. I’ve finished a few other short books recently, so more are coming. In the meantime, I need to buy pumpkins to carve in the morning!