|Afternoon sunshine through the magnolias|
On the way home, I picked up some kirsch, gruyere, and comte. I love the Upper West Side!
Saturday involved three loads of laundry (long overdue), more books from the library, more shopping at the farmer's market, and a nice walk around the park. I also got all the cheese shredded for the fondue, and shook it up with a few tablespoons of cornstarch in a ziplock bag. That should be enough advance planning, right? But I also decided to make carrot ginger lemon soup (lots of extra garlic and ginger, YUM) and tried my hand at a honey mustard vinaigrette salad dressing from a random internet recipe. That took a lot of tweaking!
But the highlight of the day was reading the last book of Larry Correia's Grimnoir trilogy. There are some gruesome bits, but so often I found myself grinning with delight as I read Warbound. It's a really fun read, and very satisfying.
The Grimnoir series also seems to have some synergies with other stuff I've been reading recently, Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series (totally caught up) and Victoria Schwab's Shades of Magic series (just read the first one). Some of it is mere happenstance, I think - e.g., one of the two main characters in A Darker Shade of Magic is named Delilah, as is Jake Sullivan's rival/love interest in Hard Magic. (Not a very common name these days, in literature or life.) And the Thames is a source of magic in Schwab's Red London, while the Thames has both a god and a goddess in the Aaronovitch series. (They do not get along; the hero has to broker a truce with hostages.) But both Schwab and Correia are very interested in the mental and physical limits of magic; where it comes from, how it can be blocked, how it is exhausted and replenished. In both worlds, some (but not all) people are able to draw magic from a mysterious source, but can be drained or thwarted. Both authors thus explore similar interests in strikingly different ways. Pretty cool.
|Farmers' Market, with Forsythia|
I'd been thinking about going to an Easter sunrise service today, but there weren't a lot of convenient choices. And my laziness was rewarded by thick cloud cover that blocked the sunrise. So instead, I went to the early service at a local Catholic church I've been attending off and on. It's got wonderful gothic style architecture, with bright colors painted on the vaulted roof panels between the pale stone supports. It is beautiful and uplifting. Plus, they have a fair number of young children at the church, which is a lot of fun. I was right behind a toddler who kept fussing and trying to strike out for the center aisle. His mom was clearly worried about disturbing everyone in the vicinity, so I gave her a big smile. (When she apologized for him, I smiled again and said, No worries; but what I really wanted to say was I'm so glad he's here! Your son is really cute, and so full of life.) The kid enjoyed the sign of the peace, shaking hands with everyone in his family at least twice. It was adorable.
The homily focused on the centrality of the resurrection to Christian faith. (As I like to say - and naturally, many others have said it before me - absent the resurrection, Jesus is just another nice guy who finished last.)
My church attendance was rewarded with glorious sunshine for the walk home.
I then shifted into host mode. Got the wine started warming on the stove, then began chopping peanuts and cabbage for the crowd favorite, Indian Slaw: Bund Gobhi Nu Shaak. Preheated the oven for the sweet potatoes... All these tasks synchronized well, so I was able to roast sweet potatoes (45 minutes at 400F) and prepare two salads and fondue "simultaneously", finishing just as my guests were scheduled to arrive. It was all delicious, and fun to see everyone. It's been a while since I had anyone over.
I never did get around to offering them the soup, but that's fine. I'm all set for a week or two of feasting now with the leftover coleslaw and soup (not to mention the chickpea masala I'd made earlier in the week).
After a quick cleanup, the perfect end to the day: a walk in the park. Saw dozens of robins, a few squirrels, a dove of some kind, a bluejay (too shy for photographs), and a cardinal (cautious, but photogenic).
|"DANGER - THIN ICE" Buoy|