Ronnie Paul: Digital or paperback?
My refusal to use a Kindle is yet another example of what my kids call my Neolithic tendencies. “I’m not that old,” I tell them. “Of course I know the wheel’s been invented.” I continually have to remind them that I’m a modern woman.
Yes, Kindle’s are a piece of cake when you travel and I know Kindle books cost peanuts compared to the paper variety. But for me, thumbing paper pages is as exciting as smelling chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.
If I used a Kindle, how could I dog-ear pages? I’d also lose margins for scribbling notes. I admit that I rarely reread my comments, but I feel exceptionally intellectual as I write them.
Then there’s the bookmark my daughter made when she was in kindergarten. Although the ribbons are frayed and the crayon scribbles faded, I treasure her artwork like I would a Picasso.
I have generous friends, but a request to read a book on their Kindle would feel awkward. My hall table holds stacks for friends to borrow, and I get stoked knowing that many hands hold the stories I love.
And when the books return, I savor the postcard or memo I find salted away between the pages. (To soothe your worries, I never reveal the contents!)
I relish the stains and bent pages my cookbooks accumulate. Whatever your reading pleasure, please give these recipes a try.
Pasta & broccoli
New policy: minimize the pasta and max the broccoli.
12 ounces broccoli crowns
6 ounces spiral pasta (I used rice)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 generous tablespoons salted peanuts
1 generous tablespoon chopped candied ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Here’s my method for saving time and water.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop in the broccoli and boil for three minutes until it turns bright green and the tenderness is to your liking. Lift the broccoli out with a slotted spoon and put it in a strainer.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until it’s tender. Pour the done pasta into the strainer. This reheats up the broccoli.
Put the pasta and broccoli in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Pour on the sauce, mix well, and serve.
Cheesy buttermilk biscuits
Add a little zip to ye old biscuit recipe.
2 cups white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1/3 cup salted butter, cut in small pieces
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the butter and press with a masher until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
If you want to have more fun, forget the masher and crumble with your hands.
Add the buttermilk and stir until the liquid is just incorporated.
Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces. Lightly press each piece onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes until the biscuits are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Ronnie Paul is a Nevada County freelance writer.
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