Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Little Klein by Anne Ylvisaker

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme over at  Beth Fish Reads.  Pop over and see what she's talking about.
This week I've been on the North Carolina coast (the Outer Banks) and I've done a fair amount of reading (5 books) but only a minimal amount of cooking as we've shared kitchen duties and handsome husband and I only had one night to cook.  We made a variation of fish tacos after visiting a local fish market.  Oooh, I loved picking out fresh caught fish and after thinking about mahi-mahi we choose sheepshead at the recomendation of the fish guy.  We also bought a pound of fresh prawns, deveined them, sauteed them in butter and white wine and gobbled them up for an appetizer.

Another night we headed into town and on a friend's recommendation and ate at Owens' Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills.  It was a culinary delight.  The calamari appetizer was yummy as was the bottle of white wine  we shared and toasted with to celebrate my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary.    I had the  grouper and shrimp special with delicious sea breeze mashed potatoes!  All ten family members loved their  meals, except Teenage Boy who deemed his clam linguine a little too "saucy." He didn't leave unhappy though and I would recommend this excellent restaurant to anyone traveling to the Outer Banks.

One morning I made these banana pancakes thanks to Janssen at Everyday Reading-they were a huge hit.  Thank you Janssen for sharing this recipe.

Our vacation is winding down (only one more day-aaaggg),  we've had a great time and I'll be sad, sad to leave the beach behind.  I did read several fantastic books on this trip and one of them was... Little Klein by Anne Ylvisaker.

I adore this little book and will recommend it to everyone this year.  One chapter in particular whispered "weekend cooking post"-Recipe for Sleep.  It's dear.  Harold Sylvester George Klein is the smallest Klein boy surrounded by three older brothers, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and an exhausted but nurturing mother.  Little Klein's mother worries and doesn't like him to be out on his own-she's keeping him her baby as her last little one.  (I can relate)  LeRoy, a stray dog with his own sweet character voice in the book, finds the Klein boys and loves the smell of them.  Everybody should read this book.

Recipe for Sleep is one of the sweetest chapters I've ever read in a book.  Little Klein is having trouble sleeping while his older brothers are gone and he's plagued by nightmares and worry.  He begs Mother Klein to let LeRoy sleep with him but she resists.  Instead she reads to him, sings to him, tells him stories but nothing much works.

"Would you read to me about cake?" called Little Klein from the bedroom one night. 
Mother Klein shrugged.  "What do you mean?" she called back.
"I mean, will you read to me about cake? You know, crack an egg, one cup of flour, like that."
Mother pondered.
Though he was small for his age, Little Klein had the appetite of one of the Bigs.  He was transfixed by the magic with which water and heat turned crisp dry oats into warm mush for breakfast and the way an unappetizing lump of raw eggs and flour and cocoa could turn into a cake with the texture of a spring meadow.  Even the power of butter to fuse two pieces of bread together delighted Little Klein.
"Well, excitement is in the mind of the beholder," said Mother Klein.  She pulled her worn cookbook off the shelf and opened it.  "It's worth a try."
"What kind of cake?" she asked.
"Chocolate," said Little Klein, snuggling down into his blanket.  (199-120)

Charming and beyond.  This chapter's close connection to comfort food make me think Ysvisaker probably is no stranger to the kitchen!  Mother Klein goes on to read recipe after recipe to Little Klein.

What a great book!!
Click for Anne Ylvisaker  website.


Margot said...

Charming indeed. I love that story. I could fall asleep to someone "reading cake" to me. Your vacation sounds so peaceful. Hope it was and that you came home rested.

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Sounds like such a nice vacation, good eating and good reading! A very sweet chapter :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

A vacation on the OBX sounds so relaxing and definitely made for enjoying a lot of good books! Little Klein sounds delightful!

This is my first time joining in Beth's event ..I am really enjoying it!

Kim said...

Lucky you to have had a such a wonderful vacation. I need to check out your book--it sounds charming.

Marg said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacation, and what a lovely story as well.

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

That sounds like such a cute book! Reminds me of my son wanting me to tell him about Thanksgiving dinner every night for a week straight.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

My daughter just returned from the NC coast and loved it there. We'll head to the Alabama coast next weekend and I am past ready! I love the sweet :)

Beth F said...

Awwwwww. I love this! Hope you feel relaxed after your vacation.