Monday, April 29, 2013

A dark tale of unrelenting winter, obsession and disappointment in New England,
the story of Starkfield, Massachusetts resident Ethan Frome will chill you to the bone.  Author Edith Wharton draws you into the small world of subsisting farmers, desperate love and unrealized dreams by the use of a dispassionate narrator.  Told in flashback style, you are lead reluctantly by the hand down a path of emotional and physical destruction.
You will feel a creeping horror for main character, Ethan, as his choices lead him to the inevitable end of all has hoped for.  The suffering of all is exacerbated by the coldness of Ethan's wife, Zeena and the warmth of their live-in help, Mattie.
Still fresh and just as stunning, even on this, my third read, the tragedy and suffering of Ethan Frome is definitely worth adding to your library.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Glass Onion, 1219 Savannah Hwy in
Beautiful West Ashley

How lucky are we in West Ashley to have an amazing restaurant such as The Glass Onion?   The food is fresh, local and incredibly creative.  They are successful due to  great culinary ideas such as crispy french fries served with bearnaise sauce.  Delicious!
Orders are taken at a central counter, from menu items updated daily, written on a large chalk board.  The friendly staff then escorts you to a table, where a picture on a clip is set on the table to help bring the food to the correct table.  My table picture was of Julia Child, who is coincidentally my culinary hero!  My friends and I chose Po Boys, served on soft french-style bread, with lettuce, mayo and tomato.  Mine was loaded with fried shrimp, lightly breaded and so tasty.  The plate was garnished with pickled cucumber chunks.  The portions were generous, we were pretty full, but dessert beckoned.  Knowing how good the meal was, we just had to see if the dessert would be the same....and it was!
We tried Johnny's Favorite Orange Cream Pie and the Blueberry Almond Pound Cake with Buttercream icing.
The orange pie was a creamy, rich version of chess pie, with just the right amount of orange flavor, not too sweet and topped with fresh, whipped cream.  The pound cake was dense, flavorful and moist with a very thick layer of absolutely perfect buttercream icing.  As the menu changes daily, it is well worth visiting The Glass Onion again and again, to discover new taste combinations and to enjoy the company of the genial staff.
As Julia Child would have said, Bon Appetit!  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Glazed Doughnuts, on upper King, is my favorite place for an after-church treat.  This morning's taste revelation was an orange-pistachio glazed doughnut.  The glaze had just the right amount of citrus punch, and was topped with crunchy pistachios.  The doughnut itself was airy with just a bit of sweetness.  Perfect!
I also tried the raisin buns, which were topped with a light sour cream glaze.  The dough was soft in the center, crispy of the edges and loaded with plump raisins.  I'm not sure which one was my favorite, but I will be returning soon to try more of their wonderfully creative confections.
Charleston's best doughnuts, by far are at Glazed.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Okay, I just finished reading The Shack, the very popular Christian novel, written by William Paul Young and published in 2007.
Hmmmm....I just don't know what I think about this book.  What topics were meant to be stressed by this narrative?  I almost think that there were too many of them, all swirled around in a colorful but puzzling serving of religious soup.  Some of the ingredients were loss, responsibility, guilt, grief, recovery, faith, anger, revenge, judgement, and love.  Is this beginning to sound like the Old Testament to you?  The only thing missing were the plagues of locust.  Well, maybe they were there somewhere and I just missed them.
The book dwells in a good place, on the great I AM, the holy Trinity.  If you have ever had a difficult time explaining the trinity to new or non-Christian believers, The Shack may be a help to you.  However, there were  aspects of the story that made a few things less clear for Christians.  I struggled a bit with The Shack's suggestion that expectations are sinful.  That seemed rather broad and was somewhat perplexing to me.  But, the book does affirm what should be obvious to all of us who love Jesus Christ dearly, that being with God, being one with Him, brings perfect joy and peace, complete openness and happiness beyond measure.  If that is the message you come away with, then the book is a worthy read.  Am I recommending The Shack?  At the risk of sounding as nebulous as the book,  my answer is...Maybe.