I know, you're thinking, didn't you just talk about what you've been reading? Why, yes I did. But there are always books to be read and discussed. DISCUSSED being the key word. We have a new podcast up over here. You can also find it on iTunes, key word Deb and Beth. We are discussing our summer beach reads, among other things. Check it out....
One thing we do share is our love of ice tea/sweet tea. I'm going to share a new recipe for making a refreshing sweet tea with mint and ginger.
Start with green tea. Beloved bought a box of green tea from Costco a while ago and we are set for life. This actually is a very nice tea- even the tea bags are made of silk.
Brew the tea however you like. In a pot, with a tea kettle, ice tea maker, I use my coffee maker.
While the tea is brewing, make a simple syrup using equal parts sugar and water. I was making enough for 2 gallons, so I used 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water. Sweetness is purely up to your own tastes. Into the simple syrup mixture, I throw in mint leaves and sliced ginger.
Keep stirring until sugar dissolves and then keep it on a simmer for about 15 minutes to let all the flavors infuse. Once tea is brewed, mix in syrup portion (after straining mint and ginger, of course.) Pour over ice and enjoy. This truly is refreshing and a twist on your normal sweet tea.
Glass on the left is the green sweet tea and the right is normal sweet tea. (just to show you the difference.)
Be sure to check out my other blog where you can find a library of all our podcasts.
So someone sent me a link to the Miracle Whip You-Tube Video contest. You could win $25,000 for your wedding or divorce by submitting a video on how miracle whip has shaped your relationship with a current or former partner.
For Beloved and I the battle started over Hellman's Real Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Salad dressing. I'm happy to report that I won that battle long ago. The only Miracle Whip that resides in my household is the smallest jar made by Kraft foods and it sits on the side door of the refrigerator waiting to be used once in a blue moon. I have always been a MAY-O-NNAISE girl. However, my allegiance has shifted from Hellman's real mayo to Duke's.
I had first heard of Duke's while reading the novels of Mary Kay Andrews. I picked up a jar when I was in South Carolina a few years ago and have been a devoted user ever since. (Living in the midwest, Duke's is not available in my area. I need to rely on the generosity of others who visit or live in the south to keep my supplied.) Recently, my friend, L brought me back a jar after her Myrtle Beach vacation. (Thanks, L! I was running low!)
So-the question remains....Are you a mayonnaise or miracle whip lover? Have you had discussions in your household regarding the use of either product? Beloved and I went toe to toe when first married because I did not use Miracle Whip when making macaroni or potato salad. Obviously, he's a convert now.
Condiments aside, because it's summer and because I haven't posted on books in awhile I thought I'd do a little update. Several months ago, I posted about the release of "Emily and Einstein" by Linda Francis Lee.
I have to be honest. I resisted reading this book. Although I dearly love all books, LFL, the premise of this book was a little different for her. So, I kept picking it up and putting it back down again. Luckily, I found the audio version at my local library and said, "what the heck, it's a sign." I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't want to like this book even after starting it, but I have to tell you, I fell for it. Pick it up, you will fall for it too.
I gobbled this up while on vacation. Again- I'm a huge MKA fan, liked this book quite a bit but to be honest not one of my favorites. This story follows three friends while on vacation from their lives for one month during the summer. I liked the story line- but I kind of wanted more. However- a great beach read and I will continue to worship at the shrine of MK. (Again- she had me at Duke's.)
I have been reading Jodi Picoult for many years. I have pretty much loved everything she's written up until her last few novels. They were okay- but I just couldn't get into the subject matters. Her newest novel, however was intriguing. I listened to this one- and would heartily recommend you all do the same. Ms. Picoult introduced us to her lyric writing talent in this book. Each chapter beings with a song and I understand if you buy the book, it comes with a CD of the songs.
Can I just say- I loved this book. This book made me cry. It made me uncomfortable. It made me smile. And for once- a Jodi Picoult book had an ending that didn't make me SCREAM! The novel is the story of a couple who after 10 years of a happy marriage and infertility, call it quits. One partner goes off the deep end back into alcoholism and the other falls in love with a person of the same sex. When the new couple decide they would like to have a baby using the still frozen embryos from the marriage- they need the permission of the ex-spouse, who now is a cleaned up- born again Christian. As you might imagine, a court case ensues over the custody of those frozen embryos.
I didn't think I was going to like how this one ended. But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I was so emotionally invested in this book and I find myself still thinking about it. Pick this one up or if you have the chance- listen to it! So worth it.
Final book of this post-
I had never read anything by this author before. I can remember seeing her novels on the shelves at the bookstore and at the library, but just never chose them. I take that back, I did check out "Hope in a Jar" once on audio book and never got a chance to listen to it before needing to return it to the library. I won't make that mistake again.
I liked this book. I bought this book on my Kindle based on a brief summary on a Facebook banner ad! (I know right? Who'd of thunk it?!)
The idea of this book is- "Do you ever really get over your first love?" And how does it shape you for future relationships? This story is told between the main character from both the past and present. We get a detail account of her first love relationship and how it is affecting her as an adult in the present. This was a fast read, enjoyable and fun to think about. Nothing heavy, just a fun little trip.
Okay reading fans- still about six more weeks of summer reading fun to be had....go on out get some. Be sure to check back and let me know all about it. If nothing else- tell me which you prefer-
Hey- It Is What Is Fans! This is Youngest here for Saturday Soundtrack.
The song I'm choosing is "Who Says" by Selena Gomez. It is a very inspirational song that has a very good meaning. It says that no matter what anybody says, you are still beautiful and perfect just the way you are.
**Side note- Youngest suggested this song for Saturday Soundtrack, so I told her she could do the post. Normally, I'm not that into "teeny-bop" songs- but I have to admit, this song kind of grows on you. And I agree with Youngest, I like the message.
So- I went to pick up Middle One after being away at a Lacrosse camp. It's 500 degrees outside and he's been sleeping in un-air-conditioned dorm rooms for a week. Plus, not to mention playing Lacrosse in this ungodly heat.
The first thing he wants to do after packing up the car? "Can we go get food?"
"What? Didn't they feed you?"
"Well, yeah. But Mom, it was cafeteria food. I need real food."
Beloved and I were sitting in our tv viewing chairs watching "America's Got Talent." I was half watching as I was working on my laptop. Beloved was working on something else too and the tv was serving as background noise. I'm not even sure how closely he was even paying attention to the program.
A singer had just finished his performance and was receiving his remarks from the judges. The comments were not very favorable and when they were finished, the host asked what the singer thought of the comments. He said, "Well, I've never been criticized for anything ever before in my life, so I'm taking all their comments in because I want to get better."
Well, that perked up my ears. I looked up and said-"Seriously, he's never been critized for anything -ever in his life? Really?"
Beloved doesn't look up but says "Obviously he's never been married or in a serious relationship then."
Having recently returned from a family vacation in Florida, (did I mention we drove?) We shared a lot trivia game playing via an iTouch app and listened to a lot of satellite radio. One station that I particularly enjoyed had an alternative vibe that featured many artists that were not familiar to me.
Today's selection is from a singer we discovered on our journey. Youngest and I fell in love with this tune and hope you'll enjoy it too.