Another recipe, a paean to P. O’B., and more on the ideal reader

I had my favorite thing for lunch today. Here it is: cut a pita bread in half across its diameter, then separate the sides so you have four half-moons. Cover each one with slices of pepper jack. Put ’em under the broiler until the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes. If they burn a little, so much the better. For an extra special treat put some thin slices of ripe tomatoes straight from your garden under the cheese. Ahhhhhh.

Well, I’ve been eating this for years, and it only occurred to me recently that this is TOASTED CHEESE. Toasted cheese is deeply meaningful to me because it’s what my two best friends, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, eat all the time. They don’t have pepper jack (or pita bread, or a broiler, for that matter) but close enough. My husband and I were thrilled, thrilled, when they showed the toasted cheese thingy in the movie.

I’m so in love with those books. It’s sort of embarrassing. I have even experimented with cooking suet puddings (delicious, but not for the faint-of-heart). The reason this is sort of embarrassing is because I am most definitely not Patrick O’Brian’s ideal reader. Oh, I am so far from it. I probably don’t get three-quarters of every book. Mind you, I’m not sure it really matters all that much. I have no idea (for example) what really happens when the ship “broaches to,” but I do know it’s very, very bad. I don’t know what a “backstay” is, but I know it’s good luck to scratch one. “Futtock-shrouds?” No clue, but it sure sounds cool. And let me just say that the remaining quarter that I do get, well, it’s sublime. Can you imagine a series of twenty books that never get stale or repetitive? I’m hard-pressed to think of very many trilogies where all three are equally good. Let alone twenty!

Query: is there an author you adore but clearly are not the ideal reader for?


  • Judy Blume!

    posted by Blogger Jay on 12:32 PM  

  • Julie,
    I am yourideal reader, but I don't always understand. Know why? Because I've never heard of half the authors you mention! And that makes me feel dumb.

    So, I think to myself, should I ignore the question or be honest? I'll be honest! I like Junie B. Jones by Barbara Parker. Ever read her? ;) I like Ann Rinaldi ('Wolf By The Ears'), Louisa May Alcott's, 'Little, Women', (years before the movie version came out), and L.M. Montgomery's 'Anne of Green Gables', especially the quips by Susan. I also remember with fondness, the book by Irene Hunt, 'Up A Road Slowly', and 'They Loved To Laugh', by Kathryn Worth.

    Needless to say, I'm in the juvenile section, while you are in the adult section. ;) I like books with believable characters, humor, and happy endings. Maybe I'm a light weight reader? Maybe. :)

    posted by Blogger mrsd on 12:40 PM  

  • Judy Blume, oh ha ha ha! I love it!

    Mrsd, thank you for the terrific compliment! But oh, please do not feel dumb. I hope you weren't serious when you said that. One of the coolest things about this world of blogs is meeting people who have different interests and expose you to things you might not have heard about otherwise. It's an opportunity for expanding your horizons, not feeling dumb. (On the other hand, I lurk on a few knitters' blogs where I just gape at their projects and feel too dorky and wannabee-ish to leave any comments.)

    Also, there are plenty of grownups who love children's lit, myself included. Check out GuusjeM's blog, for example. One of her links is to the Betsy-Tacy website!

    And now let me end this comment with another plug for my favorite author. Mrsd, if you like believable characters, humor, and happy endings, you just might like Patrick O'Brian, too. Actually, the endings aren't always happy but the characters are so believable they will take your breath away. And the best thing about 'em is, if you like the first one, well, there are nineteen more!

    posted by Blogger Julie on 5:01 PM  

  • I love children's books. Anne of Green Gables, Betsy-Tacy (there's a website???), Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle books. . .

    Sorry it took me so long to come check you out, thanks for your comments! (More about the cake later.)

    posted by Blogger Carson on 8:41 PM  

  • Uh, I don't feel totally dumb, more like totally in the dark. :) I'll check out Patrick O'Brian. Who needs breath?

    posted by Blogger mrsd on 11:02 PM  

  • I popped in to visit the tanacious Jewish girl and your site looks kosher to me, I'll be back! ;)

    posted by Blogger Darlene on 10:19 PM  

  • I quite agree regarding the gifted kids - they too, are getting the short end of the stick. Our G/T kids get 2 hours of service a week (I teach the class), the special ed kids get 40. Which group is more likely to produce the next Bill Gates?

    posted by Blogger GuusjeM on 7:04 PM  

  • You may find the following links of informative about you former teacher and the service of women in the Corps during WWII. On a personal note, I was the Enlisted Bandleader of the Marine Corps Band in San Diego when we were honored to host a reunion of MSgt Owen's band. It was a memorable moment for all the Marines of my band.
    - Gary E. Beamon
    GySgt Bandmaster
    USMC Retired

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 1:04 PM