Mexican Sweetcorn Soup

Mexican Sweetcorn Soup

This week's effort contains onion, red pepper, garlic, fennel seeds, fresh thyme (from my garden), sweetcorn kernels (I used canned) and cream. The finished soup is supposed to be drizzled with chilli-flavoured oil when ready to serve but the alternative is to mix a little piquante pimenton, harissa or smoked paprika into olive oil. I'm using harissa because there's a little bit in a jar in the fridge. I chose this recipe because it links to my reference on 11th March to a Mexican sweetcorn soup in Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Lacuna.

We had the soup for lunch today. The younger offspring was his usual ungallant self - he wasn't impressed. The two older males, however, liked it. "Awesome" was the word used by the older offspring. The two offspring reminisced about the cabbage, tomato and meatball soup I made in January. Verdict: "kick ass" and "it rocked." How can such a literate parent have produced those two! I love them nevertheless.

Honey-Dipped Point from The Lacuna
I finished The Lacuna an hour before the book group met on 14th April! I had to read quickly to get to the end but I thought the following lines were worth citing in this blog. The narrator (Harrison Shepherd) has written these notes about a conversation he has with his stenographer Violet Brown after he suggests she find alternative employment. He has been subjected to persecution by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and is concerned about her prospects.

"Mr Shepherd, don't you read the papers? They've already had me as your secret wife, the whore of Babylon, crime partner, and I don't know what. Your bee keeper, for all I know. Who else would have me now? My stars, I might yet learn to keep bees."

That is what she said, bee keeper. I wanted to give her a bear hug.

It took me a while before I started to enjoy The Lacuna - about 300 pages into a 500-page novel. It was around this point that it begins to take off, when the narrator (an aspiring writer) begins to write for himself. All of a sudden the earlier collection of notes and letters began to make sense to me. It struck me as a highly political novel, reminiscent in places of George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984, and with resonances to the current political situation in Ireland. By this I mean propaganda, attempts to use language in particular ways and the re-writing of events.

Thriller Night

There was no blog last week as the spouse and I were busy with our Thriller Night.  There was no time to cook, let alone write a blog. A great night was had by all despite the volcanic ash over northern Europe and the disruption it caused to air travel. There will have to be other parties.


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