Monday, February 22, 2021

A Disappointing Postscript + Bruschetta with Sliced Tomatoes #FoodieReads

 

At the end of last year, I posted a recipe and my thoughts about P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern.* I was way ahead of schedule as we are reading it this month (February 2021) for our online Lit Happens group and watching the movie adaptation next month (March 2021) for the online Food'N'Flix group. You can read my blogpost Dublin Coddle + P. S. I Love You

In any case, I picked up the sequel of the book - Postscript by Cecelia Ahern* and read through it in an afternoon. As is sadly often the case, the sequel didn't live up to the original...in my mind. But it was still an enjoyable way to spend some time in a chaise lounge in the sun this weekend.

On the Page

This book picks up seven years after P.S. I Love You ends. Holly has moved on in both life and love, but agrees to do a podcast with her sister about grief. And that takes her down a rabbit hole of helping terminally ill patients write and deliver letters to their loved ones after they are gone. It was an interesting concept - in giving to others what Gerry's letters had given her - but it felt oddly forced and contrived. Part of my disappointment stems from the fact that the first book was so well done. This one really had no where to go but down.

On the Plate

Like the first book, there was plenty of food mentioned. I had to chuckle at the vegan food mentions that Holly's mom creates...and the inevitable protest from the omnivorous set.  "I sit forward and tuck in. Or try to. Mum’s food, vegan gravy aside, really is delicious and on as many Sundays as possible she tries to gather the troops for a family meal, which we all adore" (pg. 38). Or "'Vegan chili con carne, if you can stomach the lack of the taste of tortured animal?' 'I’m barbecuing steak!' Mathew yells from the back room. 'Tempting.' I smile. 'Thanks, but I’ll go home. I have to start decluttering anyway before I move, so this is a good opportunity'" (pg. 82).


And I was tempted to re-do my Sunflower Cupcakes when Holly shares: "Sunflowers. My October letter from Gerry. A sunflower pressed between two cards and a pouch of seeds to brighten the dark October days you hate so much, he’d written. ...I’d told everyone it was because sunflowers were my favorite flowers. They weren’t. I’m not really the type of person to have a favorite flower; flowers are flowers and they are mostly all attractive. But the sunflowers had a meaning, a story. They started a conversation. Gerry had managed to start a conversation from his deathbed, which was Gerry’s gift" (pg. 70).

But, in the end, I was inspired into the kitchen by her dinner date at an Italian restaurant. "The waitress brings bruschetta and chopped tomatoes to the table while we wait for our main course. Seemingly relieved to have a new distraction, he turns his attention to the food, busies himself with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, giving it more attention than he ever has before" (pg. 130). We are having some weird weather. Our blueberry plant is already producing and there are already tomatoes in the markets. So, I made a plate full of tomato bruschetta for this post.

Ingredients serves 4 as an appetizer

  • 8 slices of baguette
  • butter for greasing the pan
  • 1 burrata, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 8 mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • olive oil
  • also needed: grill or grill pan

Procedure

Heat the grill or grill pan and rub slats with butter. Once hot, place the baguette slices on the grill or grill pan. Watch them carefully so they don't burn.  You just want them crisped with nice grill marks.


Place on a serving platter. Top each grilled bread with a thick slice of burrata cheese and spread it over the bread with a spoon or knife. Sprinkle the toasts with basil and arrange quartered mini tomatoes on top of the burrata. 


Sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.
Click to see what everyone else read in February 2021: here.

3 comments:

  1. When I was a child I felt that sequels were always a come-down from the original -- especially in fantasy stories. Authors would first offer a vivid imaginative almost dreamlike story, but in the sequels they would try to make it realistic, they would explain things and draw maps and present backstories. I kept having that reaction -- it's true of "The Princess and the Goblin" by George McDonald which was my childhood favorite; of the Oz stories which are good but none quite as good as the first over-the-rainbow trip; of Alice in Wonderland, where the looking glass isn't as spontaneous or charming as Wonderland. I think it has some validity in the Lord of the Rings stories where the freshness of The Hobbit becomes so much more rationalized. More recently it applies to the Dark Materials series which get more and more involved with made-up worlds that all demonstrate some theory.

    So your experience doesn't surprise me.

    I think the Harry Potter series is less like this because it was all planned out in advance, and thus it's almost like a 10,000 page single book.

    Sorry to go on and on!

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mae. I loved series when I was a kid, especially the Narnia books. I can't remember how many times I read those.

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  2. Perhaps one of the problems is that it has been so long since the original was published.

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