This was a Sarah Gailey recommendation. It has battles and intrigue and inventions and the exploitation of the underclasses. It started a little slow for me, but I was totally hooked after a while, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.
This was Paul Tremblay’s first book, and it shows. There’s a narcoleptic detective, bad at his job, unwilling to change anything to improve, and why should I care about this character? I don’t. I gave up pretty quickly.
I tried one of her other books and gave it up fairly quickly, but this one grabbed me right from the beginning. I’m glad to realize it was content (I don’t always have patience for capricious gods on earth stories (that was the other book of hers I tried)) and not style. This one was horrifying and strange and gross and GOOD.
Tomorrow is Pi(e) Day, and so I must do my nerdly patriotic duty and make pie. (Don’t tell anyone, but I also bought a pie because strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my weaknesses and that one feels out of my league at the moment.)
A link for a coconut custard pie crossed my path recently. Looked simple enough, so I googled other recipes for variations and found a few I could mix and match. I figured I’d bake two because I like to share.
It looked simple:
Blind-bake the crust. Done. (I used pre-made crust – saves me time.)
Toast the coconut flakes. Easy.
Mix the filling. No problem!
Pour it into the pie crusts. Well…
I mean, that’s not hard, but I had more filling than will fit into two 9-inch crusts, and this is where things started to get (literally) sticky. I did NOT overfill them. I feel like I need to say that up front, considering what happened next. One of the recipes I found recommended baking the pies on preheated cookie sheets, and I am SO glad I followed that advice. Advice I could have used: pour the filling into the pie crusts as close to the oven as you can possibly get to avoid carrying a pie full of liquid across the entire kitchen. I had the oven open, the rack out (mistake #2, although it was the lower rack and I don’t know what else I could have done), and I had banished Jack to the pantry. I didn’t drip any filling onto the kitchen floor, but lowering myself down to the level of the lower rack in the oven was not so successful. Yeah, that’s pie filling on the window in the oven door. Yes, that’s pie filling on the cookie sheet the pie is going to sit on. And no, the rack did not slide smoothly back into the oven, so yes, I lost even more pie filling to the cookie sheet as it jolted back into place. The second pie, going to the top rack, lost less filling. I got the oven closed.
THEN, as always happens with my cookie sheets in the oven, I heard a loud metal sound because my cookie sheets bend in the heat, and of COURSE they’re going to do it today. I turned the light on and looked through the cloudy pie-filling-covered oven window. The pie still had all of its filling, but it’s tilted dangerously to the back and super uneven now in the crust.
They’re both baking now, and what could have been a lovely smell of warm coconut is drowned out by the smell of burnt milk and eggs.
Update: out of the oven, they look okay, and the smell up close is much nicer.
Here’s the not-quite-as-filled one, with burnt filling all around.
Book 3 in the Maisie Dobbs series. Any pretense that she isn’t somewhat mystical is gone, and since the pretense is gone, I feel like I can relax about it. It does remove a little of my enjoyment of the mystery aspect, though. Still great characters and good stories, so I’m in the for long haul with the series.
I wasn’t sure, using the title as my only clue, if this was going to be about actual killing or not, and I’m not going to tell you. But I will tell you that this was really good. I have plenty of sympathy for the main character (not total, for reasons), and I both hate and understand her sister. Sort of understand. Enough to understand the main character’s actions. Anyway, it’s good. You should read it.
People LOVE Diana Wynne Jones, but it appears I am not people. I tried one a while back – it was okay. I tried this one about British witches saving the world in the early 1990s – what’s not to like? But I feel very meh about it, so I gave up. She wrote Howl’s Moving Castle, and it’s supposed to be amazing, so I will try that sometime, but if I don’t like that one, I think I might have to be done with her.