15 May 2012

The Best Thing I've Never Eaten - Take 8

I've taken a break from this little project for a while--mostly because I just got busy.  But this past Sunday Ragan and I were in Kroger doing our weekly grocery shop when we noticed a fruit that we had never heard of.  A quick Google search intrigued us enough to give it a go.

Cherimoya
Some consider cherimoya one of the most delicious fruits available.  Mark Twain even said it was the most delicious fruit he had ever eaten.  It is native to Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia later making its way to Chile and Brazil.  This fruit is very fickle and requires hand pollination as it does not pollinate itself.  It also has a very short shelf life and is in season from March thru May.  This may help explain the $4 PER UNIT price tag at the grocery store...a fact we weren't aware of I can guarantee you it wouldn't have found its way into my shopping cart!  
When buying Cherimoyas, you should look for a firm fruit which means it is slightly under-ripened.  It will feel heavy for its size.  Store on the counter out of direct sunlight for a couple of days until it has a little give to it (think a ripe avocado).  The skin may brown but that's ok.  Once it is fully ripened, the cherimoya can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
(all of the above information is from the Serious Eats website)

What's on the inside?

The flesh of a cherimoya is white.  It has brown inedible seeds and the skin is also inedible.  Once it is sliced open it oxidizes really fast so you will start to see some brown spots almost immediately.  I sliced off a small piece and took a bite.  The texture of the flesh was of a really ripe honey dew melon...somewhat firm yet also squishy.  WOW...is it sweet!  I'd say the flavor is a cross of melon, mango, and sugar.  But the flavor is distinct.  I'm describing it this way because it's the only way I can think of but it really didn't taste like anything I had ever tasted.  


The Verdict
Eeww gross!!
This cherimoya tastes like a toothache!
Whatchu talkin about Willis?
This cherimoya is yummy!

14 May 2012

Book Review No. 60


















Crossed by Ally Condie (book 2 of the Matched Trilogy)

Summary:  Rules are different outside the Society.  Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons.  On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion.  But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "I'm standing in a river."

My Critique:  You definitely need to have read the first book in this trilogy in order to follow along with the events in the plot of this book.  And I admire the author for not taking up  time by re-explaining certain events or people that we know about from having read the first book.  Which as you know from previous posts is something that annoys me.  That being said, I didn't really care for this book.  It was just so slow and boring.  I found that I didn't really even care about the characters or what happened to them.  I just persevered through it because I wanted to see if it got any better but it didn't really.  The ending was incredibly anti-climatic and at this point I'm thinking I can either take or leave the third book that comes out in November.  Everything was so flat and boring so I wasn't excited about.  

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Crossed, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

10 May 2012

We Interrupt This Program...

I'm going to interrupt this blog for a little rant.  Feel free to read it or not...but I hope you do because I'd really like to hear your opinions.

So as you know I've been reading a lot of young adult fiction these days and the one thing that irks me more than anything else is the false idea they put out there of this perfect, overwhelming, undying love.   Personally I don't think that kind of love exists...at least not romantically...I can perhaps believe it in a parent-to-child sense (a la Liam Neeson in the movie Taken).  See there's always a love triangle (and don't even get me started that it's always one girl and two guys) wherein the girl has to decide which guy she loves the most.  There's always a favoritism toward one of the guys and then there's this crazy, life or death type situation where she is willing to upend her entire world for that love.  She will leave her entire family, change her entire future, and in some cases even willfully disobey governments and laws, just to protect this one guy because she loves him so fiercely.  My friend Jennie brings up a good point...she has this perfect willing to die for love and yet it's not strong enough to get rid of the feelings she has for the other guy until the end of book three.  What's up with that?  I'm specifically thinking of books such as the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer and the Matched series by Ally Condie but I'm sure there are others as this seems to be the unwritten rule of writing formula for success.

There are so many things wrong with this scenario!  First of all it perpetuates the idea that a girl must change her entire life (her plans, her future, her goals, her dreams, her LIFE) to be with the one she loves.  It also falsely gives girls hope that there will always be too many guys to choose from--------------ummm...no.  It's just so totally unbelievable and sometimes I get so frustrated with it.  I mean, I may be in the minority but I don't believe in soul mates, I don't believe in that overwhelming undying perfect love...I believe that love is a choice.  Love is not perfect because we are not perfect.  Love is choosing to be with somebody despite their faults.  Love is making a decision to every single day be with someone.  Love isn't something that just happens to us...that we accidentally fall into...  As I mentioned I don't believe in soul mates.  I don't believe there is just one person on this entire earth you can fully and truly love and be happy with.  That's a sad and lonely way to live.  If that's the case what happens to those who lose their spouse?  Are they not ever able to love again?  No.  I believe that at any given time there are many people on this earth we can love and be happy with.  I also believe it's possible to love more than one person (romantically) at the same time...I mean we can love more than one child, we can love more than one friend, we can love more than one parent, so it stands to reason that we can love more than one person.  Is our capacity to love staunched simply because it's a different type of love (i.e. romantic love)?  Like I said above, I believe love is choosing everyday to be with someone.

That being said I have a couple of questions for you:

1.  Do you believe in soul mates?
2.  Do you believe in love at first sight?
3.  Do you believe it's possible to love more than one person (romantically) at the same time?
4.  Do you think I'm a total lunatic and in need of therapy because of my cynicism?  lol

Go ahead...talk amongst yourselves...

03 May 2012

Book Review No. 59

















Ascend:  A TRYLLE Novel by Amanda Hocking

Summary:  Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice.  The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself.  If she doesn't surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe.  But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind...even if it's the only way to save them?  The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn't the only thing she stands to lose.  After falling for both Finn and Loki, she's about to make the ultimate choice...who to love forever.  One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life--and now all their lives might be coming to an end.  Everything has been leading to this moment.  The future of her entire world rests in her hand--if she's ready to fight for it.  (taken from back of the book)

First Line:  "I had my back to the room as I stared out the window."

WARNING!!!  SPOILER ALERT!!  THE FOLLOWING CRITIQUE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Pictured above:  Spoiler.














My Critique:  Well I'm glad that the tempo of this book matched the first book.  I found the second book of this trilogy to be a bit slow but this book was full of action from the first page which I liked.  It really did fell like the climatic end to the entire trilogy...which is exactly what it was supposed to be so that's handy.  I really liked the way the book progressed and we got to see Wendy grow as the story developed.  Her relationships grew, her abilities grew, and her confidence grew.  By now you all know that I really like this series and I highly recommend it.  So let me take this moment to point out just a few things that disappointed me about this trilogy (or should I say trylle-ogy?  hehe):
  1. While the author did attempt to explain away how all this violence, attacks, destruction, etc. could take place without the media picking it up (i.e. the Trylle kingdoms are secluded) I find that a bit far-fetched and hard to believe.  I mean, these days you can't sneeze without somebody seeing it or some camera somewhere picking up on it.  So trying to believe that the Oren and the Vittra could have carried out these vicious attacks (resulting in mass destruction and death) without some news crew somewhere reporting on it is harder to believe than believing there are these secret kingdoms of trolls out there with abilities.
  2. I find it difficult to accept that Wendy could have killed Oren.  I mean I know it was vital to the story and all and I'm not doubting that she had the strength or determination to do it.  What I'm saying is, how did all these things happen without law enforcement getting involved?  I mean not even a little bit?  That's not believable.
  3. Why do books like this always have to result in a baby?  I mean seriously?  And the way the author described Wendy's love for her child honestly kind of pissed me off.  It talks about how there was a part of her that was unlocked when she had a child and that there is no greater love than that of a mother and her child.  I mean, I get the sentiment and all but I think it's bogus.  I don't have kids, that doesn't mean I'm not a complete person.  To be fair, this was brought about in the bonus story inside and wasn't part of the original novel so I'm not fully convinced it's fair of me to take issue with this but whatevs. 
So that's it folks.  I definitely recommend you read this trilogy.  In a world populated by vampires, witches, and warewolves, it's nice to have a different type of fantasy creature for a change.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Ascend, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

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