Weekend Roundup–Read, Eat, Drink

I happened to find myself completely book-free this week (due to a crappy packing job on my way to NYC). So I also found myself scanning a bookshelf for something to read on the train and at nights. And I found C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, his classic book that explores the underpinnings of all Christian faiths.


I read all seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia series as a kid, and I’m pretty sure Aslan is still the coolest talking lion I’ve ever read about. And The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is still one of my favorite titles of all time.

But Mere Christianity is nothing like those books (although, if you read deeper into Narnia it actually is, but I won’t get into that). Yet it’s every bit as wonderful as expected.

It’s a short read (just over 200 pages), and I love both how quaint and 1950s-esque his voice is, and how timeless and straight-talking it still remains. It’s a book for nonbelievers and believers alike—even if you don’t have a scrap of interest in any form religion, it’s an incredibly compelling philosophical exercise. And it’s just fascinating to watch him unwrap each little box of his argument, holding it up for you to inspect that it is good.

If you missed the Narnia boat (sorry, Dawn Treader pun!), pick up Mere Christianity. It’s a  great starting point into Lewis’s adult oeuvre and, considering that he’s known as the most important writer of the 20th century, it’s a must-read.

Confession: I’ve been neglecting my kitchen for the past two weeks! We’ve been moving and unpacking and traveling and shopping and working and adjusting to our new neighborhood, and I haven’t even been on a proper grocery run in weeks. I’m ashamed of myself. But even more, I’m just craving walking through the grocery aisles, meal planning for a normal, non-crazy week, and getting into my kitchen after a long day of work, with music and a glass of wine, to make something yummy.

And on top of it all, I’ve been having digestive issues, so  the past few days I’ve been cutting sugar, carbs, and dairy from my diet. So I don’t even know what to eat any more. But that hasn’t stopped me from fantasizing about food all day. As soon as I’m feeling better, this will be my dream, go-all-out, cook-like-a-maniac menu:

Muffaletta Pasta Salad.
All my dreams in life involve muffaletta. Just call me Muffaletta Maria. (Actually don’t, it sounds weird.) Recipe here.

Grilled Asian Sweet and Spicy Chicken Skewers.
Don’t tell me that picture doesn’t make you drool. Recipe here.

Pecan Pie Bars
Salted Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars.
Everything amazing in the world, in one bar. Recipe here.

I’m calling in my personal mixologist for a drink this week. Here’s Jarrett with a recipe for a different kind of gin and tonic:

Gin and Tonic. Gin & Tonic. G&T. The first mixed drink I truly learned to love.

But there’s a new variable to the G&T game: gourmet tonic. The Jack Rudy Co. makes small batch tonic that’s nothing like the clear stuff you buy at the store.  This tonic is what tonic was always meant to be: slightly sweet, fragrant, with subtle lemongrass and orange peel flavors. All of this makes the drink taste less like pure gin in a glass.


G&T purists may be surprised by how different this tonic is, but I say they should find some room in their lineup for the Gin & Rudy Tonic. I have come to like this recipe way more than just a traditional G&T!

Gin & Rudy

  • Add ice to an on-the-rocks glass (a.k.a. an Old Fashioned glass)
  • 2 oz. of your preferred gin (I’ve recently been enjoying “Jack Pine Gin” from Northern Latitudes, a distillery in Northern Michigan)
  • .75 oz. of Jack Rudy Co. tonic
  • 4 oz. of soda water
  • A slice of lime

Combine ingredients and stir. If you want to get fancy, shave off a thin piece of the lime’s rind, heat it up with a lighter for a few seconds, and rub it on the rim of the glass before dropping it in the drink as a garnish.

If you do decide to try the Jack Rudy tonic, check out the Jack Rudy Co. website–they have a great list of drink recipes to make with their small batch tonic and grenadine.

Happy reading, eating, and drinking this weekend!

3 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup–Read, Eat, Drink

  1. Found a really good muffuletta relish made in Londonderry VT by something called Karens Food (who could resist something with that name?) which company may have died but it was so tasty we polished off pint jar in 3 days. Your recipe for salad sounds great but I might cheat and just toss half a jar of this relish over your ingredient list minus the olives. Old age gets to take a few shortcuts.

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