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April 2012 (116 posts)
Leeks: Most risotto recipes require standing at the stove and stirring the pot continuously; this simpler version lets the oven do all the work. Follow this basic recipe but substitute 1 large or 2 small spring leeks for the onions.
Asparagus: Rub the spears with olive oil and season with pepper, then gather 3 to 4 together and wrap them in a strip of bacon. Lay on a pan with slots or holes set over a jelly roll pan to catch the grease, and roast in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.
You might be innovative, but are you awesome? The Awesomeness Manifesto.
“When you’re a kid, anarchy is something you root for.” A mini-memoir about finding negative space in the busiest of cities.
"With every additional task, we become a little less able to tell what it is that we really feel." So why are we all in such a rush all the time?
Don't want this for dinner, eh? I happen to be a Harvard-educated chef, so eat up. Get your free Science & Cooking lectures right here.
And now for some pointless fun: Capybaras that look like Rafael Nadal. Thanks, Internet!
The Life-Lifter: An 18-year-old pilot who overcame a serious back injury has plans to take disabled and sick children on air tours of the world.
"Thinking of that little boy pondering the inevitable and the unknowable, I was even more grateful for a family legacy that taught me, and allowed me to teach him, that not everything has to be useful, not everything has to lead to something more—that sometimes, for no reason and with no purpose, you can just curl up on the couch, feel the soft breeze, and drift into a soft, delicious sleep that leads to nowhere in particular, and back again."
--Author Cathleen Schine, on her family's love of napping and how she passed it on to her son, though he was afraid to go to sleep.
Every Monday, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This week, we're floored by the subtle, moving story collection:
This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
by Jon McGregor
When you're reading a book of short stories, it's pretty common to dog-ear the corner of the story (or two or three) that really wins you over, that really makes you stop and say, "Ouch!" or "Wow!" or "Dear god, it really is all about forgiveness, isn't it?" This week, of the 29 stories in Jon McGregor's collection, I dog-eared 26. Let's add that I was not in the mood for short stories. I was in the mood to sit down with a nice thick novel for a few weeks and make friends. Further, the stories took place in rural, isolated eastern England. It is April and, in my world, still slightly chilly. I would have liked to read about someplace hot and lazy, a land of never-ending guacamole. And yet...each tale in this slim, elegant book does something most of us wish would happen to us in real life: It stops us in a humdrum moment and reveals how that small, unnoticed sliver of time can illuminate an entire life.
Some examples: A long-married man decides to tell his wife about a hit-and-run accident that happened on their first date. A widow realizes an old flame has come to visit not to woo her but to ask for money (and something even more offensive). Plenty of other authors can pinpoint these moments too. But McGregor has a casual yet audacious way of dropping you in at exactly the right pause, as if you were falling into water without the sound of a splash, then carried briskly along. When a father comes to see his son's school play, the action begins: "They told him he wasn't allowed on the school premises. They didn't even use the word 'allowed' to start off with, they just said they thought it would be better if he didn't come in." We readers don't know who "they" are, but we quickly find out—and we also quickly find out why he should not go inside (the reason is painful, so please prepare yourself).
Some of the stories are as straightforward as ones you might tell yourself; others explore the unexpected, like the one where a page is narrated by the husband, and the opposite is narrated by the wife, who is trying to write a poem. However, the great triumph here is that nothing confuses or distracts or even seems out of the ordinary. Booker-nominated McGregor proceeds with such clarity and such confidence in our daily lives. No houses burn down, and no vampires seduce the local teenage beauty. The magic here is in the field or sea or window, starting with the first two-page masterpiece in which a husband listens to his wife exclaiming about the colors of fall, colors they have discussed over and over during a lifetime together—and he feels for her hand and holds it, saying, "But tell me again."
The April O magazine book list!
Novels that will get you outside
For many of us, Tax Day (tomorrow, April 17) is like this big, stressful stain on a month otherwise colored cherry-blossom pink and arbor green. The anxiety starts in January with that first W2 form in the mail. But tax-related stress can induce more than just snapping at the dog and tearing apart the house for any leftover chocolate Easter eggs. Here are two more reasons to squeeze in some restorative yoga, a brisk walk or some other proven stress-reducer tomorrow:
5 ways to cope with money stress
Simple ways to calm down
A: The older I get, the more intrigued I am by the mysteries of the cosmos. You have an operation, all goes well (at least I hope it did), you resume your normal life...and one day a glance in the mirror reveals that your hair is a completely different texture. Yikes! Why?
I e-mailed David Kingsley, PhD, trichologist (explainer of all things hair related), who said that though it's very common to see hair loss about three months postsurgery—anesthesia can temporarily disrupt the hair growth cycle—he hasn't heard of anesthesia changing hair texture. He points out, though, that frizziness is a sign of dry hair, which could mean the oil glands on your scalp are less active than they were presurgery. Kingsley suggests that you switch to a shampoo for dry hair, condition after every shampoo, use a prewash deep conditioner at least once a week, drink lots of water to stay well hydrated, and take a primrose oil or omega-3 supplement.
Keep in mind: While you're waiting for your waves, a good antifrizz styling product will be very helpful.
Val Answers your top haircare questions
Why has my curly hair gone straight?
The best ways to tame frizzy summer hair
What questions has Oprah's Lifeclass: the Tour brought up for you? Here's your chance to ask them: Today at 12:15 p.m. ET, she and her four co-teachers will be doing a special webcast of a taping of Lifeclass from Toronto, and they'll be taking questions from viewers. Join the conversation on Oprah.com and Facebook.com/owntv. And, be sure to tweet your thoughts using #lifeclass.
Jerry Seinfeld once said that trying Pop-Tarts for the first time as a kid “blew the back of my head off.” And though I haven’t touched Pop-Tarts for the better part of a decade, suddenly foodie versions of the foil-wrapped breakfast treats are everywhere: At a recent festival, I feasted on San Francisco-based Black Jet Bakery’s flaky, buttery pastry dough enveloping pockets of brown sugar, apricot jam or—brace yourself—jalapeno-cream-cheese, which was as scrumptious as it sounds strange. A good friend served a platter of vanilla-glazed, jam-stuffed toaster pastries from the famous Boston bakery Flour at her birthday party, in lieu of a cake. While shopping for gift ideas for my has-everything-she’ll-ever-need mother, I saw a toaster pastry press at Williams Sonoma.
So when Alana Chernila’s new book, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, landed on my desk—with a picture of powdered sugar-dusted toaster pastries on the cover, no less!—I was ready to take the hint.