Jamaican Jerk Pork Slow Cook

Borrowed from Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook, Carol Heding Munson

I’m trying this out today; first time I’ve made this.I’m going to serve this with brown rice and some steamed veggies.


Medium Crockery Pot
Makes 4 Servings

2 cups (480 mL) fat-free beef broth
2 teaspoons dried minced onions
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
l teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1 pound (455 g) pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Pour the broth into the Crockery pot.

In a small bowl, combine the onions, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves. Rub the spice mixture into all sides of the pork. Place the pork in the Crockery pot.

Cover and cook on LOW until the pork is cooked through and a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F or 7l degress C, 6 to 8 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Remove to a platter, reserving the broth; keep the pork warm. Pour the broth into a saucepan.

In a small cup whisk together the cold water and cornstarch.

Stir into the broth, and cook, stirring, over medium heat until slightly thickened. Slice the pork and serve topped with the thickened broth.

Continue ReadingJamaican Jerk Pork Slow Cook

Character lists in famous novels

Covers of Famous Novels

The characters in these lists are main characters and key secondary characters in these stories. In some cases there are additional secondary and minor characters not listed here. This list may be updated periodically with additional famous novels and their character lists.

The Great Gatsby Characters: 10
Nick Carraway
Jay Gatsby
Daisy Buchanan
Tom Buchanan
Jordan Baker
Myrtle Wilson
George Wilson
Owl Eyes
Meyer Wolfsheim

Treasure Island Characters: 11
Jim Hawkins
Billy Bones
Black Dog
Squire Trelawney
Dr. Livesey
Captain Smollett
Long John Silver
Ben Gunn
Israel Hands
Tom Redruth

The Sun Also Rises Characters: 12
Jake Barnes
Lady Brett Ashley
Robert Cohn
Bill Gorton
Mike Campbell
Pedro Romero
Frances Clyne
Count Mippipopolous
Harvey Stone

Moby-Dick: or, The Whale Characters: 16
Moby Dick
Father Mapple
Captain Boomer

As I Lay Dying Characters: 16
Addie Bundren
Anse Bundren
Cash Bundren
Darl Bundren
Jewel Bundren
Dewey Dell Bundren
Vardaman Bundren
Vernon Tull
Cora Tull

To Kill a Mockingbird Characters: 18
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch
Atticus Finch
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch
Arthur “Boo” Radley
Bob Ewell
Charles Baker “Dill” Harris
Miss Maudie Atkinson
Aunt Alexandra
Mayella Ewell
Tom Robinson
Link Deas
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
Nathan Radley
Heck Tate
Mr. Dolphus Raymond
Mr. Walter Cunningham
Walter Cunningham

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Characters: 25
Huckleberry Finn
Tom Sawyer
Widow Douglas and Miss Watson
Pap (Huck’s Father)
The Duke and the King
Judge Thatcher
The Grangerford family – Bob, Buck, Charlotte, Col., Emmeline, Sophia, Tom
The Wilks family – Harvey, Joanna, Mary Jane, Peter, Susan, William
Silas and Sally Phelps
Aunt Polly

Anna Karenina Characters: 26
Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin
Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Konstantin Dmitrich Levin
Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya (Kitty)
Stepan Arkadyich Oblonsky (Stiva)
Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya (Dolly)
Sergei Alexeich Karenin (Seryozha)
Nikolai Dmitrich Levin
Sergei Ivanovich Koznyshev
Agafya Mikhailovna
Countess Vronsky
Alexander Kirillovich Vronsky
Varvara Vronsky
Prince Alexander Dmitrievich Shcherbatsky
Princess Shcherbatskaya
Countess Lydia Ivanovna
Elizaveta Fyodorovna Tverskaya (Betsy)
Marya Nikolaevna
Madame Stahl
Varvara Andreevna (Varenka)
Nikolai Ivanovich Sviyazhsky
Fyodor Vassilyevich Katavasov

War and Peace Characters: nearly 600 characters

Related Reading:
Book Magazine’s The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900
Book Magazine, now defunct, compiled a panel of 55 authors, literary agents, editors, and actors in 2002 to “rank the top one hundred characters in literature since 1900.”

Continue ReadingCharacter lists in famous novels

Unreliable Narrator Shirt

Unreliable Narrator Shirt

I was reading The Story Within the other day, and in the middle of the chapter about points of view, they have a section on the concept of The Unreliable Narrator [An unreliable narrator is a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised.] which is concept I’ve always loved. And the first character that springs to my mind when I hear that term is Holden Caulfield, although he’s probably not the best example. And when I think of Holden Caufield, I always think of this book cover….

The Catcher In the Rye Book Cover

Which is how I ended up designing this shirt. Which I proudly wear, because, hey, that’s pretty funny.

Continue ReadingUnreliable Narrator Shirt

10 Anthems for a Feminist Revolution

According to spinner magazine, these are the tops: (linked to mp3 download or album on Amazon.com)

10. Salt-n-Pepa, ‘None Of Your Business’
(from the album Very Necessary)

9. Carole King, ‘<(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' (from the album 30 Greatest Hits)

7. Bratmobile, ‘Cool Schmool’
(from the album Pottymouth)

6. The Raincoats, ‘Lola’
(from the album The Raincoats)

5. Bikini Kill, ‘Rebel Girl’
(from the album Pussy Whipped)

4. Destiny’s Child, ‘Independent Women Part I
(from the album Survivor

3. Patti Smith, ‘Piss Factory
(from the album Land (1975-2002))

2. Nina Simone, ‘Four Women’
(from the album The Best Of Nina Simone)

1. Team Dresch, ‘She’s Amazing’
(from the album Personal Best)

Their analysis of what each song brings to the table is solid; check it out.

Continue Reading10 Anthems for a Feminist Revolution

Paula Cole: Mississippi

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Music
  • Post comments:0 Comments

This song falls under the heading of really awesome music I’ve rediscovered in my music library recently. Of course I was listening to Paula Cole something like 10 years ago (1996 – so 15 years ago.) At a particular time in my life when I was completely in love with a woman who was in love with one of my exes – so the “piece of my heart on the sole of your shoe” line really hit home with me.

If you want the mp3 – Amazon has it: Mississippi (Album Version) [Explicit]

I’m skeptical sometimes of the lyrics you find out there on the lyrics sites – I wonder if these are quite accurate? I’ll have to pull out the album and see if it has lyrics in the notes.

I know I’m big and proud all over
not just on the stage
my secret self has many sides
that laugh and crush and stain
I’m red and thick like fire
I like it from behind
but round to black
and red to white
I’m pure and sad and silent

I know I’ve
gotta piece of my heart
on the sole of your shoe
I’ve got a little bit of thunder
trapped inside of a cloud
the dog in you
spit me out into the Mississippi

I know who can love my many selves
the wife, the bitch, the Rapunzel
the one who cries
and calls for you
the one who is always alone


oh Mississippi
come and wash my pain away
oh Mississippi
come and take my pain away
I feel I’m drowning
I feel I’m drowning
I feel I’m
I feel I’m

chorus (3 times)

Continue ReadingPaula Cole: Mississippi

We need a little christmas

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Music
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Mame (1966 Original Broadway Cast)
Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry,
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry;
So climb down the chimney;
Put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.
Slice up the fruitcake;
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.
For I’ve grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,

And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a little Christmas now.

Haul out the holly;
Well, once I taught you all to live each living day.

Fill up the stocking,

Young Patrick:
But Auntie Mame, it’s one week from Thanksgiving Day now.

But we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.

It hasn’t snowed a single flurry,
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry;

So climb down the chimney;
Put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.

Slice up the fruitcake;
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.
For we need a little music,
Need a little laughter,
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter,
And we need a little snappy
“Happy ever after,”
Need a little Christmas now.
Need a little Christmas now.

Continue ReadingWe need a little christmas

Reading in Cambridgeshire

Sometime last year I managed to lose track of my reading list. I started to keep better track in January of this year, but I never managed to keep the list updated. So after 14 years of tracking every book I’ve read – I managed to lose track hopelessly. Ah well. I’m happier this way. Something about enforced routines made reading a chore instead of an escape. And every year the list of books I’d finished was depressingly shorter – less free time, more household repair obligations, a sense that what I was reading was on the lighter side and less worthy of examination and recording. All that plays into it, really.

I took two books with me to England:

1) The Night Climbers of Cambridge seemed appropriate, since I knew I’d be visiting the city. It was written pseudonymously by students of Cambridge University in the 1930s, about their adventures scaling the building walls of the various colleges in Cambridge.

The book is a cult classic and inspires the exploits of a band of modern-day dare-devils who have cheekily placed Santa hats on the spires of various chapels over the last several years. I picked up the book after hearing about their exploits in 2008, and this past year’s simultaneous placement of 4 hats on each spire of King’s College was a particularly noteworthy feat. I’ll have my photos edited soon of Kings College chapel, which will help explain why. I had hoped to get photos of some of the key drain pipes and chimneys involved, but alas, I only have photos of the buildings themselves. Too much to do in Cambridge in too little time.

2) Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making — Curran was able to study 70+ notebooks that Christie wrote in over the years as she plotted out her mystery stories, and he details key discoveries about how she crafted some of the major stories. This books is a revelation – so fascinating to see behind the finished product and see how she worked. She would have an idea pop into her head and she would just noodle on it; sometimes a plot would spring directly to life, and sometimes she would continue to play with the idea for years before the completed story came about.

Because it was so interesting, I picked up a couple of Christie’s books from Toppings & Co. Books in Ely: Dead Man’s Folly. The added advantage of that was that I got book covers that aren’t available in the US – much nicer designs, frankly. I read nearly all of Christie’s mysteries as a teenager and still have copies of some of my favorites on my shelf at home. I particularly favored Tommy & Tuppence stories and so have all of them, and I loved Marple. Poirot? I liked him, but he wasn’t my favorite. Curran clearly loves him, though. Most of the novels he covers in the Secret Notebooks featured the mustachioed detective. After I returned home, I picked up seven more of the top ten Christie novels according to Curran – I already owned the other three. So I’ve been reading through those as well, and then flipping back and forth between the book an the novels.

Another great England acquisition was the third Stieg Larsson book – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I managed to get it and read it there in England before it was available in the US, which wasn’t much of an advantage (it was released here on May 24) except that I could taunt friends on Facebook. It was very good – he’s pretty great at keeping you riveted through lots of exposition between action scenes. Long, but I read through it without difficulty. I’d recommend highly the whole series.

And a couple other books I’ve read recently back here in the US, but set in Ely and surrounding villages, where we were staying. The first is The Nine Tailorsa Dorothy L. Sayers mystery set in a village church similar to the one in the village my sister lives in.

It was the inspiration for several mystery novels by author Jim Kelly about Ely and environs: The Water Clock and The Fire Baby are the first two I’ve read. Not bad reading, although his prose could use some polish, he has a rather bleak view of the area, and his books on the gritty side. But fun because I can picture streets he references and places he sets his scenes.

Continue ReadingReading in Cambridgeshire

Diane Arbus

I picked up Diane Arbus: A Biography at the library without really having an idea who she was. It happened to be on a kiosk of other photography books that the Nora branch was featuring, and I thought – “hey a woman photographer. I should check her out.” I’m not sure why I have that gap in my education, but I was until recently pretty unaware of iconic photographers other than knowing the names of a few, like Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Annie Liebovitz.

There are relatively few of her photos reproduced in the biography, probably due to it being unauthorized (but still regarded as the generally definitive account of her life). So I probably approached her as a topic in the opposite fashion that most people do – I suspect most people are familiar with her work first and then are drawn to discover more about the woman driven to create it. I’m rather glad I stumbled into the backwards approach, mainly because if I’d seen her work first I don’t know that I would have been driven to seek out more about her. Off-putting would be a mild description of her photos. I can definitely see why they are iconic, and her bio gives me clues into why she was compelled to create them, and I understand that need. I can also see why there are so many young photographers who fall into the trap of imitating her; it’s easy to imitate her style. It’s also easy to attempt (without succeeding) to imitate her subject matter — but not easy to capture what she was actually trying to capture – people who are genuine and lacking in artifice.

About her subjects, she said: “Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”
I’m not sure I agree complete with her that people on the fringes are they only people in which you find that quality of authenticity and lack of guile. It might be somewhat easier to find the authentic self among people who have no use for masks, but it can be found amongst the everyday as well. And there is also an authenticity to be found amongst people who are joyous and celebratory as well.

But it seems from her biography that she was also a danger junkie, putting herself in positions quite different from her own background and upbringing. I also wonder if she was seeking something in her subjects that wasn’t actually there, or maybe was more present in her than them – like she was looking in them for an image of herself.

Either way, I found her as a subject far more interesting (to me personally) than her photographs, although I do agree that her work was extraordinary and very important. I think I just don’t see the world the same way she did.

Continue ReadingDiane Arbus

Words that end in “-ist” for a thousand, Alex

In creating my current “recently read” list today, I noticed an oddity in my reading choices…

Previously, my reading list included The Sonambulist, and a few years back, one of my very favorite books was The Intuitionist. I also recently enjoyed The Illusionist on DVD.

I know there’s at least one other “-ist” title in my “recently read” list, but when I started to go back and look for it, I realized I have 11 years worth of book lists to look through, and I decided I was too lazy for that. You’d think I’d keep a running list after all these years, but, well, refer to previous sentence re: lazy.

“The suffix -ist is used to denote a person who either practices something or a person who is concerned with something or a person who holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.”

Yes, well people seem to like to write lots of books about such people, don’t they? I have not read The Alchemist, or The Alienist, but I’m not going to be compulsive about it and put them on my “to read” list. The first doesn’t interest me, and the second I heard about from others and I’m pretty sure I might not like it.

The Impressionist is on my bookshelf now, and I’ll probably give it a read.

Given the prominence of the suffix in published works, I thought I might title my own future novel with an “-ist” ending, so I began reading through 1201 such words.

Alas, both The Balloonists, and The Little Balloonist are taken, so it seems that non-engine powered aeronautics covered.

I could go with the Anarchist – there doesn’t seem to be a novel by that name, although there is a Cookbook, and apparently, they are in the Library of late. (that last one is on my reading list, BTW. The first is probably going to get me on watchlists just for linking.

So, how about the Aviarist, or The Bronchioscopist? Well, maybe not that last one. That sounds a bit squishy. The Anecdotalist? That sounds a bit like Auntie Gert telling stories with endless tangents and no endpoint.

An “aquarellist” is a person who paints water colors.

A “cinquecentist” is a poet or artist in 16th century Italy. Both would require me to do research. See: lazy.

The Deconstructionist! Ugh. I think I’d rather shoot them that write about them.

The Fabulist — I think that’s it. Yes, the Fabulist. Damn it — that’s already written. And about that fine fellow Stephen Glass, too. That title almost makes him seem whimsical.

A Feist is a small dog – or a singer whichever you prefer.

A funambulist is a tight-rope walker.

Where the hell am I in this list? F? This could go on forever. or perhaps all the way to
Z. Best quit now.

la·zy·ish: \-zē-ish\ adjective – a: disinclined to activity or exertion : not energetic or vigorous. Indolent, Slothful.

2022-03-13 Update:
I have since read The Alchemist, The Alienist,and The Impressionist.

I did avoid the Anarchist Cookbook. I am still thinking about the The Anarchist in the Library.

And I’m thinking there are more books with -ist since 2008. I may do a revisit. Alas, still la·zy·ish; I may not.

Continue ReadingWords that end in “-ist” for a thousand, Alex

Heir to the Glimmering World

Heir to the Glimmering World
Heir to the Glimmering World
I also can’t find enough time to write a synopsis of Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick – a book I picked up in Chicago last July and just finished reading, so again I’m going to cheat and give you the synopsis/review From Publishers Weekly instead:

Ozick’s previous novel, The Puttermesser Papers, revolved around one quirky hero; this time around, Ozick incubates several. Characters, not plot, drive this Depression-era tale, and Ozick eviscerates each one through her narrator, Rose Meadows, a resolute 18-year-old orphan. Virtually abandoned, Rose wanders into a job with the Mitwisser family, German refugees in New York City. Filling gaping holes in their household, she becomes a research assistant to the father, a professor stubbornly engaged in German and Hebrew arcana; a nurse to his oft-deranged, sequestered wife; and nanny to their five children. As she penetrates the fog surrounding their history, Rose limns their roiling inner lives with exasperated perception. Mrs. Mitwisser especially chafes against the family’s precarious, degrading status as “parasites,” erratically supported by the unbalanced millionaire son and heir of an author of popular children’s books who is fascinated by Mr. Mitwisser’s research. With her trademark lyrical prose, gentle humor and vivid imagery, Ozick paints a textured portrait of outsiders rendered powerless, retreating into tightly coiled existences of scholarly rapture, guarded brazenness and even calculated lunacy—all as a means of refuting the bleakness of a harsh, chaotic world. Erudite exposition is packed into the book, so that character study and discourse occasionally grind the plot to a halt. Edifying and evocative, if often daunting, this is a concentrated slice of eccentric life.

The assessment of “grinding the plot to a halt” is dead on – I found this book to be a tough slog. I also had trouble sympathizing with any of the characters; each of them was either mean or sad, and I couldn’t get over my frustration with them.

Continue ReadingHeir to the Glimmering World