Remember the Ladies. (Spicy Food and Books for Spicy Women!)


Today’s recipe does not at all go with the review. It was not inspired by the book, or the time period. This is because the book takes place in Colonial America and the food just seemed inedible to me. They didn’t have access to much sugar or salt or, you know, TEA, so it looks like it was all meat and cheese. Fine for a charcuterie platter, but not so good for a vegan who likes to read. Today’s Quick and Easy Coconut Curry is merely a reflection on foods I am currently craving. It’s summer, so I want my food to eat me back! SPICE!

Moving on…

I know that after Friday’s post, and well, Wednesday’s post, you would think I’ve had enough of women in politics, and female-themed books! NOPE. Bring them on. Bring them ALL ON. I’m positively alight with feminist glee, even though, I have received some truly unoriginal sexist hate mail. Yeah, yeah, I get it. I’m just this thing with a vagina and a higher IQ than ten of you combined, which you feel you need to set in its place.

Too bad, that. Really.

Alas, I am positively alight with feminist glee, and it looks like this:

Next thing you know I’ll be dancing topless between standing stones, singing Carole King, while reading Roxanne Gay. In other words, Monday night.

The actual book now, I swear,

Ok, so a few weeks ago, Amazon suggested I read this book titled The Midwife’s Revolt (The Midwife Series) I thought, ok, the cover is…quaint.

Kinda prarie-ish, but I’ll keep reading, see what the blurb is all about.

The Blurb:

On a dark night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston is awakened by the sound of cannons. From a hill south of Boston, she watches as fires burn in Charlestown, in a battle that she soon discovers has claimed her husband’s life.

Alone in a new town, Lizzie grieves privately but takes comfort in her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams. Soon, word spreads of Lizzie’s extraordinary midwifery and healing skills, and she begins to channel her grief into caring for those who need her. But when two traveling patriots are poisoned, Lizzie finds herself with far more complicated matters on her hands-she suspects a political plot intended to harm Abigail and her family. Determined to uncover the truth, Lizzie becomes entangled in a conspiracy that could not only destroy her livelihood-and her chance at finding love again-but also lead to the downfall of a new nation.


Abigail Adams, a fictional BFF–who isn’t me–and a possible love story. Ok, fine, you got me.

*one click*

Wait a minute, whispersync audio with one of my favorite readers, (Sophie Eastlake/Julia Whelan) for $1.99. Done and done.

I went into the book without a lot of expectations. I knew who the author is in the academic and essay world, but her fiction? Nope. Ms Daynard is known for her scholarship and intelligence, but I wasn’t sure if that would translate to captivating readers with a novel. It certainly IS done–Eloisa James, Marie Rutkowski, Ben Lerner, and Helen Phillips, just to name a few. (I’ll admit that list is VERY NY centric. I can’t help it, I am a bloody New Yorker.) However, I’ve read some really uninspired fiction from the literary elite, which read like hundreds of pages of self-congratulatory circle jerking for other academics. Oddly enough, much of this ilk which I’ve read is from the startsy class. Friars should stick to making beer, and not write overly-dogmatic fiction. Please. (I am already going to hell, so worry not about reminding me.)

This book was different. It was engaging from the first, and continued to enrapture until The End. The reader gets an intimate account–albeit fictional–of the Proto-American Feminist, Abigail Adams. This is the woman who told her husband “remember the ladies,” when he was convening with the other founding fathers to write our Declaration of Independence. Ms Daynard gives us the story of Lizzie Boyleston, a very young widow in Revolutionary America, with an uncanny gift toward healing and midwifery. Healers of the time were not known to have many friends, as they were frequently distrusted, often associated with witchcraft or black magic. But Lizzie is fortunate enough to gather to herself a few very close friends, for whom she’d go the rounds. Her friendship with her late husband’s cousins, the Adams family, brings her to the center of the revolution, and therefore in a particular place in history which enables her to serve as compass for the story.

And point she does. Without giving much away, at least not more than the blurb, there is a plot afoot. Someone, it would seem, would like to do the Adamses harm, and Lizzie can foil the best-laid plans of these enemies. But there’s more going on in Lizzie’s life than just her friendships with people in high places, and this presents a particular challenge to her.

And it’s, well, it’s not precisely nail-biting, but more jaw-clenching. It’s political intrigue and love, and those are always fraught, right? However, they’re not always written with such compassion and clarity. Jodi Daynard writes emotion without being spoiled by too much sentimentality, and she writes tension without it feeling contrived. I remember one particular spot of the book where John and John Quincy have just set sail for France, and Abigail is beside herself. Lizzie is able to, if not mitigate those overwhelming emotions, than soothe them just a tiny bit with a well-placed dessert. (Which, if you ask me, and clearly you are, because this is my blog, is ALWAYS the best idea. Ok, and gin.)

The Midwife’s Revolt is an engrossing glimpse into American History, through an entirely wonderful bit of fiction.

Four Stars.

I wonder if Abigail Adams would like Thai Food? No idea, but I have both on my blog today. #amreading…

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Recipe, Please!

This quick and easy coconut curry is vegan, economical, and so simple. It actually uses RAMEN noodles, sans seasoning packets, which are tasty and fast as heck to cook.

Quick and Easy Coconut Curry

quick and easy coconut curry

Cat Bowen

Serves serves 2

Quick and Easy Coconut Curry

a quick, spicy, economical coconut curry soup. Done in under 15 minutes.

5 minHow Long is This Going to Take?

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time


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What Goes In?

    !For the base
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp thai red curry paste
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sweet soy sauce
  • !Add ins
  • 1 3.5 or 4 oz pack of ramen noodles
  • 3 oz chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup drained canned chickpeas
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • !Toppings
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped scallion
  • chopped peanuts
  • sambal chili paste
  • lime wedges

Avengers, Assemble!

  1. heat the base ingredients together in a large saucepan on medium high
  2. bring to a slow boil
  3. reduce to simmer
  4. add noodles
  5. cook 2 minutes
  6. add remaining add ins and heat until all heated through
  7. remove from heat
  8. add toppings
  9. serve.
  10. (chopsticks are very optional.)
Cuisine: Thai | Recipe Type: Soup