Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Salon- Cranberries, Books and Books About Cranberries (Not Really)

Well today I'm on the island of Nantucket for the annual Cranberry Festival, which was actually yesterday. Nantucket is known as a center of cranberry harvesting and every year we get a big bag of fresh-off-the-bog berries for fall and Christmas baking. Anyone who's been to my Christmas Eve party knows about the cranberry-orange pinwheel cookies, and if you come visit me between now and Thanksgiving there's sure to be cranberry cornbread, muffins, galettes and more.

And that's where they come from. At the festival you can buy fresh berries but they're available all season long in Nantucket's farm stands and stores. We had a perfect day for the festival yesterday- temperatures in the 60s with bright sunshine and just a touch of a breeze. Couldn't ask for better!

This little fellow was from last week's fair, the annual Topsfield Fair. Part of the fair is a display of pumpkins and gourds that have been decorated by area schoolchildren. The hedgehog there was definitely my favorite!

Of course the fall wouldn't be complete without the area's largest pumpkin, this year weighing in at 1,668.5 pounds. That's a lot of pumpkin!

On another note, this past week I got meet author Joan Leegant, who wrote the very engaging (and popular book club choice) Wherever You Go, a novel tackling the subject of religious and political extremism in Israel. The book club at Temple Israel, a large Boston shul (and one where I used to work part-time), read the book and Leegant was kind enough to come to the meeting to talk about the book. It was a real honor to meet her! Avis of She Reads and Reads and Carrie of Books and Movies are co-hosting a readalong in October. You can find out more here.
Here's an ad you might have seen on or elsewhere for Joan's book- and look who's blurbed at the bottom! :-) :-) :-)

What am I reading today? I'm still finishing up Amitav Ghosh's masterful River of Smoke; it's a wonderful read but not a quick one! I also started Massimo Carlotto's Poisonville, a tough-necked thriller from Italy about a man under suspicion for the death of his fiancée. It's pretty great, and unlike the Ghosh a very quick read! I'm reading it for the Europa Challenge and for Jenn's Bookshelves' Murder, Monsters and Mayhem Challenge. Fun!

What are you up to today? More Sunday Salon here.


bermudaonion said...

All those festivals sound like lots of fun!

I love seeing your blurb on that ad!

Anonymous said...

I love cranberries! How fun to go to a cranberry festival. Loved the pumpkin the hedgehog!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Aren't you just the woman? This one AND The City and the City? So proud of you. I know a celebrity! And seeing your cranberry pictures is really giving me a craving. Dawn's recipe for cranberry dressing is calling me.

JoAnn said...

Congrats on the ad... very cool! Also love seeing the cranberry pictures. I'm stuck on apples at the moment (thanks to last weekend's haul), but will move on to pumpkin and cranberry soon.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I have always wanted to go to a bog! My husband just can't get enthused...

And I LOVE that hedgehog! I might have to try to make one!

Unknown said...

I did a double-take on that Joan Leegant pic; is she Jane Smiley's sister or something?!

That's just too too cool, your blurb.

Marie, have you been interviewed anywhere regarding blogging or how you got in to blogging and how your blog grew and grew? If you have been, would you mind directing me there when you have a chance?


Zibilee said...

Kudos to you for that blurb! It's so awesome to see that! It sounds like the festival was fun, and I probably need to get your recipe for that cranberry cornbread. I bet that would be a hit for my family. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! Thanks for sharing all the pictures with us!

Athira said...

Congratulations! I haven't come across that ad yet, but I'm going to be on the lookout for it now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for mentioning our read-along!

avisannschild said...

That cranberry festival sounds like lots of fun -- wish I could pop by for some cranberry cornbread between now and Thanksgiving!

Congrats on being blurbed on that ad and how fun that you got to meet Joan in person. Thanks for plugging our read-along of her book!

caite said...

oh, I want that hedgehog!!
but not the less than attractive pumpkin.