It was another Saturday night, and another encounter with the Happy Phlebotomist, a human mosquito known for his fanatical devotion to the job and a happiness borders upon sinister. That night he was feeling particularly highbrow, lamenting about the one time he attended a Book Club, the evening ended in a conga line.
Now that’s an affair Sister Madly would consider! Book Clubs these days are bogged down by the most ridiculous of frills- such as cucumber sandwiches and, you know, books- that they have forgotten their humble roots in Cuban dance.
The Happy Phlebotomist (HP) however, was so devastated by the incident that he made an unusually bold declaration: yes, somewhere between depleting people of their life source and pushing natural supplements, he was going to start a book club of his own- a respectable book club, a proper book club. You see, he just loves the smell of books!
You’re not suppose to smell books, Sunshine, you’re suppose to read them; that’s what books are for! No doubt you know there are books which have been banned due to their content- suppose you should happen to huff one of those?
Sure, it’s just a snort here and there, but soon you’ll be wearing thick-rimmed glasses and tying your hair up in a bun, and in no time flat you’re insisting that Oreos are vegan while listening to music on ‘vinyl…’ it’s the gateway drug to hardcore hipsterdom!
It was of no use; soon they will all be card-carrying members of Book Club Phlebotomy, extracting blood and smelling books by candlelight. But even worse than this was that HP was determined to take Sister Madly along with them, handing over the book list and asking her to choose which should be their first:
- Interview with an Exorcist
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
- The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants
- Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
- Atlas Shrugged
What Frankenstein stitched together this literary goulash? It’s enough to reduce anyone to a fetal position in a padded cell- even her spirit animal* is undergoing therapy for the trauma! And though Sister Madly admits that The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants would come in handy when landscaping the backyard, it’s hardly a book she would curl up with at the local coffee shop (mostly because she doesn’t like coffee.)
* Cookie Monster.
HP didn’t understand the fuss. After all, Sister Madly has been known to eat cod now and then- has she ever wondered about its heartbreaking journey from dreamy-eyed minnow to delicious fish ‘n chips? As for the Encyclopedia- why, it’s shorter than War and Peace by a few hundred pages! And just think of all the pointers she’d pick up from the Exorcist…
Exactly what pointers would those be, Sunshine? How to make your own holy water? A DIY crucifix out of dust bunnies and lemon peels? And what makes you think that Sister Madly needs pointers in the first place? Maybe she’s happy with her demons, ever think of that?!?
HP, however, was most accommodating. If Sister Madly didn’t find the list suitable, she- and her demons- were free to add to it.
And that’s just what they did:
- The Doubtful Debutante
- All of Them Witches
- Higgins’ Universal Language
- Blood on Their Hands: The Crime of It All, A Study of Some Selected Abuses in Sixteenth Century Europe
- The Isle of Naboombu
- To Serve Man*
* In the original Kanamit, of course.
HP was absolutely delighted; finally, Sister Madly was showing some enthusiasm for the project! He even went so far as to buy her a pint- that is, until one of the Professors put that PhD- and smart phone thingy- to good use.
“None of these books exist!”
What can she say, Professor? Her devils made her do it.
SWEET POTATO LAMB SAMOSAS
- 1lb minced lamb
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 onion (1/2 sliced, 1/2 minced)
- 2 chili peppers, chopped ~ OR ~ cayenne to taste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- fresh mint leaves, chopped
- salt/pepper, to taste
- 2-3 sheets Puff Pastry, thawed
- 1 Egg, beaten
~ SWEET POTATO ~
Saute mustard seeds in heated ghee until seeds start popping
Add sliced onion; saute 5 min
Add turmeric, chilies, and peas; saute 5 min
Add potatoes; stir to coat; 2-3 min
Remove from heat; set aside
~ LAMB ~
Saute chopped onions in heated ghee; 5 min
Add garlic; saute 2 min
Add spices (minus mint,) salt/pepper; mix
Add lamb; saute until cooked
Mix in sweet potato filling
Add stock; simmer until evaporated
Add mint; mix and remove from heat
Preheat oven to 400*
Cut pastry into 9 squares per sheet
Add filling to the center of each square
Fold pastry over filling to form a triangle; seal edges
Brush pastry with egg
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden
THEME SONG: Book of Longing, Leonard Cohen w/Philip Glass