Ursula K. LeGuin - The Left Hand Of Darkness
The Left Hand Of Darkness
Ursula K. LeGuin
1969, 304 pages
The Left Hand of Darkness is a tale of first contact. The people of the planet Winter are visited by Genly Ai, an emissary of a federation of planets known as the Ekumen. The people of Winter are asexual, only taking a male or female role during their mating cycles, and as such they don’t really have a concept of gender roles. Their political system is largely feudal, and there has not been a war for many generations. The people don’t seem to be too trustful of this newcomer, and he is eventually exiled from kingdom to kingdom in the hopes of being granted a meeting with one of the kings of the three kingdoms. Eventually, Genly Ai is forced to team up with the also-exiled Lord Estravan for a suicidal journey across the northern glaciers to try and reach the king.
I finished this book over a month ago, so forgive me for missing important details and glazing over certain parts of the book. Overall, when I first read this book, it didn’t really strike me as amazing. It won lots of awards, including the Hugo and Nebula awards, and was considered a groundbreaking novel in science fiction as well as feminism. Possibly due to the years that have passed between now and its initial publication, the book didn’t really hit a nerve with me. I found the first half of the book entirely boring, and was only really interested in the characters during their trek across the ice.
Now that I’ve had some time to mull over the book, it’s much better than I initially felt it was, which isn’t really saying much because I originally thought it was awful. The book was pretty good but I don’t think it’s great. I’m not sure who I would recommend it to, but I would certainly pass it on if I find the right person.
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a copy of the Company’s Coming Table For Two cookbook. Alan and I don’t really do well with portions, so something with quantities explicitly designed for two sounded good for us. We’ve tried a few recipes so far, and this is my favourite so far:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 puff pastry patty shells
- 10 oz salmon fillet, skin removed
- 2 lemon slices, about 1/4 inch thick
- 2 onion slices, about 1/4 inch thick
- Combine first seven ingredients in medium bowl. Chill, covered, for 1 hour to blend flavours.
- Place pastry shells on baking sheet. Bake on centre rack in 400 degree over for about 18 minutes until golden. Transfer to serving plates.
- Place fillet on separate greased baking sheet. Arrange lemon and onion slices over fillet. Bake in 400 degree over for about 13 minutes until fillet flakes easily when tested with fork. Discard lemon and onion slices. Break salmon into small pieces with fork. Add to sour cream mixture. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Fill shells with salmon mixture.
- Garnish with dill.
Alan made this for us. Isn’t that sweet? It was very tasty. He thinks that next time, he would use smoked salmon instead of cooking freshly, which would reduce cooking time. Otherwise, we liked it and would eat it again.
Because I work far away, and don’t make the time during the week to prepare a lunch daily, I have taken to cooking and purchasing in bulk for work. The company I work for has about 15 employees, and space in the fridge isn’t a problem.
Sunday I tried out a new recipe for my lunches. It didn’t take long to prepare, it froze well, and tasted great when I reheated it. Also, it wasn’t dry, which is a big problem with a lot of the reheated chicken dishes I make for work.
Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup prepared dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika, and parsley. Mix well. Pour over the chicken, and marinade for at least an hour.
- Bake in an oven (350 F) for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
The chicken was delicious when it came out of the oven, and it tasted great for lunch today. I usually heat up about 1/2 of a chicken breast with 2-3 cups of frozen veggies at lunch. Because I made this for my lunches, I cut the chicken pieces into 1/2 – 3/4 inch strips. It makes it easier to freeze later, and I find it cooks a little faster because of that.
Slightly modified from Karen’s recipe
2 cups cottage cheese, creamed
3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 chopped green bell pepper
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. (or use oven-ready)
- In a saucepan melt the butter and saute the onions, green peppers, mushrooms. Add chicken, chicken soup and milk; cook until smooth.
- In a 9×13 inch baking dish, layer noodles, soup mixture and cheeses. Alternate until gone. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes.