He Said/She Said

THE BOOK:

51C2M6jShgL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_No matter how painful it is, if a relationship is going to survive the long haul, truth must be told from the start. This is the story of lies concealed over time, lies that festered and grew, until protecting them became the raison d’ etre.

Kit and Laura found with each other a golden love that is so palpable, other people can see it, like a shining aura enveloping them. Kit is an eclipse chaser, starting in his youth when he and his twin, Mac, accompanied their alcoholic father chasing eclipses around the globe. The first one was in Chile, 1991. Laura is a fundraiser, and loves her job, supporting agencies whose work she believes in. When training fundraisers, she tells them that they have to believe in their cause and have a plan ready before they make that important telephone call.

In 1999, when Laura went to her first eclipse with Kit, the zeitgeist of the moment was freewheeling festivals surrounding the cosmic event. Kit, Laura, Mac and Laura’s best friend, Ling (also Mac’s girlfriend) attended the one at Lizard Point, the southernmost spot in Cornwall. They planned on setting up a concession to sell tea to make some money while they were there. Things got complicated when they meet Beth.

This many-layered story was expertly revealed. I did have an inkling of one of the plot points early on, but abandoned it because I had no evidence to support it. Consequently, the reveal at the end did surprise me. Excellent writing, intricate plot, well-drawn characters.

THE BEAUTY:

Even though the sky was overcast during the eclipse, Laura and Kit experienced something really special. They were viewing the phenomenon somewhat removed from the crowd, atop a van overlooking green hills in the foreground with the sea in the distance.
“There.” Kit nodded to his left, and pointed his camera. I followed his gaze and lost my breath. A wall of night pressed in towards us from the Atlantic, a black veil being dragged across the sky. I gasped like I was falling…”I didn’t know the darkness could be so beautiful,” said Kit, aiming his lens at the horizon. As if he had summoned it, at that moment, a hole was torn lengthways through the cloud and the sun was partly visible, a sooty black disc surrounded by a ring of pure light… there were none of the phenomena I’d hoped for, no shooting corona, no sun leaking through the moon’s crater to create the diamond ring effect, and in a few seconds it was gone, but still I felt changed, as if a giant hand had reached down from the sky and touched me.”

amercian-eclipse-01.ngsversion.1503324054000.adapt.1900.1An onlooker watches an annular solar eclipse from New Mexico. Photograph by Colleen Pinski, National Geographic Your Shot.

THE FOOD:

Laura planned to take her father to a new ocakbasi restaurant that had just opened in her neighborhood. In Turkey it is called mangal, but a very specific type of charcoal barbeque called ocakbasi is also very popular. Ocakbasi translates to ‘fireside’ or ‘stand by the grill’ and ocakbasi restaurants typically have one or more large hooded charcoal barbeques in the center of the restaurant.

Kanat (Turkish Chicken Wings)

3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T Turkish hot red pepper paste (biber salcasi)
2 T Greek yogurt
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp sumac
½ tsp Urfa pepper flakes
2 tsp Kosher salt
3 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, hot red pepper paste, yogurt, garlic, cumin, sumac, pepper flakes, and salt. Place wings in a large Ziploc bag, pour in marinade, and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Place bag in refrigerator and marinate overnight.

Grill on low temperature for 25 minutes, turning often. Raise the heat to medium and cook until brown and crispy, turning often.

 

Transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately. Repeat with
remaining skewers.

This is a keeper!

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