Anthropology and Fiction interview today!

Maria and her son feeding chickens

Hey everyone,

Hope you had a fun weekend... I had my first sled ride of the season this weekend...wheeeeee! Toddler looked like a little puff-fish all decked out in his snowsuit.

Tomorrow is the big day-- the release of The Indigo Notebook!!! I got the contract two years ago, and I remember thinking that 2009 seemed sooo far in the future... and now it's actually here.

at a waterfall near Otavalo with Maria

In celebration, this week I'll have blog appearances daily-- the first is at Charlotte's Library. This is a special interview for a few reasons. Charlotte is the blogger who helped shortlist Red Glass for the Cybils Blogger Award two years ago (and I just found out she nominated The Indigo Notebook for this award, too! Yay!) Being a Cybils finalist was huge for Red Glass-- it really spread the word about the book, and also made me more aware of the wonderful book blogging community. I've discovered most of my favorite books over the past two years through these book blogs. (There are still a few more days left to nominate favorite books for the Cybils.)

I've never met Charlotte in person, but I know through reading her blog and our email contact that she's an archaeologist as well as an avid reader. Her interview questions focus on the intersection of anthropology and fiction, a topic which fascinates us both. I hope you enjoy the interview... Charlotte asks a bunch of great questions I haven't gotten before.

Okay, here's the last installment of Maria Virginia's Ecuadorian recipes posts. This is a yummy side dish that Maria often makes for potlucks when she's visiting here in Colorado.

Cortido Salad (Serves four)

2 medium tomatoes
1 small/medium yellow or white onion

1 cucumber 1 green pepper
1 carrot
1/8th bunch of fresh cilantro (7 pieces)
1 medium lime
About ½ tablespoon salt (to taste)
black pepper to taste
a tablespoon of olive oil

The key in this salad is to slice and dice the vegetables very finely so the flavors can mix together. First, soften the flavor of the onions: Cut the onions into thin slices and then cut the slices in half to form half-circles. Put the onion in a separate bowl and add a teaspoon of salt and a cup of water. Mix with your hands, crushing and breaking apart the pieces of onion. Drain out the water and add another cup of water to rinse. Drain again.

Dice the tomatoes into very small cubes. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds. Slice the cucumber once length-wise and then slice horizontally to form thin half-circles. Slice the green pepper into thin, long strips. Peel the carrot into long, thin shavings. Chop the cilantro very finely.

Mix all the vegetables and onion and cilantro together and add the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Serve immediately.

*As with all Maria's recipes, quantities are approximate-- you can adjust them according to your taste.*

Ta-dah... now you can make your own Ecuadorian feast! Buen provecho!

until tomorrow...