Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sheila Lagrand’s “Remembering for Ruth: Something in the Water”

I could get used to the serial format of publication.

Part 5 of Sheila Lagrand’s Remembering for Ruth serialized novel has now been published. Entitled Something in the Water, it continues the story of the Goodharte family.

The story so far: Paul and Margot Goodharte live in California, and are caring for Paul’s mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Paul is a pastor; his black sheep brother Matthew shows up and seems to have had something of a black-sheep shedding experience. He becomes interested in next-door neighbor Sue, and the family has a coincidental meeting with Matthew’s estranged daughter Amelia. The dog of former neighbors of the Goodhartes is left to them to care for, and Ruth becomes closely attached to him, naming him Zorro. The dog turns out to be a specially trained schutzhund. And Amelia is invited to spend some time with the family she never knew.

In Something in the Water, everyone manages to have a bad day except for the dog. Matthew gets too overbearing with daughter Amelia, and Sue has to tell him to ease up. Best friends Margot and Sue have a fight. Brothers Paul and Matthew have an argument, and Matthew storms out. An elderly church member is upset with the flower arrangements for worship services. Alzheimer’s patient Ruth has good moments and bad moments. The dog, Zorro, however, shows some of what he’s been trained for.

And then the family discovers Ruth is missing.

At the end of each installment, Lagrand usually includes a recipe or two from the story. And I was expecting to see recipes for overnight waffle batter and something called “glom.” But something must have been in the water.

Photograph by Maliz Ong via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.


Sheila said...

Thank you, Glynn! The recipes seem to have disappeared into a black hole.

Glom was comfort food in my family. It also worked well on those evenings when one of us kids had a rehearsal or game or performance and needed to eat earlier or later than the rest of the family. I asked my mother, before she died, why she called it Glom. She told me that she found the recipe with a big long foreign-sounding name in a cookbook. She knew we children wouldn’t be excited by the daunting name. “So I named it Glom,” she said.

1 pound or so of lean ground beef or turkey. If you’re adventurous, substitute bulk sausage or Italian sausage for some or all of the meat.
1 onion, diced.
1 clove of garlic
1pound of your favorite shaped pasta. Shells are fun. So are rotelli.
1 30-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can of corn, drained
Salt and pepper
Oregano, thyme, or basil, if you like.
1 4-ounce can of chopped ripe olives (if you like olives)
Shredded cheese, if you like.


In the bottom of a dutch oven over medium heat, brown the ground meat, breaking it up as it cooks.
Add the diced onion and sauté until the meat is done and the onion is translucent, five or seven minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so.
If there’s a lot of grease in the bottom of the dutch oven, drain it.
Open the tomato sauce and stir it in with the beef and onion.
Drain the corn and add it to the mixture in the dutch oven.
If you choose to add chopped olives, drain them and stir them in now.
Add the pasta (not prepared—just dry out of the package) and stir.
Add enough water to cover all the other ingredients in the dutch oven.
Stir everything together.
Heat the pot until the mixture is about to boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or so. Inspect. If the pasta are still hard, it needs to cook longer. If the mixture seems too “dry” or “stiff,” add more tomato sauce, if you have it. Or you can add water. Even a splash of wine would work.
Continue simmering until the pasta is tender and the sauce is of your preferred consistency. If it’s too thick, add more water or wine. If it’s too thin, increase the heat and remove the lid.

Serve the glom and pass the shredded cheese so people may add it as they like.

davis rosback said...

sounds good.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

I have got to read this series! Thanks for sharing, Glynn!