Shoot the Moon **** by Billie Letts
I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where in her words, pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.
In 1972, the town of DeClare, Oklahoma, was reeling from the murder of Gaylene Harjo and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child’s pajama bottoms were found on the banks of a creek, Nicky Jack is presumed dead.
Nearly 30 years later, Dr. Mark Albright, aka Nicky Jack, returns to DeClare after learning of his adoption~ on a mission to find his birth mother. His shocking reappearance causes a stir in the town, as he tries to follow the shaky trail of evidence and decipher thirty-year-old clues regarding his mother’s murder. Secrets begin to emerge as the truth is revealed bit by bit~ in a story of a young girl’s dreams, and an act of desperate love.
The “domino boys” are a foursome that hang out at Teeve Harjo’s pool hall:
“The oldest of this foursome was Ron John O’Reily, who at eighty-two was developing Alzheimer’s; the grumpiest but undisputed leader of the pack was Lonnie Cruddup, who in temperament was much like his deceased sibling, Raymond. Johnny and Jackson Standingdeer, Cherokee brothers in their late fifties rounded out the group.”
“What does it mean, ‘shoot the moon’? ‘It means he’s gonna go for all the tricks. The whole kit and kaboodle’, Jackson said. ‘Kind of like getting married’, Lonnie explained.”
‘How’s that?’ Mark asked. ‘Well, say you find you a woman you just can’t get enough of. You want her so bad you can’t eat, can’t sleep. Now you know this is a woman who’s gonna keep your bed warm on cold nights, make you potato soup, when you’re sick. She’s gonna believe you even when you’re lying. Hell, she’s the only person in the world who’s gonna know what wanted that you never got, and what you got that you never wanted. But you know for certain there’s gonna be times when this woman is gonna make you miserable. She’s gonna bitch if you forget your anniversary. She’s gonna want to watch some crying movie on TV when there’s a ball game you wanna see. She’ll expect you to skip your poker game and keep her company when she’s feeling blue. In other words, she’s gonna be a pain in the ass some of the time. So, you gotta make a decision. What are gonna do? Walk away from her? Or go for it all. Give her up? Or shoot the moon.”
So with that convoluted explanation of Shooting the Moon, I took the potato soup reference & ran with it. . .my options were limited since most of the food references revolve around a character whose cooking is kindly described as “unusual”. In addition to Pumpkin squid bisque, his repertoire includes cold fish mousse and lima bean souffle :-)
Ina Garten’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup
After I pureed the ingredients, I decided for our tastes, it was too smooth, and wanted some potato “chunks”. I diced up probably a pound or so more, (I had a 5 lb. bag to start, so I had plenty left) and tossed them in to simmer. This soup has great flavor~ due to the roasted leeks, potatoes & the arugula. (I did not peel my potatoes, as it called for~) I’m sure the crispy shallots the recipe calls for to garnish it with would be great, I just didn’t go that route. Also, I couldn’t find creme fraiche at the lake. My Trader Joe’s carries it, but it was too far to go, so I just substituted sour cream. I would definitely make this soup again~it made a gracious plenty, and we shared it with my in-laws, since my mother-in-law loves potato soup.
I loved this quote describing how gossip spreads in DeClare upon Nicky Jack’s return:
“The story, on the loose now, raced through the community like an unbridled child. Rumors climbed over backyard fences, skipped from street to street, romped down the aisles of Walmart, tumbled through the Laudromat and cartwheeled through the park. Later, no one would give much thought to the path the news had traveled, but more than a few would be amazed at the speed with which the story sprinted past the city limits, jumped the river, galloped over eight counties and dashed across the state line.”
The Domino Boys consider the pool hall a “man’s refuge” and are quite put out when, after Teeve’s husband skips town, Teeve decides she’ll run it without selling beer or booking bets. The last straw however, is when she changes the sign to “Teeve’s Pool Hall and Tea Room”. She has to bribe them a Peanut Butter Pie, a new domino table and has to change her sign to read “Teeve’s Place”, since The Boys claim they can’t be seen frequenting a Tea room.
Peanut Butter Pie courtesy Paula Deen
This pie is quick & easy~ but sweet, sweet, sweet. . .insulin shots may be required!
“He had come to this place in Oklahoma to find the mother who had let him go, the mother who had not loved him enough to keep him. Instead, he’d found the girl who had given up her dreams, but not her baby.”