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.”
The soup and pie look scrumptious! And the book sounds good- I’ll have to add it to the list!
(And thanks for using potato soup rather than pumpkin squid… yikes! lol)
Sure beats “Pumpkin squid bisque” all to heck!!! It reminds me of my baked potato soup recipe but roasting the leeks must add another dimension. I look forward to trying it.
Great review of the book, too! Happy FFT!
The soup does sound tasty, and I’m not overly fond of potato soups! Books that inspire food is just a lovely thing, isn’t it?
oh no, i wrote a huge post and lost it… grrrrrrrrrrr! first i hope you are having a ball here, perfect weather for napa this weekend!
i loved your review, but because i said all that and lost it will just say it all again on your next one… super pie and loved your soup, pet peeve is losing a post, so i am brief second time round, on to the next!
The soup sounds delicious. Love potato leak soup and will try this recipe. The book intrigues me. I want to read this one and find out the mystery around the mother’s death. Thanks for dangling the carrot of a good read.
Soup and pie sound delicious! I’ve seen this book, but haven’t read it. Now, I’m intrigued!
Dittos on the soup and pie! I don’t think I would like pumpkin squid bisque too much. I haven’t read this book, but I love mysteries-so will give it a look.
Such an interesting concept…an edible book review. Is that a spinoff of “dinner and a movie”? LOL
Thanks for visiting the cottage and leaving a comment about my flea market finds.
I would love to have you visit again and enter my giveaway!
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
i just got all caught up with you, you have a fab blog, i love all you share!