I know, I know.
If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past few weeks, I’m sure you’ve heard of these books – if you haven’t read them already.
After reading an article online a few weeks ago about the trilogy and then downloading the free trial of Fifty Shades of Grey, I was hooked.
Are these classics – or anywhere near a classic? Uh…heck no.
Will they ever be part of an English class curriculum? Goodness, I hope not.
But they are addicting. Like, drop your responsibilities, let someone else make dinner, lounge on the couch for 3 days until you’ve finished the entire series kind of addicting.
If you haven’t heard about these books, they’re a series that was originally written as Twilight fan fiction, a way for E.L. James to take the story of Edward and Bella and twist it into a new storyline. One filled with cable ties, penthouses, and a lot of wine instead of sparkling vampires and high school drama.
The back of the first book – Fifty Shades of Grey – gives you the most boring break down of the story, describing it as a college girl who randomly encounters a man who is beautiful, but intimidating. She realizes she wants him, and he wants her, too—but on his terms, which, you guessed it, includes the cable ties.
That’s the basics, I guess, but the summary doesn’t give any hint at all to why women everywhere are running to the store for these books.
The worst part about these books? The writing isn’t very good, but the story sucks you in so fast that you just. can’t. stop. reading.
Is anything in the book anywhere close to reality? Nope. Not one bit.
The main character is a 21 year girl, about to graduate college, and she doesn’t have a computer.
Seriously? Last time I checked, almost every college requires that you have your own computer. And she doesn’t have an email address? Sure. Her roommate is this super hot girl who goes out all the time and gets all the guys, but Ana has never been drunk? Doubt it.
I get it.
She’s supposed to be innocent, pure, naive. And she’s definitely all of those things, but some of the details would fit better for a 14 year old than someone who’s about to be out of school and working and living on her own.
And then…what everyone is talking about – the sex scenes, “vanilla” as it may be to Mr. Grey. If you’ve read them, you know. Some are insanely hot, some are absurd, and some of them are just completely ridiculous.
Hello, bathroom in Georgia? I don’t think so. That is not real life, or not for anyone I know, anyway.
Also – do these people work? Really? They’re almost always in that penthouse. Or the helicopter. Or some ritzy hotel, making a mess of every pair of sheets and bathroom rugs that they can.
I don’t want to say too much more in case you are reading them, because the story line does get better in the 2nd and 3rd books. Even with all the ridiculousness, the books are crazy addicting, and if you like to fall easily into a story, you’ll love them.
In between the bedroom and red room of pain sessions, food makes a big appearance in these books – just like in Twilight. Frittatas, salads, oysters, vanilla ice cream, wine, pancakes and bacon, and a stir fry that almost doesn’t get made. It’s a good thing stir frys are fast. I don’t think those two would eat if it wasn’t – there are much better things than dinner to get to.
Sadly, I was making this stir fry by myself – no Christian to dice my vegetables for me. I wouldn’t even mind that he chopped veggies as slow as molasses.
This stir fry is one classic dish I keep in my recipe box for quick weeknight meals. There’s no set recipe – just a method and a few ideas for the sauce and veggie mix-ins.
One stir fry, fifty ways.
- protein: chicken, beef, pork, tofu or eggs
- vegetables: onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, peas, beans, etc
- herbs: scallions, cilantro, parsley – whatever you like
- grains: brown rice, rice noodles, couscous, quinoa, or leftovers you need to use of anything else
- sauce: soy sauce, orange juice, canola oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, pepper, crushed red pepper, cornstarch, brown sugar
Pick your protein and slice into thin pieces (unless you’re using eggs). Slice the veggies and herbs. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add your meat and cook, stirring frequently 3-4 minutes until it starts to brown. Add the veggies and herbs and cook, 3-4 minutes.*Add the eggs here and scramble for a minute, if using eggs as the protein.
Pour in the sauce, bring to a quick boil, and let the sauce start to thicken. Remove the pan from heat, stir in your grain, and serve.
If you want to make a meal straight from the book, serve this for dinner with a glass of wine and then whip up this vanilla ice cream for dessert.
But don’t blame me if you’re just as addicted to the books as I am – or if you spill ice cream on the sheets.