Books, Sips, Pets: March 2018

Edina community members recommend books to read, wines to sip, and ways to care for your pets
This month's featured Picks: "How to Stop Time" by Matt Haig, Sicilian Girolamo Russo 'A Rina' Nerello Mascalese, and remember to protect your pets' paws this spring.


How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

On the very first page of this wonderful historical fantasy Tom Hazard tells the reader that he is old. Born in 1581, Tom looks about 41 in 2015. He has a condition called anageria which makes him age one year every 15 years. People notice. They think his mother is a witch and they execute witches. Tom is never ill, but he can be killed. He joins the top secret Albatross Society—they help him move around and change identities over the centuries. In How to Stop Time, English author Matt Haig creates the arc and adventure of Tom Hazard’s life through his intersections with history and the heartbreak of true love. Haig has written both fiction and memoir for adults and great books for children. Parents, teenagers, and book clubs will appreciate this fast paced novel. Put it on your spring break reading list.

Request these books any month of the year at your local library or bookstore.  

Article author Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.


Girolamo Russo

When it comes to mastering the art of food and wine, I used to think solely about the old-world regions of France, Italy and Spain where recipes, traditions and techniques have been passed down for centuries.

But today, as the subject broadens and the level of talent continues to supersede generations past, we see a variety of not only food but wine styles and winemaking capabilities that impress and push the boundaries. We live in an era that pushes for more wine education and an introduction to the grapes of distant lands, as the U.S. becomes one of the largest wine buying markets in the world. So let me introduce you to a grape you may not be so familiar with, Nerello Mascalese. It is a dark-skinned grape that grows most commonly in the volcanic soils of Mt. Etna in Sicily. It's one of my favorite 'Foodie' grapes on the planet!

Try Sicilian Girolamo Russo 'A Rine' Nerello Mascalese. Rustic and textured with notes of bright cherry, raspberry, tobacco leaf, dried rose petal and fresh carpaccio makes this a food and wine lover's ultimate dream wine-- Saluti!

Look for similar selections here at France 44 and Edina Liquor.

Article author Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee and Sip Better Wine Club


Protect Their Paws

Snow remains at least for a bit longer and we have treated our driveways, sidewalks and streets with chemicals to melt the snow and to eliminate ice. So remember to protect your pets from these chemicals. Some dogs like to lick their paws and therefore they are ingesting these chemicals which can be toxic.

If your dog will tolerate them (and this might include some training and making sure they are the right fit), the best defense is a good pair of water-resistant booties to protect paws from ice, salt, chemicals and sharp objects under the snow.

If your dog won’t tolerate booties, use a paw protector salve. There are a few brands such as Musher’s Secret, but Vaseline can work in a pinch as well. Make sure to rub in on the pads and areas between the toes.

Whenever you come in from a walk or being outside, make sure to give those paws a good cleaning to remove any ice, snow or chemicals that your pup may have picked up or stepped in. There is a new product called Mud Buster that is good for washing paws without the mess of a pail or dish. There are three different sizes to select from based on the size of your dog’s paws.

Article author Ann Platt is owner of Pets Are Inn, an award winning pet lodging business in Edina.