Stone Fruit Soup

My cousin made this a few days ago and I was able to recreate it at home very easily. It makes a great first course for summer, it’s vegan, and I can attest to the fact that the leftovers are very good for dealing with sweet tooth cravings without being too indulgent. Plus, it’s ridiculously simple and versatile: my cousin used peaches, apricots and cherries, I swapped out the apricots for plums and found it equally tasty. You could use any pitted fruit you like with great results. Two words of caution: don’t use apples or pears, which make the whole soup mushy, and don’t use dried fruit.

4 generous cups of pitted, sliced, stone fruit: peaches, plums, apricots, cherries (the cherries give it a gorgeous color), etc. I did well with 2 peaches, 3-4 plums/apricots, and enough cherries to fill the rest of my measuring cup.
4 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1/2 orange
Dusting of cinnamon

Bring ingredients to simmer. Cook for 15 min. Cover and let cool for a few hours (this allows the fruit to cook gently for a while longer in the contained heat of the pot). Refrigerate overnight. Serves 6-8.


Mucking about with legends

A couple of years ago I kept saying to people that vampires and werewolves were getting played out and were probably going to rest for a few years (King Arthur gets very popular every ten years and then goes back to sleep, like clockwork), and that I thought the next big thing was going to be fairies. I totally missed the zombie thing in between, but here we are, with Grimm and Once Upon a Time and various novels about the fey.

Which is good for me, because I really like the fey and I’m looking forward to playing in that sandbox for a few years before it gets worn out too and needs a nap. As far as I’m concerned, fey stories are ultimately family stories: most humans in fairy tales are either married to fey, raising changelings, or have some fey blood themselves; plus there are unwritten rules that everyone has to follow and history from ages ago that still plays itself out in every argument, every reunion. I love me some good family drama.

But I feel strongly that if you’re going to play with a major myth, you had better damn well bring something new to the table, something that enriches the legend, or you’re just retreading old ground. And I think I’ve got it: I’ve decided my take on it is going to deal with why time in Faerie goes at such different rates; sometimes faster, sometimes slower, and make that crucial to the climax of my story.

Mushroom Lasagna

I’ve never had a good vegetarian lasagna recipe to call on, which kind of sucks because everything I cook is vegetarian and I think pasta should be its own food group. So lately I’ve been playing with various mushroom lasagna recipes, because the problem with vegetarian lasagna tends to be lack of flavor, and mushrooms have flavor in spades. I’ve merged two recipes here, one with lots of flavor but a ridiculous amount of prep time and ingredients, the other much simpler, to create an awesome but not too labor-intensive variation.
Continue reading

Nano 2: Revenge of the Novel

I loved doing NaNoWriMo, but there are two problems with it. The first is that it’s in November, when my life is crazy with birthday, Thanksgiving, and all the work stuff I need to do to get ready for being with friends and family for a week or more. The second is that it’s only once a year.

So for the next thirty days, I’m going to be working on a novel, cranking out 50,000 words. Hey, this is probably the most stress-free time I will have all year; might as well take advantage of it! I’ll be posting my daily progress on this post so as not to completely crash your feeds, but I may make other posts detailing what’s going on with plot, characters, and general writing stress.

Wish me luck!

ETA: With travelling for interviews and other job search craziness, I ended up needing to take a break from writing the new novel. In the mean time, I’ve managed to finish a first draft of my first Nano novel and am working on a second draft. Then I’ll pick up again with the second Nano project. My aim is still to write a first draft in 30 days, but there’ll be a gap in the middle.

Summer 2013 Stats

Continue reading